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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.

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.”

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“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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George Conway calls out fears Trump will compromise new US intelligence initiative aimed at Russia

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On Saturday, George Conway drew attention to a specific passage of a new article from The New York Times about the intelligence community's efforts to counterattack the Russian power grid, in response to years of covert Kremlin attacks on our own:

“[O]fficials described...hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern...that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation...to the Russian foreign minister.” https://t.co/BXTjjXBmia

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Trump goes on ‘TOTAL LOSERS’ tirade with manic tweet attacking ‘totally out of control’ media

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Trump’s hamfisted attempt to wag the dog with Iran unraveled fast

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

We can’t say with any certainty that Iran wasn’t behind the attacks on two ships in the Gulf of Oman this week, but it is clear that the Trump regime’s account of what happened unraveled very quickly. Shortly after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a video of a small vessel removing something Pompeo said was a mine from the damaged port side of one of the ships, the vessel's owner said that it had actually been struck on its starboard side, above the waterline, by a flying object. If this were in fact an effort to pull a Gulf of Tonkin, then the fact that this was the best dog-wagging they could conjure up would be downright pathetic.    

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