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Trump wanted to personally make $2 million per room leasing government building: WSJ reports investors ‘balked’

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One of President Donald Trump’s schemes to make money in office does not appear to be going as planned, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

In October, the Trump Organization was harshly criticized after it announced it would be selling its rights to Trump International Hotel D.C.

The Trump family does not actually own the building, which was formerly the historic Old Post Office building but has a long-term lease with the federal government.

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According to The Journal, the Trump Organization has set a January 23 deadline to bid. However, the first family may not profit as much as they were hoping.

“The company was hoping initially to get more than $500 million for the lease rights, people familiar with the matter said. That would represent about $2 million per room key, which hotel brokers and investors say would be a record for Washington by that metric,” the newspaper reported. “Potential buyers have balked at that figure, and brokers have indicated the Trumps are willing to negotiate on price and other terms, said people familiar with the matter.”

When the family announced they were selling the lease, Trump organization vice president Eric Trump suggested it was because of public pressure.

“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” he said, seemingly acknowledging the appearance of impropriety.

Ethics watchdogs have argued Trump’s hotel business is unconstitutional because it allows foreign and domestic corruption in violation of the Emoluments Clauses.

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Selling of the rights could allow corruption on a far grander scale than renting out the rooms at inflated prices one night at a time.

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2020 Election

Big bucks — and a big megadonor — fuel Allen West’s bid for Texas GOP chair

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For months, the race for Texas GOP chair has been in full swing, with incumbent James Dickey and his high-profile challenger, Allen West, appearing at a slew of at times feisty forums.

But it was not until last week that the two had to disclose their campaign finances for the first time — and West's report brought something of a bombshell: Not only did the former Florida congressman raise nearly half a million dollars — a large amount for such an election — but $250,000 of it came from a single person. That person: Richard Uihlein, the conservative megadonor and shipping supplies magnate from Illinois.

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2020 Election

These corporations are spending the most to undo our democracy — thanks to Citizens United

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It has now been exactly 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for special-interest political advertising in its Citizens United ruling. To mark the occasion, the Center for Responsive Politics has published an excellent report detailing how political spending has changed over the last decade.

One significant finding is that, although Citizens United overturned the prohibition on independent political expenditures by corporations, most companies have not taken advantage of that new right directly. The biggest surges in spending have come from wealthy individuals and from Super PACs.

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‘Erratic, reckless, impulsive and destructive’: Group of psychiatrists urge a evaluation of Trump as he poses ‘a maximum danger’

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A Yale psychiatrist leads a group of medical professionals who have called on Congress to demand that President Donald Trump undergo a mental health evaluation after he ordered a drone strike that killed top Iranian military official Qassem Soleimani.

Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who has consulted widely with state and international governments on a public health approach to violence prevention in communities and in prisons, told Salon that Congress should convene a panel of mental health experts to determine Trump's fitness for office. Lee serves as the president of the World Mental Health Coalition, which issued a statement formally calling on Congress to convene a panel of mental health experts to assess Trump's fitness.

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