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FLASHBACK: Trump took $17 million payout for hurricane damage that reportedly only cost $3,000

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As Hurricane Harvey bears down on Texas, some are recalling that Donald Trump claimed that a hurricane damaged his private Mar-a-Lago club in 2005, but investigators found little evidence to back up the assertions.

LawNewz flashed back to the 2005 revelation in a Monday report about Trump’s $17 million insurance claim.

According to an investigation by the Associated Press in 2016, there was “little evidence of such large-scale damage” at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump claimed in a 2007 deposition that the damage was widespread: “Landscaping, roofing, walls, painting, leaks, artwork in the — you know, the great tapestries, tiles, Spanish tiles, the beach, the erosion.”

“It’s still not what it was,” he said.

But Trump’s account did not match up with others who spoke to the AP:

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Trump’s description of extensive damage does not match those of Mar-a-Lago members and even Trump loyalists. In an interview about the estate’s history, Trump’s longtime former butler, Anthony Senecal, recalled no catastrophic damage. He said Hurricane Wilma, the last of a string of storms that barreled through in 2004 and 2005, flattened trees behind Mar-a-Lago, but the house itself only lost some roof tiles.

“The only permits that appeared hurricane-related were for $3,000 in repairs to storm-damaged outdoor lighting and the vacuuming of sand from the property’s beachfront pool,” the news agency noted. “Likewise, records of the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission reflected no repair work conducted following the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.”

In the 2007 deposition, Trump admitted that he had pocketed some of the insurance money, which was permitted under his policy.

“We continue to spend the money because we continue to suffer the ravages of that hurricane,” Trump insisted. “We’re continuously spending money. It really beat up Mar-a-Lago very badly.”

The Associated Press pointed out that it is illegal under local government rules to spend more than $450,000 on renovations without a permit.

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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