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Elaine Chao strongly favored officials from her husband Mitch McConnell’s home state in grant meetings

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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gave preference to Kentuckians — who are represented by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — during meetings set up in her first 14 months on the job.

A quarter of all her scheduled meetings with state officials from January 2017 to March 2018 were set up with Kentuckians, who make up only 1.3 percent of the U.S. population, reported Politico.

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The next closest, Indiana and Georgia, scored six percent of her meetings each, according to her calendars that have been made public.

At least five of Chao’s 18 meetings with Kentucky officials were requested in emails from McConnell staffers who flagged the local officials as “friends” or “loyal supporters.”

Those emails sometimes noted topics the officials wanted to discuss with Chao or ask for special favors, including consideration for federal grants.

Chao aide Todd Inman helped advise the Senate majority leader and local Kentucky officials on Transportation Department grants totaling $78 million for the mayor of Owensboro, a McConnell stronghold in western Kentucky.

Home-state bias is a common problem in federal grants, but Chao’s marriage to the Senate majority leader adds a new layer of issues, according to ethics experts.

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“The marriage is the thing that underlies all of this,” said Mel Dubnick, a professor of government ethics and accountability at the University of New Hampshire.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said the report was based on outdated or incomplete calendars provided by partisan political groups, and complained that co-author Tanya Snyder focused on covering Chao’s leadership instead of her work on infrastructure and safety.


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Trump economic task force member once called minimum wage law the ‘Black Teenage Unemployment Act’

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Art Laffer, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus economic task force who last year was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, once referred to the federal minimum wage law as the "Black Teenage Unemployment Act" on Fox News while he attempted to claim that it made "no sense whatsoever."

"The minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me," Laffer told host Jenna Lee on the since-canceled Fox News show "Happening Now." "Honestly, it's just the teenage — 'Black Teenage Unemployment Act.' And this is the very group that we need to have jobs — not be put out of work because of a minimum wage. So, I'm very much in favor of, at least for teenagers, getting rid of the minimum wage."

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‘There is a wickedness in our president’: Conservative Christian decries ‘cruelty’ of Trump’s latest smear campaign

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Peter Wehner, a conservative Christian who is a former senior adviser to George W. Bush, has written a blistering column calling out President Donald Trump's "cruelty" in his latest smear campaign against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

Trump has spent the past several weeks demanding that Scarborough be investigated for the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, a former congressional staffer who fainted and fatally hit her head while working in Scarborough's Florida office.

Even though there is no evidence of foul play in the case and even though Scarborough was in Washington D.C. at the time of her fainting, Trump has nevertheless persisted in making false allegations against the MSNBC host.

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Al Sharpton busts Trump’s hypocrisy on Morning Joe: ‘He chased Joe Scarborough like a hungry dog behind a bone’

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The Rev. Al Sharpton called out President Donald Trump for groveling for Joe Scarborough's approval for years, only to turn around and baselessly accuse him of murder.

The president claimed he'd always been haunted by the possibility that the "Morning Joe" had been involved in the 2001 death of former congressional staffer Lori Klausutis, but Sharpton dismissed that as nonsense.

....about whether or not Joe could have done such a horrible thing? Maybe or maybe not, but I find Joe to be a total Nut Job, and I knew him well, far better than most. So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Law enforcement eventually will?

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