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The Big Takeaway

The big takeaway here is that Trump is setting up a "trust" which will hold all his assets. But those assets will still remain part of the Trump Organization. The Trump Organization will be run by Don, Eric and a Trump Organization executive. There will also be an ethics advisor who is part of an executive committee. The Trump Organization will not make any new foreign "deals"; it will make domestic deals. The key issue here is that Trump is not divesting himself of any of his assets. And they will be managed by his family. Fundamentally, all the incentives to curry favor with Trump's companies still exist. Also, no new foreign 'deals' is a meaningless term.

At the end of the day, this amounts to Trump will keep his business; his adult sons will run it. That's the whole thing. Here is a key quote: "In sum, I and the president-elect's other advisors at Morgan Lewis have determined the approach we outlined today will avoid potential conflicts of interest or concerns regarding exploitation of the office of the presidency without imposing unnecessary and unreasonable losses on the president-elect and his family."

Trump Presser Blogging #2

11:36 PM: Trump says he has no loans, deals. Actually Russians have been major investors in recent building projects.

11:36 PM: Why is Trump still having business discussions with major developers in Dubai.

11:37 PM: Trump bragging that he can use the presidency to turbucharge his business if he wants to, but he won't. That is actually not true, especially as it relates to foreign business dealings.

11:40 PM: This is at least the second time Trump has said he just turned down an offer for a multi-billion business deal.

Trump Presser Blogging

11:15 PM: "A sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks."

11:24 PM: Trump got the military bands to show up at the inauguration. That's amazing.

11:31 PM: Trump now saying a lot of good things came out of the Russian hacking, even if hacking is a bummer.

11:32 PM: Trump: "If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset and not a liability."

11:34 PM: Presser just took an awkward turn.

What You Didn't See

For all the high octane and historic news we've seen over the last twelve hours, what may be the most significant news of the day barely made a ripple over the waves. That was a number produced by the Quinnipiac University polling organization: Donald Trump, ten days from becoming President, has an approval rating of 37%. Most presidents seldom get so low. Some never do. For a Days away from inauguration it's totally unprecedented. For some perspective, by Gallup's numbers, each of the last three presidents had approval ratings of at least 65% during their presidential transitions.

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A Few Thoughts On the Big Story

I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts on today's Trump/Russia revelations, or rather some guideposts for how to approach a true mess of information which is undigested, wildly inflammatory and in many cases seemingly fantastical. Let me start by saying that this is the rawest kind of 'intel', if that is even the right word for it. I would caution everyone to maintain a sensible skepticism even if you rightly believe that Trump is a danger to the republic. So with that, a few thoughts.

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BREAKING

CNN has a breaking report that in addition to the reports we're aware of, Russia also compiled compromising information about President Elect Trump. They also included information about on-going contacts between Trump surrogates and members of the Russian government during the presidential campaign. The report seems like the same set of facts which Mojo's David Corn a few months ago - that's my surmise but the claims line up. We'll have more reports shortly.

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The Go To Place For Sessions Hearing

TPM's Tierney Sneed is covering the confirmation hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be attorney general. You can watch the hearing live and follow Tierney's coverage from the hearing room here.

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