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Watchdog will probe Trump's Mar-a-Lago travel spending

GAO to investigate Mira Lago spendingThe Government Accountability Office watchdog has agreed to review the costs and security precautions related to President Donald Trump's travel and visits to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

The GAO's announcement comes after a request for an investigation from leading congressional Democrats. Since the inauguration, Trump has spent 17 days of his 67 days in office either at Mar-a-Lago or flying up to Washington, D.C, and down to Florida five separate times on Air Force One, The Washington Post reported.


Sanctions, spies, and oligarchs: Putin’s pet bank and its meeting with Jared Kushner

jared met with Russian bankerJared Kushner, US president Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is to be the latest White House official grilled over the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the New York Times reports (paywall). In December Kushner met with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak alongside fired former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and soon sent a deputy to see Kislyak again.

Then, at Kislyak’s request, Kushner met Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank (VEB)—a meeting that wasn’t previously reported, according to the Times. The Senate’s intelligence committee wants to ask Kushner about those meetings.


Senate Intelligence to interview Kushner about Russia contacts

Kuschner met with RussiansThe Senate Intelligence Committee will interview President Donald Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner as part of a deepening investigation into communications between Russian officials and Trump allies, two congressional sources said Monday morning.

Investigators' planned interview with Kushner was first reported by the New York Times. Kushner met with the Russian ambassador in December and, according to the Times, also met with the head of a Russian development bank.


Trump aide Boris Epshteyn leaving White House, officials say

Boris EpshteynBoris Epshteyn, a special assistant to President Donald Trump who leads the White House's television surrogate operations, is expected to leave the White House, potentially for a position outside the West Wing, two senior administration officials have told CNN.

A senior administration official confirmed Epshteyn's expected departure, saying, "We are exploring opportunities within the administration."


Trump's commerce secretary oversaw Russia deal while at Bank of Cyprus

Bank of Cyprus link to Wilbur RossWilbur Ross, the Trump administration’s new commerce secretary, presided over a deal with a Russian businessman with ties to Vladimir Putin while serving in his previous role as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus.

The transaction raises questions about Ross’s tenure at the Cypriot bank and his ties to politically connected Russian oligarchs. It comes amid confirmation by the FBI that it is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow to influence the outcome of the presidential election.


Rex Tillerson to attend NATO meeting following rescheduling

TillersonU.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend a NATO meeting at the end of March after it was planned he would skip it, officials said.

The State Department announced Tillerson will be present at the meeting on March 31 in Brussels after visiting Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.

On Monday, State Department officials said Tillerson would not attend the meeting, which was originally scheduled for April 5 and 6, due to scheduling conflicts with a planned visit to Russia a week later.


Ex-CIA Director: Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe From U.S.

Flunn at meeting plotting kidnappingA former director of the Central Intelligence Agency has just revealed that he was at a meeting where Michael Flynn spoke to members of the Turkish government about removing an opponent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that James Woolsey has told them that he attended the meeting on September 19th. At that time, Flynn — the former National Security Adviser who resigned last month over communications with the Russian ambassador — was an adviser to Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign. Woolsey said he was shocked about the topic of the discussion and felt it could be illegal.



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