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Jared Kushner’s crushing debt presents security risk as $1.2 billion loan comes due: MSNBC panel

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Embattled senior White House advisor Jared Kushner’s economic troubles may be one of the red flags holding up security clearance for President Donald Trump’s son in law, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur explained on Tuesday.

“Nearly one year into the Trump administration and NBC News has learned 30 to 40 White House personnel lack permanent security clearances,” Tur reported. “One of those folks was Rob Porter. Another, according to the Washington Post is Jared Kushner. Porter is gone, but Kushner still has access to classified intelligence, including the Presidential Daily Briefing.”

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“The Director of National Intelligence believes that needs to change,” Tur noted, playing a clip of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifying.

“Ken, first to you, what do you make of the warning from DNI Coates?” Tur asked NBC News intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian.

“Look, what he just said there is not being followed by this White House,” he replied. “I think we have two problems: there’s a bureaucratic problem where just in general, it takes too long for people to get a security clearance. It shouldn’t take a year.”

“But secondly, we also have a problem with the president, who apparently is ignoring the signals that are being send to him by his own FBI about the suitability of certain people for high clearance,” Dilanian continued.

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“And in the case of Jared Kushner, my sources tell me it is unprecedented for someone to be seeing the Presidential Daily Brief who has not received a full security clearance,” he said. “This is a document that has the nation’s deepest secrets, including covert operation and top-level intelligence, NSA eavesdropping of foreign leaders, and to have someone looking at that document who hasn’t been fully cleared, who hasn’t been signed off on by the FBI, is unprecedented and it’s a decision directly made by Donald Trump, Katy,” Dilanian continued.

Tur noted Kushner’s troubled 666 Fifth Ave tower, which is hemorrhaging so much money that the Kushner Companies may lose control of the building.

“There are a bunch of people, and Jared Kushner certainly appears to be one of them, who would not be able to get a security clearance in the context of work for any of these agencies, where people don’t really start work, generally, until the clearance comes through,” Lawfare editor in chief Benjamin Wittes noted.

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Wittes noted staffers working on temporary clearances, “despite in some cases, some pretty obviously — if not disqualifying, at least disqualification-raising background concerns.”

“This is the kind of thing that, you know, shocks and terrifies intelligence professionals,” he warned.

“It’s a $1.2 billion mortgage, it’s due by February 2019,” Tur noted.

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Betsy DeVos’ DOE threatens to cut university funding for positive portrayal of Islam

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The U.S Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from a Middle East studies course jointly run by Duke University and the University of North Carolina because it portrays Islam too positively.

The DOE ordered the universities to change their program or lose its federal grant money. In a letter to UNC, the department criticized the program, arguing that topics like Iranian art and film have “little or no relevance” to the Middle East studies program. The letter also argues that the program “appears to lack balance” because its programs are not focused on the discrimination faced by “religious minorities in the Middle East," including Christians and Jews.

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Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession — here’s why

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The Federal Reserve seems a lot more concerned about the state of the economy than it’s been letting on.

The Fed lowered its target interest rate by a quarter point on Sept. 18, the second such cut since July – and the first reductions since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Judging by the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this isn’t that big a deal. In his statement following the decision, he said: “We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks.”

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren accuses Congress of complicity in Trump’s continued abuses

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump's continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.

Warren's tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.

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