TPM News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

Read More →

Less than 48 hours ahead of Thursday's House floor vote on the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, some Republican lawmakers were openly worrying about what would happen if the bill goes down in flames.

“It will really make us look bad in the eyes of the public, and this unity we have now—the House, Senate, and presidency—could be hurt in 2018," warned a still-undecided Rep. Peter King (R-NY) following a meeting with President Trump in the basement of the Capitol Tuesday morning. “It’s bad for the whole Republican agenda if we can’t make it on this one. It’ll hurt us on everything going forward. It makes us look like we can’t get our act together.”

King and other lawmakers said Trump made an even more direct warning in the meeting, telling House members that they would be "ripe for a primary" challenge in 2018 if they did not fall in line and back the bill. The Trump administration and GOP leadership offered carrots as well as sticks to wavering and dissenting members, unveiling a package of amendments Monday night designed to assuage the concerns of both moderates and conservatives.

Still, the gambit may fail. Several Republicans publicly declared their opposition to the bill even after Trump's sales pitch, and members of the hardline Freedom Caucus say they have the votes to bring the repeal effort to a screeching halt.

Read More →

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Several city officials and sheriffs around the U.S. lashed out Tuesday at a White House report aiming to shame them over what the Trump administration sees as lax immigration policies, saying it includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or their jail policies.

Read More →

LiveWire