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Mueller Deflates Trump’s Claim That Russia Meddling Was Hoax

Donald Trump has insisted for more than a year that Russians didn’t try to get him elected. Special Counsel Robert Mueller put an end to those claims on Friday, declaring definitively that they did. A federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and a so-called “troll farm” in St. Petersburg on Friday for a broad campaign to sway the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. The indictment alleges that the operation was funded to the tune of $1.25 million a month by companies controlled by a Russian businessman close to the…

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IMF Says Global Growth Picking Up as U.S. Tax Cuts Take Hold

The International Monetary Fund warned policymakers to be on guard for the next recession even as it predicted global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest. The fund raised its forecast for world expansion to 3.9 percent this year and next, up 0.2 percentage point both years from its projection in October. That would be the fastest rate since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the financial crisis. The strengthening recovery offers a “perfect opportunity now for…

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Senator Calls Trumps Denial of Shithole Comment Not True

A key Democratic senator who was at the Oval Office meeting on immigration said President Donald Trump’s denial that he called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “not true” and that Trump made the “vile and racist” comments. “He said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, who was at the meeting, told reporters Friday morning. “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president…

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Trump Says Bannon Lost His Mind After Leaving White House

President Donald Trump denounced his former top strategist, Steve Bannon, on Wednesday in a dramatic break from the man considered an architect of Trump’s populist campaign. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said in a statement issued after the publication of excerpts of a new book in which Bannon criticizes the president and his family. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.” Bannon has lost the access to…

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Flake: Someone in GOP Will Challenge Trump in Primary, If Not Me

President Donald Trump is likely to face a challenge from an independent candidate, and possibly a fellow Republican, if he runs for a second term, as voters thirst for a more centrist alternative, said Senator Jeff Flake. “If the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that’s gonna leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else,” said the Arizona Republican, who plans to leave the Senate at the end of 2018. Flake, who’s emerged as one of the president’s most vocal…

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Trump Signs $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut in First Major Legislative Win

President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax-overhaul bill to little fanfare on Friday, delivering a major tax cut to U.S. corporations along with a package of temporary cuts for other businesses and most individuals. “I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office before signing the legislation. “Corporations are literally going wild over this. I think even beyond my expectations.” Trump’s signature caps a seven-week sprint that

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Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts: Tax Debate Update

The Senate tax bill is in the midst of a marathon vote session that stretched into early Saturday morning with the goal of holding a final vote in the next several hours. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day: Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts (1:51 a.m.) Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts for most Americans. The 51-49 vote — achieved only after closed-door deal-making with dissident senators…

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Mulvaney Says Would Be OK to Drop Mandate Repeal in Tax Plan

The White House wouldn’t oppose removing from the Senate tax plan a controversial provision to repeal the individual health-care mandate of the Affordable Care Act, budget director Mick Mulvaney said, a move that could help secure the vote of key Republicans. The provision could be dropped if it becomes “an impediment,” Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill and have a tax bill that is still a good…

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One Tax Loophole Untouched So Far: The Trump Golf-Course Break

Republican lawmakers pushing to close dozens of tax loopholes have left open one that’s been good to President the outline for a sweeping tax rewrite on Thursday, a lucrative break for golf-course owners — including the president — remains firmly in place in the House version of the measure. The Obama administration estimated in 2014 that closing the controversial loophole would save more than $600 million over a decade. While Republicans are eliminating many write-offs, the House version of the bill allows golf-course owners to claim deductions for promising never to…

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Taylor Has Complex History to Overcome If Picked as Fed Chair

John Taylor has a complicated history with the U.S. Federal Reserve that could force him into a hard pivot if he’s selected as its next leader. The Stanford University economist, who is on President Donald Trump’s short list to lead the central bank, wrote the monetary policy rule that Fed officials use as a constant reference, and many of the institution’s own economists are schooled in his ideas. On the other hand, he’s been a vocal critic of recent Fed policy, arguing that the institution should hew closer to the…

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Mnuchin Says Its Very Hard Not to Give Tax Cuts to the Wealthy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview published Wednesday that the Republican tax plan will include breaks for the wealthy, a rhetorical reversal that contradicts President told CNBC that Trump wanted “no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” which prompted Democrats to label that promise the “Mnuchin Rule.” In the ensuing months, Mnuchin softened that promise in public remarks — in June, he

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Trump Hands Democrats an Opportunity on Immigration

President Donald Trump’s renewed demands for a border wall and dramatic changes to immigration laws in exchange for deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants may help Democrats by keeping the issue alive in the 2018 election year. Polls show voters side with Democrats on shielding the immigrants, known as Dreamers. By adopting a hard line, Trump is setting the stage for a prolonged fight in Congress that could help Democrats gain seats in the House and Senate. The White House on Sunday demanded “complete construction” of a U.S.-Mexico border wall…

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Trump Says Puerto Rico Has Thrown the Budget Out of Whack

President Donald Trump took measure of the widespread damage in Puerto Rico almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria, expressing concern about its impact on the federal budget as his administration finalizes a $29 billion disaster aid request covering a series of major storms. Trump paid a four-and-a-half-hour visit to the island Tuesday, greeting local officials and offering consolation to residents who have been without power and, in many cases, drinking water since the storm struck on Sept. 20. Some in Puerto Rico’s government already are estimating reconstruction costs will be…

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Bossert Defends Trumps Wait to Waive Jones Act for Puerto Rico

President Why Puerto Rico Pushed Trump to Waive This Law: QuickTake Q&A “Finally, the White House is beginning to wake up, taking temporary action on the Jones Act and upping the military presence," Illinois Representative Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat, said in a statement. "But it took a while and more is needed right now.” There is dispute about the importance of waiving the Jones Act. The top Republican and Democrat on the House Transportation Maritime subcommittee said they’re against it. "The concerns about the situation in Puerto Rico are real. But…

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