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Present at the Destruction: How Rex Tillerson Is Wrecking the State Department

Tillerson wrecking the State DepartmentThe deconstruction of the State Department is well underway.

I recently returned to Foggy Bottom for the first time since January 20 to attend the departure of a former colleague and career midlevel official—something that had sadly become routine. In my six years at State as a political appointee, under the Obama administration, I had gone to countless of these events. They usually followed a similar pattern: slightly awkward, but endearing formalities, a sense of melancholy at the loss of a valued teammate. But, in the end, a rather jovial celebration of a colleague’s work.

These events usually petered out quickly, since there is work to do. At the State Department, the unspoken mantra is: The mission goes on, and no one is irreplaceable. But this event did not follow that pattern. It felt more like a funeral, not for the departing colleague, but for the dying organization they were leaving behind.

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Trump's Russia lawyer faces conflict-of-interest questions over $296m Kushner deal

Trump Russia lawyer faces scrutinyThe lawyer privately advising Donald Trump on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is head of a law firm that was involved in the sale of a prestigious piece of New York real estate to Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, in a deal that could fall under the spotlight of the same inquiry.

Marc Kasowitz, a member of the New York bar who has represented Trump in his business dealings for 15 years, was brought on board by the president last month to provide personal legal advice relating to the Russian inquiry now being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller. The appointment has placed Kasowitz at the center of the legal maelstrom over the investigation into potential collusion between Russia and elements of Trump’s presidential campaign.

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House Russia Probe Eyes Trump Bodyguard Keith Schiller

House Russia probe eyes Trump body guardCongressional investigators want to interview Keith Schiller, President Donald Trump's longtime bodyguard turned White House aide, as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

Schiller, the former head of security for the Trump Organization who now serves as the White House director of Oval Office operations, is one of several Trump associates on the House Intelligence Committee's witness list in its investigation into Russian interference.

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President Trump hurls crude new insults at 'Morning Joe' hosts

Morning Joe and MikaPresident Trump lashed out against the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday morning, hurling a series of insults on Twitter including one referencing female host Mika Brzezinski's face "bleeding" from a facelift.

The complete statement about Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, which was denounced by NBC and members of the president's own party: "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

TVNL Comment:  The Baby in the White House can't take the heat.  He's an seriously sick puppy and he has the power to destroy the planet.

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Trump dreamed of his name on towers across former Soviet Union

Trump dreamed of his name on towers across RussiaWeeks before his inauguration, Donald Trump was allied with a company in the former Soviet republic of Georgia that planned to build a 47-story luxury tower in the Black Sea resort of Batumi.

The tower, nixed in early January, was to bear Trump’s name – in exchange for which he would receive royalties, as he does from similar arrangements around the world.

But the company, Silk Road Group, had business ties and relationships that could have been problematic for a sitting U.S. president. Over the years it had oil trading and transport deals with companies in both Russia and Iran, countries currently facing varying degrees of U.S. and European financial sanctions.

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Trump’s Abstinence Queen Has a Tarnished Record

Trumps Abstinence Queen has a tarnished recordEarly this month, the Trump administration appointed Valerie Huber, a well-known advocate for abstinence-only sex education, to serve as chief of staff at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

With Huber’s pick, and a proposed 2018 budget committing $277 million to abstinence-only education, the White House seemed to signal to its conservative base the scientifically dubious “Just Say No” brand of sex education was back, and now one of its staunchest believers would be helping to man the helm.

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Trump's former campaign chairman registers as foreign agent

Manafort registers as foreign agentPaul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, has registered as a foreign agent after making more than $17 million from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party, disclosure reports indicate.

In a filing to the U.S. Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration Act unit, Manafort said his DMP International firm received more than $17 million from the pro-Russian Party of Regions Ukrainian political party for consulting work from 2012 until 2014.

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