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Monday, Apr 24th

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Trump legal tab: $4 million and rising

Trump behind in campaign legal feesDuring his campaign, Donald Trump promised to pay the legal bills of supporters who beat up protesters at his rallies, but a POLITICO analysis found that Trump’s campaign hasn’t always paid its own legal bills in a timely or transparent fashion.

The analysis of court and campaign filings found that Trump’s campaign committee is still spending heavily to defend against ongoing civil lawsuits alleging assault, incitement, threats and other illegal behavior by the president, his supporters and staff. But in at least four ongoing cases, Trump’s campaign had yet to make a publicly disclosed payment to the law firms representing it, paid months late or paid in tiny amounts that don’t appear commensurate with the amount of work performed by the firms.

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Devin Nunes worked with Trump administration to create a fake scandal about Susan Rice

Devon Nunes worked with TrumpWhen House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes claimed that he had found documents proving that Susan Rice had spied on the Trump campaign, it was immediately pointed out that Nunes’ so-called evidence did not actually prove what he claimed they did.

Now a new report indicates that President Donald Trump and Nunes may have deliberately worked together to manufacture a fake scandal, most likely in an attempt to distract America from the real one in which the president is embroiled.

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Putin-linked think tank drew plan to sway U.S. election

Putin-linked think tank drew plan to sway U.S. electionA Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

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Ivanka Trump’s Business Got Chinese Trademarks Same Day She Met With Chinese President

Ivanka biz prospers as she meets Chinese prezOn April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

The scenario underscores how difficult it is for the president's daughter, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House.

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Benghazi-obsessed Trump MIA on key security post

Benghazi obsessed Trump missing in US gov'tPresident Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Congressional Democrats say it’s a striking omission that shows Trump’s campaign rhetoric was just that. And even some Republicans are urging Trump to move faster to fill this and other key State Department posts.

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White House advisers postpone Paris climate deal meeting

Paris Climate AgreementA Tuesday meeting of President Donald Trump's most senior advisers to discuss whether to remain in the Paris climate change agreement has been postponed, an administration official told POLITICO.

Trump's advisers have been divided over the agreement, which was backed by nearly 200 nations in 2015.

Chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have called for the U.S. to withdraw from the agreement, while other Trump advisers such as senior adviser Jared Kushner are said to be supportive of staying.

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Majority in US No Longer Thinks Trump Keeps His Promises

Trump downPresident Donald Trump's image among Americans as someone who keeps his promises has faded in the first two months of his presidency, falling from 62% in February to 45%. The public is also less likely to see him as a "strong and decisive leader," as someone who "can bring about the changes this country needs" or as "honest and trustworthy."

Over the past two months, Trump's ratings have declined at least marginally on all six characteristics that Gallup measured in its April 5-9 poll. The percentages saying he cares about the needs of people like themselves and that he can manage the government effectively slipped three to four percentage points, but the changes are not statistically significant.

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