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Marine Corps unit busted planning to hold a party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort: report

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Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago

President Donald Trump is facing yet another corruption scandal after a Marine Corps unit was caught planning to hold a party at the commander-in-chief’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

“At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold an annual ball at a venue that could profit the commander-in-chief,” the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

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“The unit is planning a gala to celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Marines’ founding at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach on Nov. 16, according to a posting on the events website Evensi,” the newspaper noted. “It wasn’t immediately clear how much Mar-a-Lago would charge to host the Marine Corps Birthday Ball — or even if it might do so for free. As many as 700 guests have attended previous balls for the 4th ANGLICO, according to invitations posted online.”

The celebration is another scandal for Trump.

“While specific funding sources for the upcoming ball are unclear, the practice of spending taxpayer money at Trump properties has been criticized by Democrats and government watchdog,” the Herald noted. “Regardless of who is paying, hosting an event at the president’s club could create the possible appearance of impropriety for the Marines, which like other branches of the military tries to steer clear of politics.”

Mar-a-Lago has suffered financially due to its owner being so controversial.

“Regardless of who is paying, hosting an event at the president’s club could create the possible appearance of impropriety for the Marines, which like other branches of the military tries to steer clear of politics.

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“While the club caters to Palm Beach society, it may be in need of new business. The club’s event calendar — previously dependent on major charities booking galas — took a hit after Trump did not condemn a violent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Where the club once booked events that cost as much as $200,000, it now offered rates as little as $40,000. Mar-a-Lago revenue fell to $22.7 million in 2018, a drop of 10 percent from the year before,” the paper reported. “That vacuum opened the door for a new wave of events, including a South Florida massage-parlor entrepreneur named Cindy Yang who sold Chinese businesspeople eager to meet the president the opportunity to attend lower-profile events at his club. Yang’s activities gained the attention of the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, which are investigating possible Chinese espionage at the club and South Florida.”

Read the full report.


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Lawmakers more optimistic on COVID stimulus as election day looms

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Chances for approving a new spending package to support the US economy improved dramatically on Tuesday after the senior Democratic lawmaker said a bill is in the works and the top Senate Republican said he would bring it to a vote.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV that legislators are starting to commit the measure to paper and she is optimistic it can win bipartisan support.

Whether policymakers can complete the negotiations in time for Congress to approve the package before the November 3 presidential election, however, remains a question mark.

"Our economy needs it. Hopefully by the end of the day today, we will know where we are," she said in an interview. "We are starting to write the bill."

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2020 Election

America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.

"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.

15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.

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Pro-Trump activist who claims he’s from the future will represent himself against federal charges for stealing NFL brain scans

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reported that Austin Steinbart — a QAnon activist controversial even within the pro-Trump conspiracy world — plans to act as his own attorney in an upcoming federal criminal case.

Some QAnon news: QAnon figure Austin Steinbart, who goes by the alias "Baby Q" and has claimed to be the leader of QAnon visiting from the future via time travel, just filed to act as his own attorney in a federal felony case. What could go wrong?

— Will Sommer (@willsommer) October 20, 2020

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