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Trump orders review of US Postal Service following criticism of Amazon

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the creation of a task force to study the U.S. Postal Service and its financial difficulties, after recently claiming without evidence that deliveries for Amazon.com Inc  were costing the service money.

The task force will look into the post office’s business model, similar to a commission set up by U.S. President George Bush in 2002.

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“The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout,” said the order, signed by Trump. It said the Postal Service had lost $65 billion since the 2007-2009 recession.

The Postal Service, which is supposed to be self-sustaining, must ask Congress for permission to raise rates and must pre-fund decades worth of retiree health benefits.

 The order did not mention Amazon, which Trump has regularly criticized in recent weeks.
However, the order asked the task force to evaluate “the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets,” among other issues.

Deliveries for Amazon and other online retailers have been the fastest-growing part of the U.S. Postal Service business, helping offset a sharp decline in regular first-class mail.

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Details of Amazon’s payments to USPS are not publicly known.

Wall Street analysts have estimated it pays USPS roughly half what it would to United Parcel Service Inc  or FedEx Corp to deliver a package.

The order’s language will likely encourage the task force to see if USPS can charge companies like Amazon more for parcel delivery, a person who previously worked at the Postal Regulatory Commission said on condition of anonymity.

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Amazon declined to comment. Though the company is one of the Postal Service’s biggest customers, it is increasingly growing its own delivery capacity, which could help it stem any impact from changes to USPS.

The task force will be chaired by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or his designee, and it will consult with the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, among others, the executive order said.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Darren Schuettler

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Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady

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MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.

"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."

Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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CNN

‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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