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Rick Gates is reportedly close to becoming Mueller’s third cooperating ex-Trump aide

Rick Gates

Special counsel Robert Mueller may be close to flipping another former Trump staffer.

Rick Gates — Paul Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, and a 2016 Trump campaign staffer — is “finalizing” a plea deal in which he’d cooperate with the Mueller investigation, CNN’s Katelyn Polantz and Sara Murray report. Gates has been in negotiations with Mueller’s team about cooperating for over a month, their report says, citing sources familiar with the case.

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At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November

100+ WH personnel worked without permanent clearanceNearly a year into President Donald Trump's administration, senior-level staffers -- including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter -- remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official.

Having interim clearance can hamper a staffer's ability to perform essential functions of the job, a former administration official said. It requires those with full permanent clearances to remain vigilant about what information is shared with those still operating on an interim basis.
There were more than 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President who were operating on interim clearances more than a year after Trump was elected, according to the information.

Steve Bannon met with Mueller multiple times over the past week

Steve Bannon met with Mueller several timesSteve Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.

Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.

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Inaugural Committee Gave Over $25 Million to Melania’s Friend

Mwelania's friend got $25m from inaugural committeePresident Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday.

The nonprofit group that oversaw Mr. Trump’s inauguration and surrounding events in January 2017, the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, had been under pressure from liberal government watchdog groups to reveal how it spent the record $107 million it had raised from wealthy donors and corporations.

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Second appeals court upholds block on Trump travel ban

Second appeals court upholds travel banA second federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a ban on the implementation of President Donald Trump's travel ban, saying it's likely unlawful because it targets Muslim.

The executive order was the third attempt by the president to enact a ban on travelers from several countries, six of which are majority Muslim -- Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The latest version of the order also forbid entry for people from North Korea and Venezuela.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 9-4 on Thursday that the ban was "unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam."

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Jared Kushner's Debt Soared By Millions Since Entering White House

Kushner debt increased by many millions after coming to WH

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, seemingly has growing financial pains, according to newly obtained documents.

Kushner took millions of dollars out of three separate credit lines months after he entered the White House last year, reveals a revised financial disclosure form filed by wife Ivanka Trump that Politico published Tuesday.

Revisions showed that each of the credit line debts were bumped up to a range of $5 million to $25 million, from $1 million to $5 million, as reflected in versions of the couple’s financial disclosure forms made public in July 2017. That means their reported debts jumped to a range of about $31 million to $155 million, from the previous range of about $19 million to $98 million.

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Trump Pick For EPA’s No. 2 Accused Of Abusing Power To ‘Bully’ And ‘Intimidate’ Opponents

Andrew Wheeler went after enviormental activists

Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist President Donald Trump nominated as the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator, spent a decade as a Senate aide and four years as an agency staffer under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, where he built a reputation as the skillful operator the White House needs to execute on its deregulatory agenda.

But during his time as a counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he was accused of abusing his power to target his opponents, which raises concerns for some about how he’d run an increasingly political agency. The same committee voted along party lines last week to advance his nomination to the full Senate for confirmation as the next-in-line to lead the EPA.

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