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Thursday, Jul 27th

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DOJ: Trump can accept payments from foreign governments

Trump can accept payments from foreign governmentsLawyers for the Justice Department are arguing that President Trump isn’t violating a Constitutional provision that bars federal officials from accepting payments from foreign governments because the clause doesn’t apply to certain transactions.

In a new brief asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit brought against Trump by ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), DOJ lawyers contend that the foreign emoluments clause doesn’t apply to “fair-market commercial transactions” like payments for hotel rooms and golf club fees, according to Bloomberg.

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Trump blasts Qatar hours after Tillerson urges end to blockade

TillersonPresident Trump on Friday chided Qatar for funding terrorism, remarks that could complicate U.S. efforts to ease the diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf.

“The nation of Qatar has unfortunately been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level," Trump said during a press conference at the White House.

Trump's comments came just hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for all sides to de-escalate the conflict, and for other Arab nations to end a blockade against Qatar. Tillerson was in the White House rose garden during the remarks.

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N.Y. AG Schneiderman examining Eric Trump Foundation

Eric SchneidermanThe Office of the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into allegations of self-dealing in the Eric Trump Foundation raised by a recent Forbes report.

Schneiderman was already investigating the Donald J. Trump Foundation for whether or not the president personally benefited from the fundraising efforts and spending of the foundation before the inauguration.

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Donald Trump's new FBI director pick has Russian ties of his own

Christopher WrayThe most troubling issue that Wray may face is the fact that his law firm — King & Spalding — represents Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia’s largest state-controlled oil companies.

Rosneft was prominently mentioned in the now infamous 35-page dossier prepared by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele. The dossier claims that the CEO of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, offered candidate Donald Trump, through Trump’s campaign advisor Carter Page, a 19% stake in the company in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia. The dossier claims that the offer was made in July while Page was in Moscow.

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Comey Testimony Raises New Questions About Jeff Sessions And Russia

Jeff SessionsFormer FBI director James Comey may have done more damage to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday than even President Trump, whom Comey publicly accused of waving him off part of the Russia investigation.

Comey said he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation weeks before he did because of reasons that are classified. That does not comport with Sessions rationale when he announced his recusal in early March.

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GOP candidate for Florida attorney general once sued Trump in federal fraud case

Tampa Judge Ashley MoodyAshley Moody once accused Donald Trump of fraud in a federal lawsuit. But now that he’s president and she’s a top Republican candidate for Florida attorney general, Moody said she backs Trump and his agenda.

A former judge, Moody said a confidential settlement agreement prevents her from talking about the 54-plaintiff lawsuit that initially involved her father, U.S. District Judge James Moody, in 2009. It claimed Trump and the Trump Organization made a "series of fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations" concerning their involvement in the Trump Tower Tampa condominium project, a now-scuttled $300 million 190-unit development that was supposed to loom 52 stories above the Hillsborough River.

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Poll: Trump job approval falls to 34 percent

Trump approval number at 34% - 6/7.17President Trump's job approval rating has fallen to a new low, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The new Quinnipiac University poll finds Trump has a job approval rating of 34 percent, compared to 57 percent who disapprove of the way the president is handling his job.

In a poll released at the end of last month, 37 percent of respondents approved of the job the president was doing and 55 percent disapproved.

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