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Housing official claims she was punished for opposing Ben Carson’s fancy office redecoration

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A senior career official says she was demoted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and replaced by a Trump appointee after refusing to break the law to approve an expensive redecoration of secretary Ben Carson’s office.

Helen Foster claims she faced retaliation for exposing a $10 million budget shortfall and for protesting that she was prevented from handling sensitive information because she was believed to be a Democrat, reported The Guardian.

The 47-year-old Foster filed a complaint with the office of special counsel, which is not related to Robert Mueller’s investigation, alleging that HUD officials violated whistleblower laws, and she seeks a public apology, compensatory damages and reinstatement as the department’s chief administrative officer.

Foster notified department officials that planned improvements to Carson’s suite at HUD headquarters exceeded federal spending limits, and she says colleagues told her “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.”

The official says she had been asked a week before Trump’s inauguration by acting HUD director Craig Clemmensen to help Carson’s wife, Candy, get funding to redecorate the incoming secretary’s office.

Foster said she told the acting director about a statutory spending limit of $5,000, but she said Clemmensen told her previous administrations had found ways to flout the law.

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Clemmensen repeatedly ordered her to “‘find money’ for Mrs. Carson,” according to the complaint, and Foster said she eventually complained to HUD’s budget director.

Foster oversaw the department’s Freedom of Information Act office as part of her duties, but she complains that she’d been barred from handling a pair of requests related to a former event planner for the Trump family who had been appointed to a job with HUD.

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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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