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Trump regulators are using pandemic as an excuse to let banks and creditors prey on consumers: report

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On Saturday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump’s officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to suspend rules and oversight that require transparency from banks, credit card issuers, and credit bureaus.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is relaxing rules designed to shield Americans from abuse during the coronavirus crisis, saying the moves are necessary to give businesses flexibility during the pandemic,” wrote Katy O’Donnell. “But with the agency facing an unprecedented wave of consumer complaints as millions of laid-off workers deal with their creditors, lawmakers and consumer advocates charge that the bureau is exploiting the crisis to further a pro-industry agenda. They’re demanding that it set aside all rulemaking unrelated to the crisis and take a more forceful stance toward businesses that could use the chaos to rip off consumers.”

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“A record number of consumer complaints have already been filed with the bureau — more than 42,000 in April alone, greater than in any other month since it opened in July 2011. The Justice Department recently brought its first fraud charges related to a small business lending program,” wrote O’Donnell. But, “The bureau, for its part, has not brought a single enforcement case during the crisis, and its enforcement actions fell by 80 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to an analysis by the Consumer Federation of America.”

“In March, the agency announced that it would relax or postpone various reporting requirements for mortgage lenders, credit card companies and other financial institutions,” continued the report. “Last month, the bureau issued guidance signaling that it would not enforce a requirement that credit reporting companies review consumer disputes within 30 days and would instead consider the companies’ ‘good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as possible.'”

The CFPB’s director, Kathy Kraninger, has defended the CFPB actions, claiming that the rule changes free up resources for financial institutions to attend to the crisis, and insists that the CFPB is still taking action to protect consumers.

“The CFPB has a crucial role to play during this crisis to protect families,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), one of the architects of the agency, in an email to Politico. “It must use its supervisory authority to monitor and detect consumer abuses and use its enforcement powers to punish companies that violate the law. Congress will be watching — and I will use every tool available to me to hold the agency accountable to its mission.”

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Trump mocked in China’s state media for fleeing to bunker in the face of protests: ‘Mr President, don’t go hide’

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According to a report in The Guardian, Chinese state media and government leaders are mocking reports that Donald Trump fled to a secure bunker under the White House in the face of massive police brutality protests that reached the White House gates.

Following reports that a "rattled" Trump was ushered to safety by the Secret Service as police battled with George Floyd protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C, among other cities, officials in China took notice.

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‘Turned his back on America’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika bash Trump for his ‘incredible shrinking act’ as the country burns

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski bashed President Donald Trump's glaring lack of leadership as protests consume the U.S., and presidential historian Jon Meacham said he's acting as if he'd already given up his duties.

The "Morning Joe" co-hosts were astonished that Trump spent the weekend tweeting incendiary comments instead of addressing the protesters' concerns, and they agreed that he had shrunk from the coronavirus and racism crises engulfing the nation.

"It's sort of two things going on," Brezezinski said, "this sort of sowing fear and hate and sowing the violence on Twitter, and, yet, a lot of people felt during the moment at the Rose Garden on Friday, when he chose not to speak about George Floyd and everything that was going on, and he turned around and walked away, turned his back on America, the questions started popping up. Is he afraid to do anything? What is holding him back?"

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No incumbent president has ever been in a weaker position than Trump: CNN polling analyst

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All recent polls suggest that President Donald Trump is losing to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and CNN polling analyst Harry Enten argues that Trump's current position is unprecedentedly bad for an incumbent president.

In analyzing a new round of polls on the 2020 presidential race, Enten writes that Biden's lead over Trump has been stronger and steadier than any lead of a challenger over an incumbent president.

"There were more than 40 national public polls taken at least partially in the month of May that asked about the Biden-Trump matchup," he writes. "Biden led in every single one of them. He's the first challenger to be ahead of the incumbent in every May poll since Jimmy Carter did so in 1976."

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