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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

“Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office,” the AP reported. “The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies.”

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“Where past presidents have relied on top academics, business leaders and officials with experience in prior administrations, Trump has gone a different route, building a crew of economic advisers known more for their allegiance to him than their policy chops,” the AP noted. “Now, facing a test caused largely by Trump’s determination to force China to provide the U.S. with better trade terms, questions are mounting about whether the team is up to the challenges that lie ahead — and whether Trump would listen to them anyway.”

Austan Goolsbee, who served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, warned it was a recipe for disaster.

“The tougher the situation, the more important it is to have good advisers,” Goolsbee said. “But President Trump does not show any sign of listening to economists, so it probably doesn’t matter who is on the econ team. But, boy, is that a scary idea if we are going through a serious downturn.”

The AP noted Trump’s team is not just unqualified, but also have credibility issues.

“Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser and a former CNBC commentator, said on CNBC that 2017′s $1.5 trillion worth of tax cuts had “virtually paid” for themselves through stronger growth — even though the budget deficit has jumped more than 20% this year,” the AP noted. “Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin told reporters ahead of the 2018 elections that a separate middle-class tax cut was being developed, but it never materialized as promised. Trade adviser Peter Navarro, a cheerleader for tariffs, told CNN this month that the tariffs are “not hurting anybody here” — even though Home Depot, Macy’s and other companies have warned about the damage to corporate profits and academic research has quantified a cost being borne by U.S. consumers.”

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The situation could have major ramifications for the 2020 election.

“An organic slowdown in growth — not even a recession — would be tough on Trump’s reelection chances and he knows it, which is why he has aides talking up the economy on TV as he repeatedly hammers the Fed, said a former senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations,” the AP reported. “The surest relief Trump could offer on the economy would be backing off the trade wars with China. But for the moment, the president is headed in the opposite direction, announcing increased levels of tariffs on Chinese goods Friday.”

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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