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Donald Trump retains direct tie to businesses, documents show

Donald retains direct tie to businessesNew documents confirm that Donald Trump retains a direct tie to his business interests through a revocable trust overseen by one of his adult sons and a longtime executive of the Trump Organization.

The president is the sole beneficiary of the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, which is tied to his social security number as the taxpayer identification number, according to documents published online by the investigative nonprofit ProPublica.

Trump can revoke the trust, which was amended three days before his inauguration, at any time.

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White House nixed Holocaust statement naming Jews

Holocaust speechThe State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trump’s White House blocked its release.

The existence of the draft statement adds another dimension to the controversy around the White House’s own statement that was released on Friday and set off a furor because it excluded any mention of Jews. The White House has stood by the statement, defending it as an “inclusive” message that was not intended to marginalize Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

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Uber CEO Is Leaving President Trump’s Economic Council After Criticism

Travis KalanickTravis Kalanick, the Uber CEO, is leaving President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council. The move appears to be in response of the #deleteUber campaign that started over the last weekend after President’s immigration order. In his letter to employees (obtained by Recode), Kalanick said that some people had taken his joining the council as an endorsement of the President or his agenda.

Earlier in December, Kalanick and Tesla founder Elon Musk had joined President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. An official statement announcing the committee had said the forum is “designed to provide direct input to the President… in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and non-partisan manner.”

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Trump’s campaign paid his businesses millions over course of campaign

Trump made millions during campaignThe final bill is in: Donald Trump’s campaign paid his companies $12.8 million from the time he launched his improbable presidential bid in the lobby of his company’s flagship Trump Tower property through the end of last year, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

In fact, according to FEC reports, the latest of which was filed Tuesday night, $2 million of the overall tab went to Trump Tower Commercial, LLC, for rent and utilities for the campaign’s headquarters, as well as for payroll, presumably for building staff who worked for the campaign.

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Senate confirms Rex Tillerson for secretary of State

Rex Tillerson confirmedThe Senate confirmed former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of State on Wednesday, even as Democrats blocked progress on other Cabinet nominees chosen by President Trump.

The vote, 56-43, puts a man who has negotiated business deals with countries around the world, including some hostile to the United States, in position to negotiate on behalf of Trump in matters of war and peace, climate change and human rights.

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GOP pushes through Sessions, Mnuchin, Price Cabinet nominations

GOP pushes through nominationsRepublican Senate committees on Wednesday approved three of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees -- two of whom were confirmed despite a boycott by Democrats.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14-9 along party lines to confirm the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. A full Senate vote on Sessions could occur as early as next week.

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to become Secretary of the Treasury and Georgia Rep. Tom Price to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee's actions will send the process to the Senate, which will vote in full on whether to confirm the nominees.

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President Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court

Neil GorsuchPresident Trump has nominated conservative favorite Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has more on Gorsuch, who currently sits on the federal appeals court in Denver:

Gorsuch has a sterling legal pedigree. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative Judge David Sentelle.

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