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Seattle mayor bans city-funded travel to Indiana following passage of anti-gay legislation

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The mayor of Seattle has banned all city-funded travel to Indiana in response to the recently passed anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R), reports KOMO.

Mayor Ed Murray (D) addressed the ban on Saturday saying, “Laws that say you can discriminate have no place in this country.”

Indiana is reeling from threats of boycotts, with corporations dialing back conducting business in the state over a law considered discriminatory to the LGBT community.

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Murray joins San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in instituting a ban, adding that, as Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, he’s not doing it because of his sexual orientation.

“I’m not doing this because I’m a gay man,” he explained. “You cannot say, ‘You can’t come into my restaurant because you’re black and it’s my religious belief not to serve you.’ That is a settled question.”

“Indiana’s S.B. 101 doesn’t reflect the values of our City. Seattle has been a leader in the fight to protect civil rights and ensure equality for all people – no matter who you are, or who you love,” Murray said. “This is why I am ordering that none of our taxpayer dollars should go toward supporting this discriminatory law. To those in Indiana today who are working hard in the fight for equality – know that Seattle stands with you as you continue your efforts to end discrimination and protect civil rights for everyone.”

Murray noted that the U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to be held in Indiana next year, and said he will request a change of venue if the RFRA is still in place.

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

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On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

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The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

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