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Trump’s lavish travel costs leave Secret Service too ‘tapped out’ to pay agents

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President Donald Trump’s frequent trips to his own properties have severely strained the Secret Service’s budget, to the point where the agency no longer has enough money to pay its agents.

USA Today reports that “the Secret Service can no longer afford to pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.”

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Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles tells USA Today that more than 1,000 of his agents have already hit federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances, as they have had to expend significantly more time and resources protecting assorted Trump properties.

In addition to protecting Trump during his weekend jaunts to Mar-a-Lago and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the Secret Service also must protect the Trump children during their overseas business trips.

“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles explains to USA Today. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”

Ailes says that he is in negotiations with Congress to raise the total cap for compensation to ensure that more agents get paid for their work — but he says that raising the total compensation cap from $160,000 to $187,000 would still leave more than 100 agents without the proper pay for the work they’ve put in to protecting the president.

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“Normally, we are not this tapped out,” says Alles.

Read the whole report at this link.

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Russian propaganda’s effect on 2016 election worse than previously understood: Federal prosecutors

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Prosecutors are updating the charges against Russians who blasted social media propaganda at American voters in the 2016 election.

John Demers, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's national security division, and Jessie Liu, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, intend to issue a superseding indictment against those foreign individuals who interfered in the election won by President Donald Trump.

The revised indictment won't add new defendants or charges but will instead allege that their propaganda campaign interfered more than previously understood with the Federal Election Commission's lawful functions.

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Duncan Hunter was too cheap to pay for daughter’s dance competition — so he used campaign cash: prosecutors

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Prosecutors this week unveiled a new set of allegations against Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that offer more detail into the sleazy ways he would misappropriate campaign funds for his personal use.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that prosecutors' latest filing against Hunter alleges that he used campaign funds to fund his trip to attend his daughter's Irish dance competition because he claimed he couldn't otherwise afford it.

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Trump official paid president’s campaign $744,000 for experts to pump up her ‘personal brand’: report

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In April, President Donald Trump's Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma faced public backlash after a report detailed a $2.25 million contract she awarded to Republican consultants to bolster her own public image.

But the scandal may have been even worse than that. According to Politico, among the 40 outside contractors hired as part of this contract included "eight former White House, presidential transition and campaign officials for President Donald Trump" — who charged up to $380 per hour for "strategic communications" work and relied on the federal government's convoluted contractor system to conceal what they were doing.

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