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Trump’s ex-Breitbart advisor Bannon is drafting executive orders – and basically winging it: report

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Two of Donald Trump’s senior advisors — neither of whom has any previous government or legal experience — have reportedly been writing executive orders without any input from the agencies they would affect.

Aides told Politico that Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, and Stephen Miller, the senior White House advisor for policy, have made almost no effort to consult with federal agency lawyers or lawmakers as they wrote executive orders.

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Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart, and Miller, a Republican political operative who’s written most of Trump’s major speeches, are writing many of the orders based on ideas that came from transition officials or “landing teams” who weren’t working in the White House.

The orders have come so quickly, and from seemingly out of nowhere, that aides sometimes aren’t even sure which actions Trump will sign until they cross his desk.

“He was determined to show people that he’s getting to work from Day One,” a source told Politico.

The quick pace gives the appearance of momentum as the Trump administration gets up and running, but legal experts are concerned the White House is issuing “flawed orders that might be unworkable, unenforceable or even illegal,” the website reported.

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For example, the website reported the White House failed to ask State Department experts to review the memorandum on the Keystone XL pipeline, although the Canadian company vying for a permit to build the project is currently suing the U.S. for $15 billion.

A former State Department lawyer who worked on the Keystone proposal said Trump’s order was “more than unusual, that’s reckless.”

A draft order that could potentially revive banned torture techniques reportedly “blindsided” Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whose agencies would be expected to carry out those orders.

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Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, on Wednesday denied the draft order on torture and so-called “black sites” had come from the White House.

“It is not a White House document,” Spicer said. “I have no idea where it came from.”

GOP lawmakers complained they weren’t sure whether some of Trump’s executive orders, including his action to start the repeal of Obamacare, might conflict with existing laws because they hadn’t reviewed them.

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Others have pointed out that Trump’s executive order on immigration includes only vague language on where funding would come from and does not consider the role of Congress in approving those payments.

Bannon is reportedly inviting two of his former Breitbart employees to join him on the White House staff.

Julia Hahn is expected to serve as his aide, and the site’s national security editor, Sebastian Gorka, will reportedly serve on retired Gen. Mike Flynn’s National Security Council.

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Donald Trump’s big short: Is the president profiting off the market chaos he creates?

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Back in early 2018, I noticed something hinky about the confluence of Donald Trump’s blurts about his trade war with the movement of the stock market. As I wrote in this space back in August, I believe Trump or people close to Trump might be profiting off the volatility of the markets ever since the president first declared a trade war against our allies and frenemies alike.

Since the passage of the 2009 stimulus, and with the exception of 2015, the markets have been mostly climbing steadily, in a relatively smooth upward slope. This ascending trajectory continued through the first year of Trump’s presidency until suddenly we began to observe harrowing single-day declines — volatility in the form of precipitous collapses of as much as 1,175 points in the Dow.

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Trump Jr. and McGahn didn’t testify before the Mueller grand jury — and a federal judge wants to know why

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During the Russia investigation, former special counsel Robert Mueller sought testimony from a long list of people. But according to a court filing on Sunday, two people who Mueller did not force to testify before a grand jury were Donald Trump Jr. and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. And U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell wants to know why.

The court filing on Sunday, according to The Week, was in response to a ruling Howell made on Thursday — when Howell asserted that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was withholding too much information from the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York. The House Judiciary Committee, The Week’s Peter Weber reports, has been “wrangling” with DOJ over the evidence that Mueller obtained during his lengthy investigation.

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Internet rains hell on Trump for comparing his impeachment to a ‘lynching’: ‘How dare you’

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump furiously took time Twitter, blasting the effort to impeach him over the Ukraine scandal as a "lynching" and threatening that a future Republican Congress will cook up charges against a Democratic president.

Trump's outburst did not impress many commenters on social media, who quickly dogpiled him in criticism and mockery:

You are seriously comparing your impeachment to hate crimes against African-Americans?

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