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EU ambassador Gordon Sondland faces pressure from his wife to turn on Trump

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Gordon Sondland held his nose and backed Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign in hopes of landing an ambassadorship, but now he’s got a compelling reason to turn on the president.

The longtime Republican donor got what he wanted after donating $1 million to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and was named the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — but he may be forced to testify against the president to save his marriage and his business, reported the Washington Post.

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The 62-year-old Sondland landed knee-deep in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into helping his 2020 re-election campaign, and he has been subpoenaed by the House to testify about his work this summer with U.S. diplomats in Kyiv and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Current and former U.S. officials say Sondland, who once said Trump offended his — “personal beliefs and values on so many levels” — hoped that he might take over for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross if he helped Trump get damaging information against Joe Biden from Ukraine.

“He spent a year trying to prove that he wasn’t anti-Trump,” said a former White House official. “He got into the position [of ambassador], and he had an opportunity to prove it. Trump knew that he wanted to prove his loyalty.”

But now he faces another loyalty test — from his wife of 26 years.

Sondland’s wife Katherine Durant, a real estate investor and registered Democrat, fears her husband’s ties to Trump and the Ukraine scandal will hurt the hotel company he built.

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One local company in Portland, Oregon, where the couple lives, has already cut ties with Provenance Hotels over Sondland’s role in the foreign scandal, and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer has called for a boycott until the ambassador cooperates fully in the impeachment inquiry.

Durant has criticized media coverage of her husband, saying he deserves a chance to clear his name.

“We live in a world right now where there’s no upside to supporting someone like Gordon who is working for Trump,” Durant said. “It’s a mob.”

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“He’s been extremely hard-working,” she added. “He came from immigrant parents, he’s first generation here, he made his own wealth, he’s worked his entire life hard, he’s extremely generous. I mean, he’ll sit down and listen to anyone, take his time, go to bat for them, give his money. But this environment is so sad and vicious that there is no one who will stick up for him. I find it really pathetic.”


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America’s millionaires just stopped paying into Social Security for the rest of 2020

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On Wednesday, not even two full months into 2020, millionaires will stop paying into Social Security for the year due to the program's payroll tax cap.

The cap limits annual wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax to the first $137,700. Sarah Rawlins, program associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), wrote Tuesday that the cap means "someone who makes $1,000,000 per year stops paying into the program on February 19, 2020."

"That makes a millionaire's effective tax rate well below the 6.2% of income that most Americans pay," Rawlins noted. "Instead, it is less than 1% of a millionaire's income. The Social Security tax is only levied on wages, excluding income from other sources like capital gains, meaning those with wages over the cap likely have an effective tax rate even lower than this estimate."

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DOJ puts out bizarre late-night statement: AG Bill Barr ‘has no plans to resign’

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The Department of Justice put out a statement Tuesday evening denying that Attorney General Bill Barr would be resigning from office.

Kerri Kupec, the director of communications and public affairs at DOJ, issued the statement at 10:28 p.m. in Washington, DC.

"Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign," Kupec announced.

The denial came after a Washington Post report that Barr was considering quitting if Trump continues to tweet about active investigations.

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2020 Election

‘She’s your damn senator’: Emerson College blasted for leaving Elizabeth Warren out of 2020 poll

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Emerson College was blasted for leaving their own senator out of head-to-head matchups in their latest nationwide poll.

The poll showed four candidates with double-digit support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) measured at 29%, former Vice President Joe Biden was at 22%, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg was at 14% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came in at 12%.

But the poll did not even test Warren in head-to-head matchups with Trump.

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