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Government ‘ignored the Constitution’ when they let Trump have a hotel on federal property: inspector general

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The General Services Administration was aware that renting a federal property to Donald Trump may violate the Constitution — but did so anyway.

MarketWatch reported Wednesday that the inspector general for the GSA — the government agency that rented the Old Post Office Building to Trump for his DC hotel — ruled that the agency knowingly ignored the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

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The IG noted in a statement that the lease for the Trump International Hotel “raised issues under the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses that might cause a breach of the lease; however, GSA decided not to address those issues.”

MarketWatch noted that the GSA itself argued that “the decision not to address or consider the Emoluments Clauses occurred before the Trump administration was in office or while career officials and not political appointees were in charge.”

In turn, the agency said it will “adjust [the] language of the building lease,” the report noted.

USA Today’s Brad Heath noted on Twitter that the IG ruled that the GSA officials made the decision to lease the Old Post Office Building to Trump “without conducting any research” into the Emoluments Clause.

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The IG report added: “If ’emoluments’ include an official’s gain from private business activities, the President’s interest in the lease [of his hotel] raises at least potential constitutional issues.”

Heath added that by mid-December 2016, “senior GSA attorneys ‘agreed that there was a possible violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause but decided not to address the issue’ posed by the president’s ownership of his DC hotel.”

Those attorneys told the IG that they “ignored the emoluments issues and that constitutional issues rarely
arise within GSA’s work,” and that the Emoluments Clause “is not in GSA’s purview.”

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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Rick Wilson obliterates Dems for letting Lewandowski get away with stonewalling: ‘So bad it makes me cringe’

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Anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson dropped the hammer on House Democrats Tuesday for letting Trump minion Corey Lewandowski make a mockery of their oversight powers.

After witnessing a House Judiciary Committee hearing that quickly devolved into a circus with Lewandowski stonewalling and evading questions, Wilson unloaded on Democrats for failing in their basic responsibilities in governmental oversight.

"This is outrageous contempt," Wilson wrote. "It isn't just that this scumbag Lewandowski is slapping the committee with it. This is a test, and the Democrats are going to fail it. They're so bad at this it makes me cringe."

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Israeli exit polls show Netanyahu losing election: reports

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In a surprising turn of events, exit polls in Israel show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu losing the election. The prime minister's voting block failed to reach a 61 seats majority in the Knesset.

According the to the Jerusalem Post, there is no clear winner in the election. However, Axios reports that Netanyahu has failed to secure a victory.

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