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Trump says he has the power to block provision of stimulus that informs Congress where the corporate bailouts go

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US President Donald Trump holds a press conference on COVID-19 in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 13, 2020. AFP / SAUL LOEB

The passage of the $2 trillion stimulus bill to give Americans relief from coronavirus was good news for millions of people. But President Donald Trump is already laying the groundwork to ignore provisions of it that impose congressional oversight.

In a signing statement, Trump said that he intends to ignore the provision of the bill that requires the newly-created Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to report to Congress “without delay” when any other agencies in his administration refuse to provide information about how the money is being spent.

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“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the SIGPR to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3,” wrote Trump. In other words, he is granting himself authority to block the inspector general from reporting inter-agency obstruction to Congress — even though the bill does not provide for allowing him to do so.

Trump also wrote that he will not follow requirements laid out in the legislation to consult congressional committees before reallocating funds or hiring people to the newly-created Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

The original draft of the bill in the Senate raised alarms because there were virtually no restrictions on the $500 billion allocated to the Treasury Department for corporate bailouts. The final version signed into law today did include a number of provisions for oversight — but Trump is signaling that he is prepared to ignore many of them.

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2020 Election

Trump’s Georgia rally will be a ‘grievance-fest’ and he’ll ignore the GOP’s Senate candidates: Republican insiders

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According to a report from the Independent, Georgia Republicans are nervously eyeing Donald Trump's planned rally in their state late Saturday having no idea whether he will lend them a hand holding onto the two seats in the U.S. Senate or whether he will spend the time ranting about the election he believes was stolen from him.

With both Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler's seats at stake -- as well as control of the U.S. Senate -- Republicans have been working overtime to correct the impression that voter fraud led to the state's 16 Electoral College votes going to former Vice President Joe Biden and cost Trump a second term.

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CNBC’s Rick Santelli ripped as ‘psychopath’ for on-air ‘meltdown’ over COVID-19 restrictions

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CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin and Rick Santelli clashed over coronavirus restrictions, setting off another round of discussion on social media.

The conservative Santelli loudly insisted that bars and restaurants, which are shut down in many areas, were no more dangerous than large retailers, which have mostly been allowed to stay open, and Sorkin cut him off.

“Rick, just as a public-health and public-service announcement for the audience, the difference between a big-box retailer and a restaurant or, frankly, even a church, are so different it’s unbelievable,” Sorkin said, as Santelli kept interrupting. “Going into a big-box retailer, you’re wearing a mask.”

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Federal judge says Trump pardon of Michael Flynn may have been ‘too broad’: report

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A trial judge has raised the possibility that the federal judge overseeing the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could find that President Trump's pardon of Flynn may be "too broad," according to The National Law Journal.

The comments “came unexpectedly” during a Freedom of Information Act hearing about releasing documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's office, according to BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold.

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