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BUSTED: Oil execs recorded boasting about ‘unprecedented access’ to Trump during Ritz-Carlton luncheon

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Oil executives were recorded boasting about their access to President Donald Trump after he appointed an industry lawyer to the number two position at the Interior Department.

In a report for Politico, Reveal’s Lance Williams wrote that the June 2017 recording featured oil lobbyists laughing at how much access they had to Trump after the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s former lawyer David Bernhardt was nominated to deputy secretary of the Interior Department.

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“We know him very well, and we have direct access to him, have conversations with him about issues ranging from federal land access to endangered species, to a lot of issues,” Dan Naantz, political director of the IPAA, told the room of 100 executives at the Laguna Niguel Ritz-Carlton event.

“It’s really a new thing for us,” Barry Russell, IPAA’s CEO, said of the industry’s new then-new ally in the Trump Administration. “For example, next week I’m invited to the White House to talk about tax code. Last week we were talking to [then-Environmental Protection Agency] Secretary Pruitt, and in about two weeks we have a meeting with [then-Interior] Secretary Zinke. So we have unprecedented access to people that are in these positions who are trying to help us, which is great.”

Williams noted that the conference attendees sounded “almost giddy” when discussing how friendly the Trump administration is to the oil industry, especially after the Obama administration’s tougher stance.

Bernhardt, the report noted, is now in line to run the Interior Department and is currently its acting secretary. In a statement, the department said he “has had no communication or contact with either Barry Russell or Dan Naatz.”

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Read the entire report via Politico.

 


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‘Early Bordello’: Internet slams Melania Trump’s redecoration of White House rooms

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In 2015, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill) was forced to resign following revelations that he'd misused campaign and public funds. The inquiry into his spending was triggered by the lush ornateness of his office decor. While most of his colleagues worked out of plain, professional offices, Schock's working space was reminiscent of Downtown Abbey.

Writing in the Journal Star, columnist Phil Luciano observed that First Lady Melania Trump's redecoration of several White House rooms seems to borrow heavily from Schock's style.

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‘The ground is shifting’: Longtime GOP aide sounds the alarm that Trump is putting Arizona in play

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Chuck Coughlin, who once served as a top aide to two different Republican governors in Arizona, is warning that President Donald Trump is putting his state in play for the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with Politico, Coughlin said his party has expressed real anxiety about the state turning blue next year.

"Republicans are very concerned,” he said. "The ground is shifting."

At the moment, just 45 percent of Arizona voters have a favorable view of Trump, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. Additionally, the victory of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in last year's midterm elections showed that Democrats can be competitive in statewide races in a place that became famous for electing iconic conservative senators such as John McCain and Barry Goldwater.

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PolitiFact corrects conservatives: The NYT Kavanaugh story has not been debunked

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The new report from The New York Times on the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh contained some stunning new revelations — including that several people tried to contact the FBI to corroborate Deborah Ramirez's assault allegation but were ignored, and that prominent attorney Max Stier alleges he saw Kavanaugh take part in a third assault.

But conservative news sites are now running with the idea that the Times article has been discredited and that the paper has retracted its claims. PJ Media, a prominent right-wing site, ran the headline "New York Times Now Admits New Kavanaugh Accusation Is Fake News."

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