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Max de Haldevang

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After Outcry by Ethics Watchdogs, the State Department Pulled a Story Advertising Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort

April 25, 2017 Update: Hours after Painter and Eisen’s complaints, the State department took down the articles that had allegedly violated ethics rules. A State department official said in a statement: “The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders. We regret any...

US Government Websites Might Have Violated Ethics Laws by Promoting Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort

April 24, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This article has been updated. Former White House ethics officials are accusing the State Department of violating ethics rules prohibiting “the use of public office for private gain” by publishing an article that promotes Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private members-only club in Florida. The article, which tells the history of Mar-a-Lago and...

Trump's Conflict-of-Interest Overseer Used to Work For the People He's Supposed to Oversee

April 21, 2017 As part of his “drain the swamp” campaign promises, in January President Donald Trump signed an executive order to limit conflicts of interest. It required all his appointees not to deal with matters relating to people they had worked with up to two years before their appointment. A thoroughly sensible...

Trump's $89 Million Warning to Other Countries

April 13, 2017 The US just stepped up its anti-ISIL operations in Afghanistan, dropping the GBU-43, known as the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB), on a tunnel complex in the east of the country—the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped in combat by the US. Here’s what we know about the bomb and the...

More Than Half the World’s Population Still Doesn’t Have a U.S. Ambassador

March 29, 2017 Since he fired all the US ambassadors who were political appointees of Barack Obama, US president Donald Trump has had only two replacements confirmed by the Senate: Nikki Haley, to the United Nations, and David Friedman, to Israel. That means the US has no top representative to 57 countries and...

Trump’s Proposed Increased in Military Spending is Almost as Big as Russia's Entire Defense Budget

March 20, 2017 As president Donald Trump was proposing a $54 billion defense spending hike on March 16, something rather different was happening in Russia. With its economy sputtering, there are reports that it could slash its military budget by 25%. The actual figure is actually more likely to be around 5%, explains...

The Top U.S. Diplomat No Longer Receives Visits From Other Top Diplomats

March 10, 2017 In normal times, a visit by the foreign minister of one of America’s closest allies would be coordinated by the State Department from start to finish, with a meeting between the minister and the secretary of State in the midst of it. But in US president Donald Trump’s Washington, not...

Donald Trump Used His Club’s Restaurant as a Situation Room This Weekend

February 13, 2017 Normally, when an urgent issue of international security arises, the US president retires to a secure area where smartphones are forbidden. On Saturday, however, news of North Korea’s missile test arrived just as Donald Trump was having dinner with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club. And...

Hillary Clinton Says Putin Authorized DNC Hacking Because of 5-Year Grudge

December 16, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s no secret Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton share a strained history—dating back to the rockiest period of Putin’s presidency in 2011, when demonstrators filled the streets to protest allegedly fraudulent elections. Then-Secretary of State Clinton seemed to side with the protestors, saying she had “serious concerns” about...

Trump Postpones Announcement About Separating His Business Interests From the Presidency

December 13, 2016 When Donald Trump promised last month that on Dec. 15 he would be leaving his “great business in total,” there were already doubts about how he could separate himself from all possible conflicts of interest. On Tuesday evening, he postponed the announcement until January, leaving the American public and the...