Tierney_profile2019

Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the civil rights groups and voters suing him over the state's proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirement appear to have come to an agreement in a dispute over how the state had been implementing a court ruling blocking that restriction, court documents filed Thursday by the ACLU show.

The agreement was reached ahead of a hearing scheduled for Friday, where Kobach had been ordered to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court.

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The New York attorney general's investigation of the Donald J. Trump Foundation appears to have broadened to include new allegations of self-dealing by Trump that surfaced after the probe began, TPM has learned.

The town of Palm Beach, Florida, has provided documents to the New York Attorney General's Office as part of the probe, a lawyer for the town confirmed to TPM on Wednesday. The documents relate to a legal dispute that Trump settled with the town using foundation money. The details of the 2007 Palm Beach case were first reported by the Washington Post last week.

"The New York Attorney General’s Office did contact me in regard to this matter," John Randolph, the Palm Beach town attorney, told TPM Wednesday evening. "I just sent them the documents that I had previously sent to the Washington Post."

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It’s not just where the money went from the Donald Trump Foundation that’s drawing scrutiny to GOP nominee. It’s also how the money came in.

A new Washington Post report this week presented cases where Trump directed third parties to pay monies owed to him or his businesses directly to the Donald J. Trump Foundation--monies that arguably should have been taxed as income to Trump.

The Trump campaign has said that the payments were all aboveboard and proper, and slammed the Post's reporter for trafficking in speculation about possible but not proven legal problems. All of this comes against the backdrop of Trump refusing to release his tax returns, a stance unprecedented among modern major party presidential nominees. Without those tax returns, the exact handling of the payments and any associated taxes remains murky.

But tax experts interviewed by TPM said the new revelations by the Post include a number of red flags. At best, the practice could be described as sloppy and driven by an extreme ignorance of the law, the experts said. At worst, it fits into a pattern of using the charity as a personal piggy bank. On their own, such allegations could be dealt with a minor slap on the wrist, but coupled with the Post’s previously surfaced examples of Trump using foundation money for his own benefit they fuel major concerns about how Trump’s charity has operated.

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Among the theories Hillary Clinton put forward at Monday's debate as to why Donald Trump was resisting releasing his tax returns was the possibility that in some years he paid no federal income taxes. Trump, in his response to the claims, did little to put that notion to rest. At first, from the debate stage, he bragged when she made the claim and later he seemed to concede her allegation by saying his taxes would have been squandered by a spendthrift government had he paid them.

In the spin room after, he waffled even more when reporters asked him what he meant. On one hand, he said he hadn't, in fact, admitted to not paying federal income taxes. However, presented with multiple opportunities to say definitively that he has and is paying income taxes, he appeared to dodge the questions. Only once did he say he had paid federal taxes.

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When it came to Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed business acumen, Hillary Clinton at the Monday’s presidential debate had a plan: Take what he believes is his greatest asset and turn it into a liability, in the form of a reminder of the shady, scummy and maybe illegal things he did on the way to building his empire. And Trump couldn’t help but play into her hands. Any time she brought a business practice or comment that would prompt others to show remorse, Trump responded glibly–or even bragged about it.

Here are some examples:

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Watching Monday’s presidential debate was like watching two separate conversations. On the one hand was Hillary Clinton’s policy-heavy explanations of her positions and plans for the country. On the other hand was Donald Trump repeating in various forms what has been the core argument of his campaign: that he was going to be able to shake things up after establishment figures like Clinton had screwed up the country.

But a few exchanges stand out as revealing the dynamics of the two candidates’ debate performances. Here are the five big moments from the first presidential debate.

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Donald Trump squirmed at Monday's presidential debate when pressed on why he continued to push birther claims against President Obama, even after Obama's birth certificate was released in 2011.

"We're talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans?" moderator Lester Holt asked.

"He should have produced it a long time before. I say nothing," Trump said.

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Hillary Clinton pounced on Donald Trump at Monday's presidential debate for saying he would only release his tax returns if she released missing emails from her private server, and speculated that his refusal to release them because he is not as rich or as charitable as he claims.

"You have got to ask yourself why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he is not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be," Clinton said. "Third, we don't know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks."

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will have to explain to a federal judge Friday in Kansas why he should not be held in contempt of court for his handling of a ruling blocking the state's proof-of-citizenship voting requirement, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson Monday.

The order came after the ACLU and the other civil rights groups that sued him over the requirement requested the court force Kobach to follow an earlier order that he restore the voting rights of those who didn't show a proof of citizenship when registering to vote at the DMV.

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One of Donald Trump's foreign policy advisers said Monday he was stepping down from the campaign, while pushing back on allegations that he had engaged in private communications with top Russian officials.

Carter Page said in an interview with Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin that the claims were "just complete garbage,” but nonetheless he had chosen to take a leave of absence from campaign become the accusations were causing a "distraction."

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