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Indictment against Russians doesn’t clear Trump admin in probe: Schiff

“The Trump administration in January opted not to impose the sanctions, claiming that earlier penalties against Russia were already serving as a deterrent” reports nypost.com. The top Democrat on a House committee investigating Moscow meddling in the 2016 election said “of course” an indictment against 13 Russians doesn’t clear the Trump administration of possible collusion. “No, of course not, but this is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes,” Rep. Announcing the indictments on Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said “the charged conduct” does not mean the outcome…

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Trump vents frustration over Russia probe, rails against FBI

“The Obama administration eventually acknowledged the cash was used as leverage until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran” writes Associated Press for suntimes.com. Congressional Republicans decried the payment as ransom, which the Obama administration denied.Get smart America!” On Saturday, Trump undercut his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, after he said evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 American election is beyond dispute.The administration has focused on the fact that the Russian effort began in 2014, before Trump announced his White House run, and Trump continued that argument Sunday. Source: suntimes.com…

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Commerce Dept. Suggests Stiff Tariffs on Metal Imports

“In 2016, Canada accounted for the largest proportion of United States steel imports, about 17 percent, followed by Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Japan” writes Ana Swanson for nytimes.com. A third option involved putting into effect quotas to limit aluminum imports to lower levels than were shipped to the United States last year.Because the United States has already imposed a raft of restrictions on Chinese steel in previous years, only 2 percent of American steel imports came directly from China in 2015.Ross also proposed an alternative for the steel…

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An offhand comment from Trump has sparked serious fears of a trade war

“While some might see this as the opening of a global trade war to end all global trade wars, some in the White House (likely including the Commander in Chief) believe that the U.S. is already in a global trade war…and losing bigly.”” reports businessinsider.com. Trump said his administration was looking into a “reciprocal tax” on imports, a comment that took many aides by surprise, according to reports.”So we’re going to be doing very much a reciprocal tax, and you’ll be hearing about that during the week and during the…

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Budget undercuts Trump focus on mental health, school safety

“On school safety, the administration wants to slash funding for national school safety initiatives by nearly $25 million in 2019, down from this year’s projected funding of $67.5 million” reports foxbusiness.com. President Donald Trump is calling for a focus on mental health and school safety in response to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida, but his budget would cut funding in both areas.States would face hard choices over competing priorities like mental health or addiction treatment, nursing home costs or prenatal care for low-income women.However, some…

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State Department pours cold water on Trump’s ‘bloody nose’ strike against North Korea

“A high ranking State Department official poured cold water on reports that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a “bloody nose” strike against North Korea on Thursday” writes Alex Lockie for businessinsider.com. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said she had been told by the White House there was no bloody nose strategy.The White House also hit back on reports of the bloody nose strategy on Thursday, as a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “Bloody nose is and has always been a fabrication.”. The sequence of events was widely interpreted as evidence…

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Ivanka Trump Touts Business Tax Cuts in 2018 Political Hotspot

“Ivanka Trump and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon met on Tuesday with business owners and Republican state lawmakers in Mount Lebanon, where Trump touted tax-cutting legislation her father signed” reports yahoo.com. Trump and McMahon met on Tuesday, Feb. 13, with business owners and Republican state lawmakers in Mount Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where Trump touted tax-cutting legislation her father signed.The speech he delivered at H&K Equipment touted the tax cuts he signed into law just before Christmas.Pence, when he addressed supporters at a community center in Bethel Park,…

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Republicans set their sights on a familiar target as they investigate the FBI and Obama administration

“But legal analysts said Tuesday that the email does not indicate wrongdoing on the part of Obama or senior intelligence officials” writes Sonam Sheth for businessinsider.com. Trump’s loyalists pointed to the newly-revealed Rice email as evidence of the Obama administration’s close involvement in the Russia investigation and interference in the FBI’s work.Rice wrote in the email that the meeting took place following a briefing by top intelligence officials on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Source: businessinsider.com Share This:

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A Second Federal Judge Just Blocked Trump’s DACA Order

“In the ruling on Tuesday, Garaufis said the Trump administration could eventually rescind the DACA program” writes Michelle Mark for businessinsider.com. The decision is similar to an earlier ruling by a federal judge in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation over Trump’s decision unfolds.However, the reasons it gave last year for winding down the program were too arbitrary and could not stand, the judge said.The plaintiffs had argued that the administration violated federal law by cutting off a program that hundreds of people relied on with…

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The Finance 202: Trump administration gets real about cost of its tax plan

“The Post’s John Wagner: “Besides unveiling his infrastructure plan, Trump also released his 2019 budget blueprint Monday” writes Covering Financial Services for washingtonpost.com. Take it from White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, who in a Monday briefing told reporters, “This is a messaging document.” But there is some truth in advertising.The White House predicts stronger economic growth, kicking in sooner, than it did in the 2018 budget.The CFPB’s 2019 budget would also be capped at its 2015 level, $485 million, compared with a projected $630 million this year. Source: washingtonpost.com Share…

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