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Max de Haldevang

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Analysis: Scott Pruitt’s Scandals Aren’t So Bad — By Russian Standards

April 18, 2018 Another day, another Scott Pruitt scandal. The government’s internal watchdog ruled Monday that the luxury-loving Environmental Protection Agency administrator broke spending laws when splashing out $43,000 on an office phone booth. Tuesday, the Washington Post reports (paywall) he spent $10,200 of government money upgrading his car to a customized SUV,...

Mike Pompeo Is Warming Up To Manmade Climate Change

April 13, 2018 Mike Pompeo has never been accused of being green. Dubbed the “congressman from Koch” when first elected in 2010 for the size of the donations he took from the oil billionaire brothers, Pompeo has made a point of questioning the link between global warming and burning fossil fuels. Asked about...

This Is How Trump Could Fire Mueller

April 11, 2018 Questions over whether Donald Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller have crescendoed this week, with the US president telling reporters yesterday (April 9) that “many people have said, ‘You should fire him.'” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders amplified them still in a press conference Tuesday, saying that Trump...

Russia’s Irresistible Question to Twitter: Which U.S. Consulate Should It Shut?

March 26, 2018 The Kremlin isn’t waiting around on its promised “reciprocal” response to America’s expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and closure of Russia’s consulate in Seattle. Moscow has promised to boot at least the same number of U.S. officials and is drumming up attention over its consulate closure plans in an ingenious...

The CIA's New Nominee Director Gina Haspel Once Ran a Torture Site and Destroyed Evidence

March 13, 2018 As CIA director Mike Pompeo moves to become the United States’ Secretary of State, deputy director Gina Haspel has been nominated to lead the agency. If confirmed by the Senate, she will become the first woman to run the CIA. Haspel’s nomination will be controversial; she played a leading role...

U.S. Lawmakers Want To Pay Up to $5 Million For Foreign Corruption Tips

March 1, 2018 Are you sitting on a trove of information about global kleptocracy? Do you like the idea of up to $5 million and witness protection? If so, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has the bill for you. Modeled on existing programs to reward people who give tips to the State...

Trump’s White House Communications Directors, By Length of Service

March 1, 2018 Hope Hicks on Wednesday became the fourth White House communications chief to announce she was leaving the job in under a year. Trump’s comms chiefs couldn’t have had more varied personalities. Clumsy political insider Sean Spicer gave up the job to the invisible, ineffective Mike Dubke, who was eventually replaced...

HUD Spent $31,000 on a Dining Set for Carson's Office

February 28, 2018 Ben Carson said he “wasn’t happy” with a suggested budget cut of $6 billion to the Housing and Urban Development Department he leads. President Donald Trump’s latest budget proposal would increase the cut to $6.8 billion, or 14 percent of the agency’s budget. But that didn’t stop Carson’s office from...

Rick Gates is The Fifth Person To Plead Guilty in Trump-Russia Probe

February 23, 2018 Rick Gates is the latest to fall before special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump presidential campaign’s Russia ties. He pleaded guilty today in a Washington, D.C. courtroom (Feb. 23) to charges of conspiring against the United Sates and lying to investigators. Gates was the number two to former...

Paypal Was Used to Launder Russian Trolls’ Money During the 2016 Election

February 17, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Russian trolls used Paypal to sow chaos in the 2016 US election, according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment today of 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses members of the St Petersburg “troll factory” Internet Research Agency of paying for online ads using Paypal. The ads were used to spread...