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Monday, May 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will donate a combined $100 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs that was the brainchild of Ivanka Trump.

The announcement by World Bank President Jim Young Kim came during a visit to Saudi Arabia by President Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"We thought it was a fantastic idea," Kim said. "But we had no idea how quickly this would build. This is really a stunning achievement. I've never seen anything come together so quickly.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Paul Krugman, New York Times: On Wednesday, Paul Ryan held a press conference just after the revelation that Donald Trump had pushed James Comey to kill the investigation into Michael Flynn -- you know, the guy Trump appointed as national security adviser even though his team knew that Flynn's highly suspicious foreign ties were under investigation. Faced with questions about the Flynn scandal and the Comey firing, Ryan waved them away: "I don't worry about things that are outside my control." This might sound like a reasonable philosophy -- unless you realize that Ryan is speaker of the House of Representatives, a legislative body with the power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony and, yes, impeach the president. In fact, under the Constitution, Ryan and his congressional colleagues are effectively the only check on a rogue chief executive. read more


Thursday, May 18, 2017

A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy -- made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump," McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia. read more


Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This story was originally published on January 14, 2017: Israeli intelligence officials are concerned that the exposure of classified information to their American counterparts in the Trump administration could lead to their being leaked to Russia and onward to Iran, investigative journalist Ronen Bergman reported in Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot on Thursday. ... The intelligence concerns, which have been discussed in closed forums recently, are based on suspicions of unreported ties between President-elect Donald Trump, or his associates, and the government of Vladimir Putin in Moscow. As Russian intelligence is associated with intelligence officials in Tehran, highly classified information, such as Israel's clandestine methods of operation and intelligence sources, could potentially reach Iran. Such information has been shared with the United States in the past. read more


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