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MSNBC analyst slams new acting AG for promoting ‘pro-Trump conspiracies’

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Daily Beast reporter whose colleagues broke news that new acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker claimed there was “no collusion” between Donald Trump and Russia went on MSNBC to discuss the story — and had some thoughts on what the claim sounded like.

“What struck us and I think should strike a lot of people is a year-and-a-half before [Whitaker] came into the position to oversee the [Robert] Mueller probe, he declared, ‘The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,'” the Beast‘s Sam Stein told MSNBC.

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The reporter noted that the man who was controversially appointed to serve as acting attorney general appeared to have “predetermined the outcome of the investigation that he’s now overseeing.”

Stein also noted that in the SiriusXM interview from when Whitaker was a conservative pundit prior to joining the Justice Department, the former U.S. attorney also “said the only collusion was between Hillary Clinton and the Russians.”

“These are sort of these conspiracy theories that you see from pro-Trump media personalities, not the chief law enforcement official of the country — let alone someone who is overseeing the probe looking into this very question,” Stein said.

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2020 Election

Trump creates a ‘minefield’ of legal problems for his own staff with plan for White House acceptance speech: report

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he might deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House. But legal experts who spoke with Bloomberg warned that might not be a good idea.

The publication described the proposal as "a minefield of problems for the staff charged with putting such an event together."

The Hatch Act forbids the use of government property and employees for political activities. Although the president and vice president are exempted from the federal law, their staff at the White House could face repercussions.

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Controversial ‘Hookers for Jesus’ group to get more federal money as Bill Barr and Ivanka Trump announce anti-sex trafficking effort

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The Las Vegas-based group Hookers for Jesus has won a grant from the Justice Department less than a year after whistleblowers raised red flags about federal funds being awarded to the organization, Reuters reports.

The complaint from union officials says the group, which is run by a born-again Christian survivor of sex trafficking and operates a safe house for adult trafficking victims, got its grant due to political favoritism.

A previous Reuters report revealed that the group required residents of the safe house to go to church, complete Christian homework, and banned them from reading “secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips.” As Reuters points out, recipients of federal funds are not allowed to use the funds to promote religion.

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COVID-19

‘Taking taxpayers for a ride’: Moderna to charge $32-$37/dose for COVID-19 vaccine developed entirely with public funds

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"It ought to be the people's vaccine, not a new taxpayer burden."

Consumer advocates warned Wednesday that pharmaceutical giant Moderna is "taking taxpayers for a ride" after the company announced plans to charge between $32 and $37 per dose for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed entirely with funds from the U.S. federal government.

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