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Damning new details emerge on letter Trump drafted that explicitly linked Comey’s firing to Russia probe

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The latest report from journalist Murray Waas in the New York Review of Books offers damning new details about a letter that President Donald Trump drafted that explicitly linked the firing of former FBI Director James Comey to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Waas, who claims that he has personally examined the draft, reports that the original draft of Trump’s letter justifying Comey’s dismissal made it plain that he was displeased with the FBI for investigating whether the Trump campaign helped Russia interfere in the election.

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Specifically, Trump made reference to “the fabricated and politically-motivated allegations of a Trump-Russia relationship with respect to the 2016 Presidential Election” in his letter — although this line was later deleted at the urging of officials at the Department of Justice, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In fact, Waas writes that Rosenstein agreed to write a cover story for the president that cited Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe as a justification for his termination.

“At the time he did so, Rosenstein fully understood that the president’s primary reason for firing Comey was related to the Russia investigation,” Waas writes. “He also knew from the draft that the president wanted McCabe removed as well.”

Read the full report here.

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Never-before-seen tax docs show Trump’s businesses made themselves seem more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials

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Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

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‘Make it a twofer’: Trump brutally mocked after claiming ‘rumor has it’ CNN’s president will resign ‘momentarily’

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President Donald Trump unleashed his second attack on the media over the course of less than 24 hours, this time attacking his top news target, CNN, as "a virtual fraud." The president also claimed "rumor has it" CNN's president, Jeff Zucker, "will be resigining momentarily?" (The typo is Mr. Trump's.)

Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019

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Trump and the end of the American myth of meritocracy

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The following is chock-a-block with spoilers for "Succession" Season 2, including the finale, so proceed with caution.For understandable reasons, the internet is all a-chatter about the final scenes of Season 2 of "Succession." On Sunday's finale, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), who spent most of this season looking like a whipped puppy, finally stuck it to his old man, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), throwing the patriarch under the bus during a live press conference, during which Kendall was supposed to offer himself up as the fall guy for Waystar Royco's criminal behavior. It was a moment of Kendall showing spine and competence, and understandably, audiences cheered him on.
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