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Watergate prosecutor explains ‘direct parallels’ between Trump and Nixon’s hidden tax returns

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MSNBC’s Ari Melber welcomed Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman to “The Point” on Sunday to talk about how President Donald Trump is not the first president in modern history to attempt to conceal his tax returns from the public. With a special counsel appointed to dig deeper into the murk around Trump’s team and the Russian government, the matter of his tax returns becomes even more of an issue.

“Historians note Nixon had questionable tax practices like the million dollar deduction he took for transferring presidential papers to the federal government’s national archives,” Melber said. “But that deduction actually expired when Nixon took office in ’69, which meant he couldn’t take it under the current law at the time. So, he tried to take it under the old law by having a lawyer falsify the records so it looked like he had made the donation earlier.”

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“A secretive approach to taxes certainly rings a bell today,” he said, before asking Ackerman for his views on the similarities and differences between Trump’s and Nixon’s situations.

“All presidents from Harry Truman up had taken advantage of the fact that you could deduct a gift of papers,” Ackerman said. “And what he did differently was, in 1969 Congress changed that law, and not only did he back-date the deed, but he also lobbied pretty heavily to try and keep the law the way it was so he could continue to take that tax deduction.”

He continued, “I think there’s some direct parallels here in the sense that, look, Nixon was to minimize paying as little tax as possible. One of the ways to do that was to make these contributions of papers, and the one way around all that, ironically, was that by putting in place a taping system in the White House, you could donate tapes, not papers, but tapes. That was an exception to the ’69 Tax Reform Act.”

Melber said that he had never realized that about the tape system at the White House, that it was Nixon’s desire to pay less income tax that induced him to tape every word spoken in the Oval Office.

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Furthermore, Ackerman said, Trump is aping Nixon’s actions by attacking leakers and the press by making whistleblowing a prosecutable offense. Nixon sued the New York Times in an effort to keep the paper from publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Last week, it came to light that Pres. Trump spoke with now-former FBI Director James Comey about trying to jail journalists who published leaked documents.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Mental midget’ Stephen Miller absolutely demolished in MSNBC blast at Trump’s ‘misfit’ advisers

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Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."

Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.

"What goes through your head when you hear how much influence Stephen Miller has on immigration policy?" host Alex Witt asked.

"Stephen Miller is a mental midget, that's the best thing I can say," Calloway began to the sounds of laughter offscreen.

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Black woman reveals how Trump is ruining her marriage: ‘My white Republican husband is starting to hate me’

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A black woman revealed over the weekend how President Donald Trump and right-wing media are straining her marriage.

In a Twitter rant on Saturday, a woman going by the name Glass Butterfly hit a nerve by starting a discussion about the challenges of interracial marriage in the age of Trump.

"My white Republican husband is starting to hate me because the longer we live through this administration the 'BLACKER' I become," she revealed. "Any interracially and opposing politically affiliated couples going through this? Like...I have NO idea how to balance who we are..or are becoming."

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Lawmaker Rashida Tlaib calls for boycott of Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ over Israel comments

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., suggested a boycott against HBO host Bill Maher after he denounced the international movement to boycott Israel as a "bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Maybe folks should boycott his show," Tlaib wrote in a tweet on Saturday. "I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."

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