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Max de Haldevang

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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...

Analysis: The Republican Campaign To Discredit the FBI—Explained

February 2, 2018 The Clinton White House did it with great success when it was being investigated by Ken Starr. The Nixon White House did it with mixed results when it was being investigated by Archibald Cox. Now, the Trump administration is following the well-worn path of taking on a special-counsel investigation by...

Russian Twitterbots Are Blaming the US Shutdown on Democrats

January 22, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The PR war over the US government shutdown has been a tale of rival hashtags. Democrats are desperately branding it the “Trump shutdown,” while Republicans are pushing the phrase “Schumer shutdown,” after Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer. The GOP is getting a boost with that message from a now-familiar ally:...

Mitt Romney Is the Latest Political Target of Russian Trolls and Bots

January 4, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As soon as Utah senator Orrin Hatch announced he would retire this year, speculation mounted that Mitt Romney, a longtime critic of president Donald Trump, would vie for his place. Alongside that speculation came a now familiar force in US politics: Russian bots and trolls. Tweets from Russian accounts with...

Trump’s Bureaucracy is Nearly as White, Male, and Unequal as His Cabinet

October 23, 2017 When Donald Trump’s cabinet was criticized for having more white men (paywall) than any president’s first cabinet since Ronald Reagan, his then-spokesman Sean Spicer said we should wait to see the numbers for the whole bureaucracy. “People [should] look at and respect the level of diversity throughout his entire administration,”...

Russia’s Troll Factory Also Paid for 100 Activists in the US

October 17, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Russian independent media are having an impressive week in exposing how the country’s government allegedly tried to influence the US 2016 elections using online trolls. On Monday (Oct. 16), a man going under the pseudonym Maksim told TV Rain (paywall) that he was paid to post negative comments on Facebook...

Hurricane Harvey’s Costs “May Blow Katrina Out of the Water,” According to the Government’s Lead Expert

September 1, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While the rain continues to fall in Texas and Louisiana, analysts are scrambling to work out how much the damage done by Hurricane Harvey will cost. The US government won’t be releasing an exact estimate for a month but its lead expert says it looks like it will easily pass...

Harvey's Costs 'May Blow Katrina Out of the Water'

August 31, 2017 While the rain continues to fall in Texas and Louisiana, analysts are scrambling to work out how much the damage done by Hurricane Harvey will cost. The U.S. government won’t be releasing an exact estimate for a month but its lead expert says it looks like it will easily pass...