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As Trump sows discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney reportedly focused on ‘building empire for the right wing’

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“Cabinet members are pressed weekly on what regulations they can strip from the books and have been told their performance will be judged on how many they remove.”

While President Donald Trump dominates national media with racist tweets and lies, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is quietly “building an empire for the right wing” and pushing Cabinet members to impose a radical and rapid deregulation agenda across the federal government, according to a new Washington Post report.

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A former Republican congressman who co-founded the Freedom Caucus in 2015, Mulvaney has worn many hats in Trump’s administration. He served as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for more than a year and is currently on leave as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the chief of staff role, a supposedly temporary appointment that Trump announced in December.

Citing interviews with dozens of sources within the White House and on Capitol Hill, the Postdetailed “the growing influence wielded by Mulvaney, a former tea party lawmaker who has built what one senior administration official called ‘his own fiefdom’ centered on pushing conservative policies—while mostly steering clear of the Trump-related pitfalls that tripped up his predecessors by employing a ‘Let Trump be Trump’ ethos.” Mulvaney and the White House declined to participate in the piece.

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Mulvaney spends less time with Trump than his predecessors—Reince Priebus and John F. Kelly—did, and doesn’t always know what’s going on with Trump’s foreign policy, advisers told the newspaper. “Instead, Mulvaney has focused much of his energy on creating a new White House power center revolving around the long-dormant Domestic Policy Council and encompassing broad swaths of the administration.”

Reportedly pushing Cabinet members and agencies to act quickly on deregulation—in case the Democrats take control of the White House and Senate in 2020—Mulvaney appears to care “about the domestic agencies much more than the prior chiefs of staff did,” one source said.

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As the Post reported late Sunday:

He has helped install more than a dozen ideologically aligned advisers in the West Wing since his December hiring. Cabinet members are pressed weekly on what regulations they can strip from the books and have been told their performance will be judged on how many they remove. Policy and spending decisions are now made by the White House and dictated to Cabinet agencies, instead of vice versa. When Mulvaney cannot be in the Oval Office for a policy meeting, one of his allies is usually there.

[…]

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Mulvaney spends more time in his office than his predecessors, feeling no need to sit in on all of Trump’s meetings. He regularly huddles with Joe Grogan, a hard-liner who now leads the Domestic Policy Council, and Russell T. Vought, a conservative ally who runs the Office of Management and Budget in Mulvaney’s absence.

The newspaper noted that while “Mulvaney’s biggest successes so far have come in deregulation efforts,” the chief of staff “also faces significant obstacles on Capitol Hill, where he made enemies on both sides of the aisle during his three terms as a bomb-throwing House conservative.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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#BoycottJimmyJohns trends after photo resurfaces showing restaurant’s owner with thumbs-up next to dead elephant

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The hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns started to gain traction this Friday after an old photo of the fast-food chain's owner resurfaced, showing him sitting on a dead elephant he killed with both thumbs up.

The hashtag was sparked by Twitter personality and animal advocate Brother Nature, who retweeted the photo and declared, "We boycotting Jimmy Johns."

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REVEALED: Trump associate Felix Sater gave Osama bin Laden’s phone numbers to the feds

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The Russian businessman Felix Sater has been linked to Trump family enterprises for years. He was central to the effort to bring Trump Tower to Moscow. He also worked on the Trump SoHo condominium hotel in the mid-aughts.

During that time, Sater also worked as an informant for the FBI and CIA and aided prosecutors on various cases. He started working with the FBI in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme, reports the Wall Street Journal.

That's been previously reported. But what the WSJ found is that a letter just unsealed from the government praises Sater for being an especially good collaborator.

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Judges ‘frustrated’ after lawyers for Trump’s banks refuse to say if they have his tax returns: CNN

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Lawyers representing two of President Donald Trump's main banks upset a three-judge panel at an appellate court in New York when they refused to reveal whether they are in possession of President Donald Trump's tax returns.

CNN reports that lawyers for Deutsche Bank and Capital One "frustrated" the judges after they repeatedly cited "contractual obligations" to justify not divulging information about the president's taxes.

"The three-judge panel was so frustrated by the lawyers' refusal to answer that at one point one of the judges suggested the appellate court might seek an order for the information," reports CNN. "After several minutes of argument on the subject, the panel directed the lawyers to file letters under seal within 48 hours saying whether the banks have Trump's tax returns."

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