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‘A mockery of independence’: Trump to nominate White House lawyer to oversee $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill

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A late Friday announcement regarding President Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee the implementation of the recently-passed $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill was regarded by government watchdogs as the president’s latest attempt to protect the interests of powerful corporations while Americans are focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House announced that Trump would nominate Brian D. Miller, a special assistant to the president and senior associate counsel in the White House Counsel office, to oversee the prevention of fraud and abuse in the relief program. The law includes minimal relief for the public and what progressives have derided as a $500 billion “slush fund” for corporations, allowing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “bail out any corporation he pleases, with almost no conditions,” as Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl wrote last month.

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Late last year, Miller informed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the White House would not participate in its investigation of the Trump administration’s decision to hold Ukrainian military aid, in connection with the president’s impeachment inquiry.

The potential appointment of a White House lawyer with close ties to the president to the position of Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery heightened critics’ concerns that there will be little meaningful oversight of the relief package.

The nomination amounted to “a mockery of independence,” tweeted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “Trump clearly wants a lapdog, not a watchdog.”

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Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), noted that the White House announced Miller’s nomination on the same night Trump said he was firing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who alerted Congress to a whistleblower complaint last year regarding Trump’s discussions with Ukraine.

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“People need to be paying attention to the anti-democratic steps the President is taking while people are appropriately preoccupied with the current pandemic,” Bookbinder wrote. “Some of the most outrageous steps were on a Friday night.”


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Trump calls Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs’ — and threatens military action

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President Donald Trump blasted protesters in Minnesota outraged over the killing of George Floyd.

“ I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted after midnight.

“A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” he wrote, even though the National Guard was already deployed.

“ These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he threatened.

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2020 Election

Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham locked in dead heat with Democratic challenger in red South Carolina

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is locked in a dead heat in his bid to win re-election, a new online poll finds.

Graham, who has represented South Carolina in Congress since 1995 and held his Senate seat since 2003, has in recent months faced mounting pressure from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. A new Civiqs poll released this week finds the two rivals tied at 42%.

A deeper dive into the poll reveals more possibly unnerving developments for Graham. Fifty-six percent of South Carolina voters have an unfavorable view of the senator, while only 35% have a positive view of him.

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WATCH: Minneapolis police station burns after protesters reportedly seize the building

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On Thursday night, the Minneapolis Police Department's third precinct was destroyed.

Here are some of the images from the scene.

https://twitter.com/david_schuman/status/1266225916734083073

https://twitter.com/cityminneapolis/status/1266224316645027841

https://twitter.com/carlosgphoto/status/1266217996395204608

https://twitter.com/seth_kaplan/status/1266214898171772930

https://twitter.com/nickstreiff/status/1266208914808492033

https://twitter.com/ur_ninja/status/1266228441449365504

https://twitter.com/echalouxkstp/status/1266215697002254337

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