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US budget deficit falls to $95 billion in July

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By Elvina Nawaguna

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. budget deficit was $95 billion at the end of July, down 3 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $96 billion deficit for last month. The deficit was $98 billion in July of 2013.

The fiscal year-to-date deficit at the end of July was $460 billion, the lowest level since the same period in fiscal year 2008, compared with a deficit of $607 billion for the same period in fiscal year 2013, according to Treasury’s monthly budget statement.

Last month’s budget results were affected by differences in the calendar. If adjusted for timing-related transactions, the budget deficit in July would have been $86 billion.

Receipts last month totaled $211 billion, up 5 percent from the year-ago period, bringing the fiscal year-to-date total receipts to $2.47 trillion.

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Outlays last month totaled $305 billion, up 3 percent from July 2013, for a fiscal year-to-date total of $2.93 trillion.

(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Trump betting he can win re-election by feeding new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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Meet the mysterious conservative lawyer who keeps turning up in the Russia probes

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A prominent conservative lawyer keeps showing up in dramas central to the Trump administration and its battles with Congress—and it turns out he has intimate knowledge of Felix Sater’s intelligence work for the U.S. government while he was working with Trump.

The Moscow-born Sater is the financial criminal and violent felon who worked closely with Trump for years while simultaneously serving as a long-term informant for the FBI and other national security agencies.

In 2015 and into mid-2016, Sater pushed for the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow with his old friend Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, while trying to enlist support from the Russian government for Trump’s campaign.

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House Democrats have a new list of ‘star witnesses’ who are beyond Trump’s reach: report

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According to a report from Politico, House leaders have developed a new plan to get what are called "star witnesses" to appear in public hearings who are outside of Donald Trump's ability to block them from speaking by asserting executive privilege.

With former Oval Office employees avoiding or ignoring subpoenas as the White House runs interference for them, investigators are eyeing people who were close to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign -- but were not government employees.

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