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Summer Concepcion

Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at summer@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Summer

There’s more to the business ties between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Kremlin-aligned oligarch, NBC News reported Friday night.

NBC found a previously unreported $26 million loan between a Manafort-linked company and the Putin-friendly billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.

Citing financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands, NBC reports the loan brings a grand total of their business dealings over the past decade to around $60 million.

According to the documents, funds were sent from a Deripaska-owned company to Manafort-linked entities registered in Cyprus.

Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni, who is subpoenaed with his client by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, released a statement to NBC: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”

NBC said Maloni later revised the statement, removing that sentence entirely: “Recent news reports indicate Mr. Manafort was under surveillance before he joined the campaign and after he left the campaign. He has called for the U.S. Government to release any intercepts involving him and non-Americans in hopes of finally putting an end to these wild conspiracy theories. Mr. Manafort did not collude with the Russian government.”

It’s been previously reported that Deripaska did business with Manafort in the mid-2000s. The Associated Press reported in March that the aluminum magnate negotiated a $10 million lobbying contract with Manafort to do work that would “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”

Earlier this month, The Atlantic obtained a 2016 email correspondence between Manafort and his longtime business partner Konstantin Kilimnik that appears to be an effort to get back in the good graces of the oligarch. In some of the emails, Kilimnik seemed to signal to Manafort that he had been forwarding to a Deripaska aide named Victor media coverage of the work Manafort was doing for the Trump campaign.

A spokesperson for Deripaska denied that the Russian oligarch received any of the emails or was otherwise in contact with Manafort at the time, according to The Atlantic.

Maloni told The Atlantic the emails were “innocuous” and that it was “no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients.” However, Deripaska’s spokesperson rebutted the suggestion that Deripaska owed Manafort money.

Manafort’s foreign dealings, which include his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, are a key part of the federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Kremlin operatives.

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Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said President Donald Trump will win re-election in 2020 by an overwhelming success in electoral votes.

“President Trump is not only going to finish this term, he’s going to win with 400 electoral votes in 2020,” Bannon said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Saturday.

Despite Bannon’s latest display of confidence in Trump, his remarks at the summit come three days after Vanity Fair reported a source saying he’s told people that Trump only has a 30 percent chance of finishing his first term as president.

During his speech, Bannon cited “the populist, nationalist, conservative revolt that’s going on, that drove Donald Trump to victory, that drove Judge [Roy] Moore to victory, that will drive 15 candidates to victory in 2018″ as reasons for the President’s future successful re-election bid that he’s already begun campaigning for.

Bannon also mentioned his intention to “get to the progressive Democrats,” but said that “a season of war against the GOP establishment” takes top priority.

Bannon echoed similar sentiments on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday evening where he said he is starting a “coalition” to “declare war on the Republican establishment.” He claimed that about 15 names will be announced in the next several weeks of people who will be challenging incumbents, some of whom work in government and others who have served the Trump agenda as “outsiders.”

Bannon broke with Trump by rallying for former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in the primary run-off election last month.

Trump won last year’s presidential election with 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227.

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The Trump-Corker feud rages on.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) sees Trump’s “public castration” of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as undermining efforts to make China an ally in preventing nuclear destruction by North Korea, according to the Washington Post.

Corker’s Friday comments come just days after his on-the-record interview with the New York Times where he said the President has acted “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and that Trump could set the country “on the path to World War III.” Trump retorted by saying he “[w]as made to sound a fool” by the Times.

Corker argues Trump’s mistreatment of Tillerson invites “binary” situations in which the U.S. will have to choose between war and nuke threats from North Korea or Iran.

“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told WaPost in a phone interview Friday.

Corker also called out Trump’s tweets toying with these fraught tensions “very irresponsible.”

“The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region [and] it’s very irresponsible. But it’s the first part” — the “castration” of Tillerson — “that I am most exercised about.”

Corker feels Tillerson has been key in paving the path towards quiet diplomacy with China away from confrontation with North Korea.

“The greatest diplomatic activities we have are with China, and the most important, and they have come a long, long way. Some of the things we are talking about are phenomenal,” Corker said. “When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart. Us working with [Beijing] effectively is the key to not getting to a binary choice. When you publicly castrate your secretary of state, you take that off the table.”

Earlier this month, Trump said he told Tillerson to “save his energy” when it comes to negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and that the United States will “do what has to be done” instead.

Trump maintained on Wednesday that he and Tillerson have “a very good relationship,” despite reports that the secretary of state wanted to resign this summer and called Trump a “moron” when the President said he wanted to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Corker, who announced in late September that his current Senate term would be his last, has been a rare voice within the Republican conference for his open criticism of the President’s conduct in office.

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Late Friday night and early into Saturday morning, President Donald Trump fired off tweets continuing to defend his latest moves in undermining Obamacare.

Trump’s latest health care tweets come on the heels of his refusal to pay Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) and his announcement of an executive order making it easier for individuals to buy insurance plans that don’t comply with Obamacare requirements.

Trump’s Friday night tweets echoed what he tweeted earlier that morning by putting pressure on Democrats to cooperate with his attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Trump’s Saturday morning tweets piggybacked off the justification he gave Friday on cutting off CSRs by saying the payments had only served to prop up the stock prices of insurance companies.

CSRs were regular subsidies to insurance companies authorized by the executive branch until Thursday night. These subsidies were made to lower the cost of health care for low-income people — those earning between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty line — buying insurance on Obamacare’s exchanges.

The decision to end the payments came after the Trump administration threatened to cut off the subsidies for months. The constant threat has caused instability in the health care marketplaces as insurers raised their rates or left areas altogether out of fear that Trump would cut off the crucial subsidies.

Without CSRs, health care markets risk becoming even more destabilized. The Congressional Budget Office projected in August that cutting off CSRs would increase the federal deficit nearly $200 billion between 2017 and 2026, and that individuals whose care depended on the payments could see 20 percent higher premiums by 2018, and 25 percent higher premiums by 2020.

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RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel on Monday defended President Donald Trump against comparisons to Harvey Weinstein, a day after Weinstein was fired from the eponymous company he co-founded amid a flood of sexual harassment accusations.

McDaniel said Trump’s remarks on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy,” released almost exactly a year ago, were not relevant to the discussion about the allegations against Weinstein.

“It’s not even comparable, though,” she said on CNN. “To even make that comparison is disrespectful to the President.”

McDaniel said Trump “didn’t have eight settlements” and said Weinstein “admits that he did that.”

She also claimed Trump did not have “women coming forward” with such allegations, though multiple women accused Trump of sexual misconduct after the “Access Hollywood” tape was released.

“Harvey Weinstein brought women into his hotel room,” McDaniel claimed.

Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos alleged in October 2016 that Trump inappropriately kissed and groped her in 2007 after inviting her to his “bungalow” at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“Here’s the difference,” McDaniel said. “The President came out and apologized for that and many Republicans came out and said those comments were inappropriate.”

“The difference is Harvey Weinstein is a major bundler for the DNC,” she added.

Trump on Saturday said he was “not at all surprised” about the sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein.

Asked about his remarks on the “Access Hollywood” tape, however, Trump dismissed them—as he repeatedly did on the campaign trail—as “locker room” talk.

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Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Monday criticized Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for responding to President Donald Trump’s excoriating tweets in kind.

Corker on Sunday responded to Trump’s claim that he refused to endorse the senator for re-election by tweeting that “the White House has become an adult day care center.”

“I find tweets like this to be incredibly irresponsible,” Conway said on “Fox and Friends.”

She said Corker “has a relationship” with Trump and was “in the White House two weeks ago for a private meeting” with him.

“So that door has been opened,” Conway said. “I think comments like this are less helpful than saying I don’t like X, Y, or Z, but I support the President on tax reform.”

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A mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night killing at least 50 people and wounding hundreds has become the deadliest in U.S. history.

Images from the active shooting scene showed the terror and chaos as people rushed to dodge and protect themselves from incoming bullets.

A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino located on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire across the street toward an outdoor country music festival.

Vegas police identified the suspected shooter as Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old white man from Mesquite, Nevada. Paddock fatally shot himself before police could enter his hotel room, according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Warning: Content may be disturbing.

People run from the New York New York during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Stirp in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer runs along a sidewalk near a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer takes cover behind a police vehicle during a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer takes cover behind a truck at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer takes cover behind a truck at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police officers stand along the Las Vegas Strip the Mandalay Bay resort and casino during a shooting near the casino, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer stands at the scene of a shooting along the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A police officer stands at the scene of a shooting along the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A wounded woman is moved outside the Tropicana during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
A wounded woman is moved outside the Tropicana during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
People assist a wounded woman at the Tropicana during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Stirp in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; LAS VEGAS SUN OUT
People assist a wounded woman at the Tropicana during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Stirp in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
People wait as the Tropicana Las Vegas goes on lockdown during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
People are searched by Las Vegas police at the Tropicana Las Vegas during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside of a music festival along the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)

 

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Four days after the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city’s mayor has yet to receive a call from President Trump, according to a report.

“He was supposed to call me on Saturday,” Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer told VICE News. “I heard word from an aide right when it was happening, and I didn’t hear from him. They said, ‘Do you want to talk to him?’ And I said, ‘I’d be happy to.’”

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

On Monday, Signer said he is “kind of finished talking about the President” for not taking a harder stance against hate groups following the attack at a rally where a self-proclaimed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors, leaving three dead and dozens injured.

Signer also slammed the President on Sunday for what he called the Trump campaign’s “intentional courting” of white supremacist groups.

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In the aftermath of the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, 32 members of Congress filed a resolution on Tuesday urging President Trump to fire white supremacists in the White House.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced the resolution demanding Trump to “strongly condemn white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups responsible for the violence” and “remove from the White House and the Trump administration individuals, including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, who support white supremacists.”

“When the president fails to swiftly condemn white supremacist terrorism, it’s imperative that Congress steps up and says clearly: Hate is not welcome, hate is un-American and we will strongly resist hate wherever it appears,” Jayapal said in a statement. “White supremacy must be uprooted from our society, but the president has elevated white nationalists to the highest posts of government. It’s time to get these people out of the White House.”

Trump came under fire for initially failing to condemn white supremacists and other hate groups by name in the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend. On Monday evening, Trump complained on Twitter that the “fake news media will never be truly satisfied” by his belated denunciation.

On Tuesday morning, four minority House caucus groups asked Trump in a letter to remove Bannon, Miller and Gorka from his administration.

Read the full text of the resolution here.

The resolution is co-sponsored by 31 members of Congress:

Reps. Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Adam Smith (WA-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Andre Carson (IN-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Bill Foster (IL-11), Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-11), John Delaney (MD-06), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Don Beyer (VA-08), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) and Al Lawson (FL-05).

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President Donald Trump’s approval rating hit an all-time low amid violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend, according to Gallup‘s daily polling average released Monday.

According to Gallup, 34 percent Americans said they approve of Trump’s performance in office, while 61 percent disapprove.

Trump’s lowest approval rating yet comes after just 207 days in office.

Gallup arrives at its approval numbers by averaging the previous three days of polling. Monday’s percentages come from responses made August 11-13, during and following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Gallup’s most recent poll was released shortly after Trump finally condemned the “white supremacists and other hate groups” responsible for planning the Charlottesville rally.

Gallup tracks the percentage of Americans who approve and disapprove of the President’s performance in office every day, based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 national adults, according to the company. The poll’s margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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