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REVEALED: How Trump used a ‘dirty tax scam’ to score a $5.7 million windfall off Mar-a-Lago

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A major investigative report from the Palm Beach Post reveals how President Donald Trump scored a massive tax windfall off transforming Mar-a-Lago into a private resort — and he did it using a technique the IRS once flagged as a “dirty tax scam.”

Specifically, the report says that Trump has frequently taken advantage of a 1969 tax deduction designed to reward charitable donations that preserve either public lands or historic buildings.

Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago in 1985, five years after it was declared a National Historic Landmark. In 1993, Trump was in the process of negotiating with the city of Palm Beach to allow him to transform the historic property into a private club with initiation fees that started at $50,000.

In exchange for turning the resort into a private for-profit club, Trump offered to donate parts of it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for historic preservation, meaning he would commit to keeping these portions of the property in their historic conditions.

To take advantage of such donations as tax deductions, the donors should not be getting anything in return. However, Trump was getting something in return for this particular donation — a private club that would give him a much-needed new stream of revenue.

Because of this, Trump’s lawyers insisted to Palm Beach that they not put Trump’s promise to donate parts of Mar-a-Lago to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in writing because, otherwise, he couldn’t take advantage of the preservation easement deduction.

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This was a sticking point for the town, as it didn’t want to simply take Trump’s word that he would donate the easement after it had already given him what he wanted.

“They eventually came to an agreement: Trump could have his club, but the town wouldn’t issue a certificate of occupancy for it to begin operations until the easement was in place,” the Palm Beach Post writes.

Thanks to this deal, Trump was able to claim a $5.7 million deduction in his taxes in 1995. Using this particular deduction that was designed for charitable donations — despite the fact that Trump clearly got something in return for it — has been condemned by the IRS as one of its “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams” that the wealthy often use to get out of paying money they owe.

John Echeverria, a Vermont Law School professor, tells the Palm Beach Post that the deal between Trump and Palm Beach was “clearly a quid-pro-quo,” meaning that Trump should not have been able to score a tax windfall from it.

Read the entire Palm Beach Post report at this link.

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Right now Donald Trump thinks he’s winning — and he might not be wrong

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Donald Trump thinks he's winning.

For months, Americans have grown accustomed to Trump in his cornered-rat mode, lashing out defensively and ruminating obsessively over the possibility of impeachment. But his tweets this week have been surprisingly cheerful, suffused with the buoyant spirits of a teenage bully who has successfully swirlied a nerd.

First, like an overexcited child on Christmas Eve who unwraps his presents too soon, Trump — overcome with the pleasures of racist sadism — tweeted on Monday night that "ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens."

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Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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Rick Wilson hilariously ridicules the ‘formal flip-flops’ and ‘dress cargo pants’ worn by Florida Trump supporters

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked the attire of the Donald Trump supporters who were bused in from around Florida for his official campaign kickoff in Orlando.

Wilson, a Florida man himself, joined MSNBC's Brian Williams for post-rally analysis on "The 11th Hour."

Williams played a clip of a Trump supporter with sleeveless Trump T-shirt identifying her as a "proud member of the basket of deplorables" explaining why she'll vote to re-elect the president in 2020.

"The main reason? Because he’s one of the best presidents we’ve had for a very long time," the woman argued. "Very long time."

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