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AT&T, Novartis CEOs apologize for payments to Michael Cohen

ATT and Novartis say they regret hiring Cohen

The chief executives of AT&T and Novartis are both in damage control mode for their dealings with Michael Cohen, apologizing to employees for poor judgment in paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Donald Trump's personal attorney for insights into the president's thinking.

AT&T also announced Friday that its top public policy official is retiring amid the furor, which it acknowledged has hurt its reputation in Washington.

The fallout showed no signs of letting up as details continued dribbling out about the arrangements both companies made with Cohen, a longtime Trump fixer with no known policy chops. Cohen billed himself as a political consultant who could offer advice on how the new administration and its top officials think — and at a time when the new president’s policy positions were largely unknown, the companies shelled out big bucks for guidance.

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Meghan McCain wonders how White House staffer who mocked her dad can 'still have a job'

Meghan McCain wonders why Trump aide still has a jobMeghan McCain, the daughter of six-term Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, once again had to use her platform as a host of ABC's The View to defend her father, who is currently under treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Thursday, multiple media reports said White House communications staffer Kelly Sadler dismissed concerns about McCain's opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel, saying, "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway."

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Trump Treasury nominee withdraws amid concern over finances

Trump Treasury nominee withdrarwn amid  concern over finances

Adam Lerrick has withdrawn as President Donald Trump’s nominee for assistant Treasury secretary for international finance, after languishing for more than a year without Senate confirmation.

Lerrick, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former investment banker, has extensive experience in dealing with sovereign debt crises in countries like Greece, Iceland and Argentina.

No reason was given for Lerrick’s withdrawal, but a person familiar with the matter said Senate Finance Committee members had raised concerns about his ties to the Argentine Bond Restructuring Agency, the largest group of foreign investors in Argentina’s debt when the country defaulted.

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Trump attorney Giuliani resigns from private law firm

Guiliani resigns from private law firm

Rudy Giuliani resigned from his private law firm on Wednesday as he steps up his work as one of President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys in the Russia investigation.

The former New York mayor initially took an unpaid leave of absence last month from the New York office of Greenberg Traurig, but in a joint statement issued Thursday the firm and Giuliani confirmed the separation was permanent.

TVNL Comment:  Watch out, Rudy - you arrogantly presume you'll be on Trump's legal team forever.  Wrong!  It also seems your old firm severed ties with you, not the other way around.  This is the beginning of the end, Rudy.  That's the way it is.

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Special Counsel Mueller’s Team Questioned Blackwater Founder Erik Prince

Mueller interviewed Eric Prince

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has spoken with Blackwater founder Erik Prince, two sources familiar with the matter tell The Daily Beast. It was not immediately clear what questions Mueller’s team had or what information Prince shared with the special counsel.

Prince attended a now-controversial meeting with the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund in the Seychelles on Jan. 11, 2017—just over a week before Inauguration Day. The Washington Post reported that Mueller is interested in potential efforts at the Seychelles meeting to set up a backchannel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

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Worries That A Federal Student Loan Watchdog Will Be Defanged

Student loan watchdog to be defanged

It's a single line in an email:

"The office of 'Students & Young Consumers' ... will be folded into the office of 'Financial Education.' "

Words sent Wednesday morning by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's acting director, Mick Mulvaney, announcing various staffing changes at the bureau.

Why did this bureaucratic-sounding announcement trigger a sheaf of critiques from consumer groups, California's attorney general and at least two U.S. senators?

Because student loans just crossed the $1.5 trillion mark. They are the biggest category of borrowing after mortgages. And since 2012, when college students are mistreated or misled, the CFPB's Student and Young Consumer division has been there to help:

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