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Trump-Kushner corruption ‘will move front and center this year,’ reporter tells MSNBC

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President Donald Trump has raised alarms with his authoritarian tendencies — but maybe there’s another word that could be used to describe his anti-democratic urges.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosted Time deputy managing editor Michael Duffy, who wrote the magazine’s cover story this week on Trump’s first year in office, and USA Today senior politics reporter Heidi Przybyla asked him about the president’s business dealings.

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“We’ve talked a lot about 2017, things being autocracy, authoritarianism, but looking forward to 2018, how much do you think the word kleptocracy should start to become part of this discussion?” Przybyla said.

She pointed to her newspaper’s new report Trump companies selling $35 million in real estate last year — mostly to secretive shell companies that Przybyla said opened the president up to influence peddling.

“There could be explanations for this, like people just don’t want their names identified with Trump properties,” she said. “But according to our reporters, there’s a lot of people who say these could be used for influence buying, influence-seeking groups including foreign people who have purchased these properties if we’re able to identify.”

Duffy said the president had already tipped off investigators about how much influence peddling could be going on.

“President Trump told, warned special counsel (Robert) Mueller not to look at his family finances which, of course, was a great big red flag to go ahead and look at his family finances,” Duffy said. “I think that’s another theme here. The extent to which outside of government that Trump and Kushner family finances are in this target set of Bob Mueller at the moment has a kind of existential mind concentrating piece for this White House now. Those are things that have probably never been looked at, and if you put them in the context of foreign policy, that could get really ugly. Kleptocracy is a little different. I think the family’s finances will move front and center this year.”

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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Investigation uncovers Israel-based group behind bigoted Facebook smear campaign aimed at US Muslim congresswomen

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"The goal of these anti-Muslim hate campaigns is clear—they put Muslim lives here and around the world at risk and undermine our country's commitment to religious pluralism."

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, have been the target of a sustained campaign of far right hate and lies originating from a shadowy Israeli group, according to an investigation published Thursday by The Guardian.

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GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy fumes at reporter for asking if he still believes Trump was paid by Putin

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House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday was asked about his previous comments suggesting that Donald Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll.

"In 2016, you said then-candidate Trump was one of two people who are paid by Putin, the other being former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher," said Breakfast Media correspondent Andrew Feinberg. "Do you still believe that?"

"It was a joke. That's embarrassing that you would even ask that," McCarthy quickly shot back.

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