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Thursday, Apr 27th

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Senators to White House: How Will Kushner Avoid Overlap Between Business Empire and Government Work?

Warren and Carper question Kuschner's conflictsTwo senators and a congressman are pressing the White House to disclose exactly how Jared Kushner will comply with conflict of interest laws.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter to the Trump administration Wednesday, prompted by our recent story that detailed how Kushner, a top aide to President Trump, is keeping parts of his family real-estate empire.

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Senate panel approves Trump's Israel envoy despite Dem opposition

Senate panel approves Israel envoyThe Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday approved David Friedman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel despite opposition from Democrats.

The committee voted to clear Friedman's nomination in a 12-9 vote.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was the only Democratic senator to support Friedman's nomination, according to multiple reports.  Democrats had voiced concerns over Friedman's previous comments backing Israel settlements and opposing a two-state solution.

TVNL Comment:  Friedman is an advocate of extreme right wing polkicies in Israel. This is a terrible choice.

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Two Republicans sign on to effort demanding Trump’s tax returns

Trump Two House Republicans endorsed a Democratic effort on Friday calling on the House and Senate committees with oversight of the Internal Revenue Service to request copies of President Trump’s tax returns.

Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) signed a letter urging the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to ask for copies of Trump's tax documents from the last decade.

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Schumer asks FCC for waiver to trace Jewish center bomb threats

Schumer asks FCC for waiverSenate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver to unscramble anonymous phone numbers that had been used to call in bomb threats to a New York Jewish Community Center.

A wave of anti-Semitic acts, including bomb threats to JCCs and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, has drawn concern in Washington and around the nation. Since the start of 2017, there have been roughly 100 threats to 81 JCCs across the U.S.

Schumer's letter specifically referred to a series of bomb threats that were made on Feb. 27 to 11 JCCs, several of them in or near New York.

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Issa: Trump-Russia probe requires a special prosecutor

Issa calls for independent prosecutorA Republican congressman who aligned with President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign called Friday for a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Trump associates' contacts with Russia.

Rep. Darrell Issa said on HBO's "Real Time" that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who Trump appointed as the nation's top law enforcement officer — should not handle the problem.

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Mark Sanford has nothing left to lose. And he’s here to haunt Donald Trump.

SanfordNone of this feels normal. The congressman greets me inside his Washington office wearing a wrinkly collared shirt with its top two buttons undone, faded denim jeans and grungy, navy blue Crocs that expose his leather-textured feet.

Nearing the end of our 30-minute interview, he cancels other appointments and extends our conversation by an hour. He repeatedly brings up his extramarital affair, unsolicited, pointing to the lessons learned and relationships lost. He acknowledges and embraces his own vulnerability—political, emotional and otherwise. He veers on and off the record, asking himself rhetorical questions, occasionally growing teary-eyed, and twice referring to our session as “my Catholic confessional.”

And then he does the strangest thing of all: He lays waste to the president of his own party.

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Trump EPA nominee ordered to release emails with energy industry

Scott PruittAn Oklahoma judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency to turn over thousands of emails he exchanged with or about the fossil fuel industry by next Tuesday, though he may already be confirmed for the position by then.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose confirmation hearing for head of the EPA is scheduled for Friday, was ordered by Oklahoma County District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons to fulfill public records requests for more than 3,000 emails by the Center for Media and Democracy.

TVNL Comment;  The Senate vote should be postponed until the contents of the emails are revealed.  But they will vote before Tuesday.  Watch this space.

Yep.  Pruitt was just confirmed.  The swamp increases.

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