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CORRUPTION

Is Trump’s DC Hotel Acting as a Money-Launderer in Pay-For-Endorsements Scheme?

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One Event at Trump’s D.C. Hotel Includes a $10,000-Per-Person Photo With the President Opportunity

In the old days, if a politician wanted an endorsement from, say, the President of the United States, they would find a way to ask for it. Maybe a phone call, maybe a word with high-level officials in the lawmaker’s party – which the President heads.

In the Trump era, politicians wanting an endorsement from the President apparently have a new way to get it: book an event at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. That’s sure to get the President’s attention.

Trump endorsements follow in the wake of candidates spending money at his properties,” a report from Fast Company, shows eight GOP politicians or PACs associated with them have held events or spent money at Trump properties, usually his D.C. hotel – which were followed with endorsements from President Trump.

A PAC run by Vice President Mike Pence and GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is running to become the next Speaker of the House, has spent over $225,000 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., including $7500 at Trump’s Bedminster golf course, which goes to the D.C. hotel.

Trump “signaled his support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) candidacy for Speaker of the House” at one of the events last month at Trump’s D.C. hotel.

“It raises the specter that the president is essentially enriching himself by virtue of his position,” Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) told Fast Company. “Because if you have other politicians who think they’re more likely to get the president’s support if they spend money at his hotels or his golf courses or his other businesses, they’re more likely to do that and the president makes more money.”

Fast Company notes that Rep. McCarthy’s main competition for Speaker of the House comes from Rep. Jim Jordan. Congressman Jordan is a big Trump supporter – but not financially. Jordan’s campaign has spent just $3000 at a Trump property.

Making it seem all the more possible that Trump properties are in effect acting as money-laundering agents in a pay-for-endorsements scheme, a White House deputy press secretary, the Trump Organization, and the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., “did not reply when asked if any employees ever told a campaign that patronizing a Trump business could put the candidate in President Trump’s good graces.”

It would seem like a question about the President’s ethics would garner some sort of response, certainly a denial. But reportedly, nothing.

Fast Company names these politicians: Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.); Reps. Tom Reed (R–NY), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Republican John James, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan, as having received endorsements after spending money at a Trump property.

On Monday, James was forced to apologize after a Nazi swastika was found in footage of his campaign ad. He claims it was a mistake. Some Democratic strategists say that’s impossible.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted out an endorsement for James.

Also on the list is Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), whose PAC spent a mere $292 at Trump’s D.C. hotel.

But wait, there’s more.

Next week President Trump will headline a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. for New Jersey Republican assemblyman Jay Webber, who is running for Congress.

“The October 25 event seeking hard money contributions, includes a $20,000-per-person roundtable with Trump and a photo with the president for $10,000-per-person,” the New Jersey Globe reports today.

Trump tweeted out his “Full and Total Endorsement!” of Webber last month:

Image by Mike Maguire via Flickr and a CC license

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CORRUPTION

‘What Does Putin Have on Him?’ Trump Gives Russia a Pass on Alexei Navalny Poisoning

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All eyes have been on Russia since opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell ill in Siberia.

Navalny was finally air-lifted to German, where the government announced toxicology tests found “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent,” according to CNN.

“Alexey Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “This poison can be detected without a doubt in the samples.”

Trump was asked about the poisoning on Friday against the backdrop of the alleged pattern of Vladimir Putin poisoning political opponents.

But Trump refused to condemn the attack or hold Putin to account.

“Once again Trump passes on a chance to hold Russia accountable. What does Putin have on him?” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart asked.

Here’s what others were saying:

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CORRUPTION

DeJoy ‘Surprised and Confused’ After House Oversight Committee Subpoenas Him for Ignoring Deadlines

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The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee has followed through on its promise to subpoena the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, after he failed to meet deadlines for document production in both the House and Senate.

“You are hereby commanded to be and appear before the Committee on Oversight and Reform,” the subpoena, signed by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reads.

The Postmaster General says he was “surprised and confused” upon receiving the subpoena.

“We remain surprised and confused by Chairwoman Maloney’s insistence on issuing a subpoena to the Postal Service in the midst of ongoing dialogue with her staff,” the USPS says, as USAToday’s Nicholas Wu reports. “We fully intend to comply with our obligations under the law.”

The Committee has been investigating why the USPS has been removing hundreds of mail sorting machines and post office collection boxes, also known as mailboxes, and suspending overtime.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez weighs in:

 

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CORRUPTION

‘#TrumpCorruption’: President Slammed for Saying Barr Must Prosecute Critics Like Obama to Become ‘Greatest’

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President Donald Trump is telling Bill Barr he must prosecute the president’s critics, like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in order for him to become “the greatest Attorney General” in history.

As usual, Trump telegraphed his wishes to Barr right out in the open, in a Fox News interview that aired Tuesday night.

“I say this openly: Bill Barr can go down as the greatest Attorney General in the history of our country, or he can go down as just another guy,” Trump told Fox host Laura Ingraham. “They have all the stuff, you don’t need anything else. You know they want everything. You don’t need anything else. They all lied to Congress, they were liars, they were cheaters. They were treasonous it was treason.”

Trump’s claims are false.

Many took to social media to slam Trump, with some declaring his obsession with prosecuting his critics is an abuse of power.

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