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Trump’s DC hotel billed the Secret Service $200,000 in his first year of office: report

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On Thursday, NBC News reported that the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., billed the Secret Service $200,000 in just 2017.

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal a stunning expenditure of security money paid to the Trump property, which was run out of the Old Post Office building and on lease from the General Services Administration. In one instance, the Secret Service spent $30,000 in two nights.

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GSA has been criticized for its failure to consider conflicts of interest in leasing the building to the president in an inspector general report.

The Secret Service generally has to reimburse whatever establishment the president visits for any goods or services they use. This is in theory an ethics rule to prevent them wasting taxpayer money — but it has the opposite effect when the businesses being patronized belongs to the president’s family, a conflict of interest that past presidents took great pains to prevent ever from happening.

Previous reporting indicated the Secret Service also spent $63,000 at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort that year, including tens of thousands in golf cart rentals alone. The agency reportedly has struggled to pay its officers because of how much they have had to spend protecting Trump Organization properties.


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The real DC showdown: Pelosi vs. Trump

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Love her or hate her, Nancy Pelosi is a classy, effective and persuasive Speaker.

Repeatedly through the Trump presidency, she has stepped up to offer just the right gesture, just the right opinion, just the right level of evenness or passion that proves effective in making the role of leadership believable.

Along the way, she manages to count votes, keep her caucus in line and stand up for a totally understandable and admirable bar of justice and American value, for the Constitution itself.

Her statements yesterday in outlining in measured tones the reasoning that Donald Trump’s actions have left “no choice” but moving forward towards impeachment were well-said, logical, and belied the emotion behind them.

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Trump’s tax cuts and tariffs have been even more disastrous than skeptics predicted: Paul Krugman

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In a column celebrating the first anniversary of Donald Trump declaring himself "Tariff Man," New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman attempted to explain the president's love of tariffs and noted that the negative economic impact in the past year has surpassed even the worst expectations.

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Trump’s undermining of efforts to fight Putin detailed in ex-CIA agent’s disturbing new column

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A recently retired CIA agent reveals that President Donald Trump was a "wild card" that prevented a full-scale effort to combat Russian aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

Marc Polymeropoulos, who retired from the agency in June, said in column posted at Just Security that the CIA issued an informal "call to arms" in the wake of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election, but those efforts were hampered by Trump's relationship with Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

"The Call to Arms required a whole-of-agency effort to counter the Kremlin," Polymeropoulos wrote. "It involved moving resources and personnel inside CIA. Most importantly, it required a change in mindset, similar to what occurred within the Intelligence Community after 9/11, that an 'all-hands-on-deck' approach was required."

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