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Monday, Feb 27th

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DHS Top Leaders ‘In Hiding,’ Staffers Say

DHS leaders in hidingJust one week into the Trump era, the Department of Homeland Security has turned into a ghost town, six department sources tell The Daily Beast.

The flurry of executive orders announced this week with little to no warning has left the agency scrambling to figure out what components and staffing will be needed to carry out those orders. This means senior staff who would otherwise be asked to leave may be kept on while the agency figures out how to respond to the inundation of executive orders from President Trump. It mirrors similar staffing issues at other cabinet departments as well as at the White House.

“Anybody in a position of power is not there, they’re all in hiding” said one DHS official.

“People are just freaking out and running for the hills.”

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Trump's voter fraud expert owes US more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes

Trump vpter fraud expert owes taxesThe conservative activist cited by Donald Trump as an authority on voter fraud owes the US government more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes, was once accused of lying about his qualifications, and has faced several allegations of ethical impropriety.

Gregg Phillips’s unfounded claim that three million people vote illegally in the US was championed in a tweet by Trump on Friday morning, as the new administration prepares to launch what he says will be a major inquiry into the integrity of American elections. The president tweeted:

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Trump Signs Two Executive Orders; Expands Power of Military, ‘Extreme Vetting’

King Donald signs another exec orderPresident Donald Trump signed two executive orders on Friday that dramatically expand the nation's military and so-called "extreme vetting" of visa seekers from terror-plagued countries — moves aimed at strengthening the U.S. response to terrorism both home and abroad.

In signing the order, Trump pledged to "keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America."

Extreme vetting is an idea that evolved from Trump's controversial Muslim ban that he called for in Dec. 2015, which would address the refugees entering the country.

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Trump fails to mention Jews in Holocaust remembrance statement

Trump Holocaust Memorial statement leaves out JewsIn a departure from predecessors on both sides of the political aisle, President Trump’s statement Friday marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the deaths of six million Jews — a lapse the head of the Anti-Defamation League called “puzzling and troubling.”

In the three-paragraph statement Friday, Trump said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

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Poll shows Trump with 36 percent job approval for first five days

Trump at 36 % approvalThirty-six percent of voters approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling his job in his first week, according to a new poll that reflects a sharp divide along partisan lines.

The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted over the first five nights of Trump’s presidency — last Friday through Wednesday — shows that a larger percentage, 44 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance. Nineteen percent are undecided in the poll, which was released Thursday.

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Donald Trump’s voter fraud claims based on anecdote about German golfer

Berbhard LangerDonald Trump likes golf, so it might not seem surprising that the President took the word of a golfer very seriously when he was weighing up pursuing a federal investigation of voter fraud.

During a get-together with top Republicans and Democrats at the White House on Monday evening, Mr Trump told his colleagues that he lost the popular vote due to "three to five million illegal votes" that were cast for his opposition.

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Mattis, Pompeo stunned by CIA 'black sites' report

Mike PompeoTwo of the officials who will be in charge of carrying out President Donald Trump's terrorism detainee policies, Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, were “blindsided” by reports of a draft executive order that would require the CIA to reconsider using interrogation techniques that some consider torture, according to sources with knowledge of their thinking.

Lawmakers in both parties denounced the draft order on Wednesday even as White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he had “no idea where it came from” and that it is “not a White House document.”

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