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MSNBC panel wonders if Trump has ‘a dependency relationship with Russia’

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President Donald Trump’s conduct was the subject Manhattan federal court as the Justice Department defended a lawsuit by the legal watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The question being litigated is whether Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution with his ongoing business activities.

Hearing was over a motion to dismiss. The judges ruling, however, could end up being legally irrelevant if special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the same alleged legal violations.

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Former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, Richard Painter, is also the vice-chair of the watchdog case. MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber asked Painter to explain today’s oral arguments.

Painter explained on “The Beat” that, “the conduct of the president is in violation of the Constitution.”

“This is about a lot more than just who stays in the hotels and books the hotel rooms, it’s about the financing of the Trump business empire,” Painter explained.

“Any real estate empire is dependent upon an enormous amount of borrowed money and other equity investors. We don’t know they are,” Painter noted. “All we know about Donald Trump is that ever since the mid 1990s, New York banks wouldn’t loan any money to him because they didn’t like not getting paid back.”

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“We don’t know where he’s getting his money from, and if it’s from foreign governments, it’s a violation of the Constitution,” Painter concluded.

As Donald Trump neither released his taxes nor put his business interests into a blind trust, there is much that CREW hopes to learn as the lawsuit advances.

“Does he have a dependency relationship with Russia? With China? With any other foreign government?” Painter wondered. “We want the judge in this case to find out the facts and then decide if the president is compliant with the Constitution.”

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Former Vermont governor and DNC Chair Howard Dean, a physician, joined the two attorneys to add his analysis, which involved the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I actually think Bob Mueller is going to have a lot to say about this,” Dean predicted.

Dean suggested that Mueller was investigating possible money laundering conducted by foreigners conducted through Trump real estate transactions.

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“If that’s a case, that’s clearly an emolument: he got some money, the Russians got some money, it was illegal, I think Mueller’s going to find out all that stuff,” Dean suggested. “So this case is not going to go away based on what this particular judge decides. It’s going to come back again and again and again.”

Watch:

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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.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump snaps at media for reporting on his ‘chosen one’ comment — and not knowing he was trying to be funny

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Donald Trump broke his embargo on talking about his highly-derided claim that he is the "chosen one," claiming the media should be able to tell when he is being funny or not.

In two tweets from France where he is attending the G7 conference, Trump called reporting on his claim of divinity "fake news."

"When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said 'I am the chosen one,' at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a 'Messiah complex.'" he wrote. "They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just....having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH...And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust! "

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Trump sent the stock market into a free fall right after the Fed chair gave it hope

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Investors were briefly cheered Friday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave some moderate reassurances that the central bank is prepared to use its resources to fight a potential economic downturn. But President Donald Trump quickly dashed any air of positivity, lashing out at Powell, China, and American companies in a frantic series of tweets, leading to a dramatic plunge in stock prices.

Speaking in Jackson Hole Friday morning, Powell did not definitively announce any further plans for rate cuts or other accommodative measures, like quantitative easing. But he suggested he was taking worries about the economy seriously, saying that the Fed “will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

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Understanding our bully-in-chief: Donald Trump’s ‘antisocial personality disorder’ fits a pattern

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I wasn’t surprised by Donald Trump’s rage-tweet attack on Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, any more than I was surprised by the maturity and sobriety of their response. After all, Trump’s racism is legendary, and telling them to “go back where you came from” is not just textbook racism, it’s a schoolyard bully’s taunt. And a racist schoolyard bully is the sum and substance of what Trump is.

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