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Trump Campaign Has ‘Learned Nothing’ as 2020 Manager Brad Parscale Gets Caught Taking Money From Foreign Nationals

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“The appearances are terrible.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which concluded in March, raised many questions about what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to interactions between presidential campaigns and foreign entities. And a March visit to Romania by Brad Parscale, manager for President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, is being scrutinized by legal experts in a Washington Post report by Michael Birnbaum and Ioana Burtea.

In Romania, Parscale delivered a paid speech to Romanian politicians and policy experts. Doing so, according to the Post’s report, is perfectly legal as long as Parscale does not do any lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of foreign clients without registering. But the political figures the Post interviewed expressed different views on how advisable it is or isn’t for a presidential campaign manager to be accepting money from foreign entities.

Richard Painter, who served as an ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, was critical of Parscale’s actions, telling the Post, “The appearances are terrible. You would certainly think that a campaign manager would not take money from foreign nationals in this political environment.”

Kayleigh McEnany, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, told the Post that Parscale’s speech in Romania was fine because he was doing so “as a private citizen” and “followed the Trump campaign’s approval process governing invitations for outside speaking engagements.” But Republican political strategist John Weaver, who worked on the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, was critical of Parscale’s speech in Romania and told the Post, “I’ve never heard of anything like this before. There are too many opportunities where there could be potential conflicts between a presidential campaign and the policies that the candidate could espouse and potential income. It is a conflict-of-interest zone that you just never enter into.”

Trevor Potter, president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, was critical as well and told the Post, “It appears the Trump political organization has learned nothing from 2016 about the dangers of senior campaign personnel’s entanglement with foreign money.”

Related: Trump’s 2020 Campaign Manager Attacks NBC, CNN and Facebook for Not Running Ad That’s Too Racist Even for Fox

Nonetheless, Romania is a former Eastern Bloc country that has enjoyed friendly relations with the U.S. since the 1990s. After the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s notoriously oppressive communist dictatorship in 1989, Romania became a democracy and went on to join the European Union (EU) in the 1990s and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004. Romania still has its own currency, the leu, but is expected to adopt the euro as its currency during the next decade.

Parscale, according to the Post, made “little reference to Romania” during his speech and spoke about the United States’ presidential campaigns of 2016 and 2020. When he was asked about current U.S. policy toward NATO, Parscale declined to comment and told the Romanian attendees, “That’s way too policy for me. I don’t work for the administration.”

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Image by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Flickr and a CC license

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‘We’re About Facts Around Here’: Psaki Smacks Down Governor’s Claims After Abbott Attacks Biden for ‘Importing COVID’

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Abbott ‘Stalling’ Funds for Testing CNN Reports

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is attacking President Joe Biden, falsely claiming he is “importing Covid” by allowing migrant children to enter the country.

“The Biden administration must stop importing Covid into our country,” Abbott told CNBC.

Abbott also says the Biden administration is “refusing to test” the immigrants, but on Thursday CNN reported Governor Abbott is the one actually causing the problem.

“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is stalling efforts by the Biden administration to provide federal funds for Covid-19 tests for migrants released from custody.”

Abbott, after announcing on Wednesday he was removing all coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates, “alleged, without evidence, that migrants coming into Texas are exposing the state’s residents to the coronavirus,” CNN adds.

He also posted this tweet, which is false.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki smacked down Abbott’s claims when asked on Thursday, in a generous and educational manner as only she can.

“That is not factual,” Psaki told a reporter. “We’re about facts around here.”

Psaki went on to tell reporters, “our policy is is to have that [testing] be done, concluded before they are even moved to go stay with family members or others they may know while their cases are being adjudicated.”

As it turns out, Texas, not the federal government, is responsible for testing migrants coming into the country. The federal government, as Psaki explained, partners with the states and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to pay to get that done.

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‘DC Is Dissolved’: Trump Supporters Freak Out Because They Can’t Properly Read Google Maps

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Qanon followers have become convinced that Washington, D.C., has been “dissolved” ahead of the purported re-inauguration of former president Donald Trump.

Some conspiracy theorists believe the former president will be restored to power Thursday, on the March 4 date that had been Inauguration Day until the 20th Amendment was passed in 1933 and established that date as Jan. 20, and they’re pointing to the absence of “D.C.” on Google and Apple maps to support their clams, reported Newsweek.

“Did maps always just say Washington?” said popular Qanon conspiracist @GhostEzra on the Telegram encrypted messaging app. “Thought it said Washington DC?”

Google doesn’t label the nation’s capital with D.C., but it does identify the District of Columbia on state boundaries.

“I just searched Washington DC on my iPhone Apple Maps & it just shows Washington, no DC. This is the same for Google maps & mapquest,” one follower responded. “DC is dissolved.”

Trump supporters complained that Google and Apple maps were not providing direction to Washington ahead of the Jan. 6 “Stop The Steal” protest that turned into the deadly insurrection, but independent fact-checkers have debunked those claims.

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Wealthy Florida Community Got COVID Vaccine Before Anyone Else — Then the Governor Got a $250,000 Contribution

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have scored big in the CPAC Straw Poll last weekend, but his citizens aren’t likely to appreciate wealthy communities being able to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Florida’s elderly are still struggling to sign up to get their first dose of the vaccine, but in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys, everyone was vaccinated in January.

A Jan. 22 newsletter sent to the Herald revealed that the Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo despite the rest of the state struggling to get the vaccine, “Over the course of the last two weeks, the Medical Center has vaccinated over 1,200 homeowners who qualify under the State of Florida’s Governor’s current Order for those individuals who are 65 years of age or older.”

“We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated,” the newsletter message continued. “At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear.”

The Herald questioned whether the Republican donors who live in the area are behind the decision to give quick and easy access.

“In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis’ political committee live in Ocean Reef,” said the report. “All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

One donor, in particular, gave Gov. DeSantis an extra $250,000 after the area got their vaccines in mid-January.

Read the full report at the Miami Herald.

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