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Trump’s Deutsche Bank woes are worse than you think: MSNBC federal law enforcement contributor

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A federal law enforcement reporter pointed out one of the under-reported threads in the bombshell New York Times report about Donald Trump seeking out a loan from Deutsche Bank in 2016 — for which he was rejected.

Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff explained Monday that “it takes a lot for Deutsche Bank not to do business with somebody.”

“This is a bank that’s been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for not doing more to stop Russians from laundering massive sums of money through its bank,” Woodruff noted.

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But one of the underlying threads beneath the numerous stories about Trump and Deutsche Bank, the reporter noted, is that the German institution sold financial products to the Mercers, a “multi-billionaire conservative mega-donor family that played a key role in getting Trump elected.”

“A Senate committee confirmed or assessed that the Mercers used this money to dodge paying more than $6 billion in taxes,” Woodruff added. “That’s larger than the GDP of some countries. They used these products in part to do that.”

The MSNBC political contributor pointed out that the Mercers have, since fall 2017, “been in negotiations with the IRS about how to potentially settle that tax debt.”

“Those negotiations are done entirely in secret,” Woodruff said. “Obviously, tax issues are supposed to be confidential — but this is something where Trump’s political appointees in the IRS have access to very sensitive talks about billions of dollars on the table for some of his most powerful donors and Deutsche Bank is right at the center.”

Host Nicolle Wallace asked the reporter if special counsel Robert Mueller has access to the same IRS information and Woodruff said that although she has not gotten confirmation that he does, “he would be able to through traditional law enforcement means” to obtain it.

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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