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Ukrainian-Russian developer with Trump Tower Moscow ties suing after getting bilked for $200,000 at inauguration

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It is illegal for foreigners to donate to presidential inaugurations, but a new lawsuit sheds light on how wealthy foreigners attempted to buy access to the Trump administration.

“A Ukrainian-Russian developer who wanted access to President Trump’s inauguration filed a lawsuit on Tuesday saying he was bilked out of the $200,000 he paid for what he thought would be V.I.P. tickets to the event,” The New York Times reported Tuesday.

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“The developer, Pavel Fuks, who once discussed a Moscow real estate project with Mr. Trump, said in the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, that he had paid the money to a firm at the direction of Yuri Vanetik, a prominent Republican fund-raiser and sometime lobbyist,” the newspaper explained. “But, the lawsuit said, Mr. Vanetik failed to come through with the promised tickets, and Mr. Fuks ended up watching the inauguration from a Washington hotel bar.”

“It is illegal for foreign nationals to buy tickets from the committees that host the official parties and other events around United States presidential inaugurations, a ban intended to limit international influence in American politics and government. Foreigners have long flocked to inaugurations as guests of American donors, which is permitted,” The Times explained.

“But federal prosecutors are investigating whether foreigners illegally funneled money to Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC to try to influence Mr. Trump’s team,” the paper noted. “In the case of Mr. Fuks, who earned an estimated $270 million in the post-Soviet Moscow real estate boom, his money did not buy access.”

“You need to be prepared to spend money to get access at events like this,” Vanetik reportedly told Fuks.

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White House personnel chief delivers a new blow to Trump: Top DHS candidates are not legally qualified

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President Donald Trump's quest to find an acting replacement for departed Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen was dealt a significant blow on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House personnel office chief Sean Doocey has informed the president that he doesn't believe either of his top two picks are legally qualified to hold the position.

As the Journal notes, "federal statute that governs vacancies states that acting officials in cabinet-level positions must either be next in line for a position or hold a Senate-confirmed position." Neither Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nor Mark Morgan, who leads Customs and Border Protection, meet those standards, Doocey determined.

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CNBC reporter laments ‘very sad’ decline of Trump: ‘We just heard 20 minutes of nonsense’

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CNBC's John Harwood reacted to President Donald Trump's appearance before the press corps on Monday by calling it "20 minutes of nonsense."

Trump's remarks to the press came during a cabinet meeting where he defended his decision to pull troops out of Syria and insisted that the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution is "phony."

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Trump went off the rails at Monday’s cabinet meeting — here are the 5 craziest moments

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President Donald Trump went on a rampage during his Monday cabinet meeting in which he launched multiple broadsides against his political opponents.

The president's latest public tirade came as he is facing increased pressure from House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, as well as criticism from members of his own party over abandoning America's Kurdish allies and trying to award his own business a massive government contract to host next year's G7 summit.

Below are the craziest moments from Trump's off-the-rails Cabinet meeting.

1.) Trump claims that he deserves personal credit for capturing Islamic State fighters.

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