FBI Probes Possible Covert Kremlin Aid to Trump

“The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump,” McClatchy reports.

“Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win… One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.”

Price Admits to Trading on Inside Information

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, admitted that he decided to buy stock in an Australian biotech firm after receiving information from Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a board member of that company, the Huffington Post reports.

“Ethics experts stated that Price could be in violation of the STOCK Act, a bipartisan 2012 law that bans insider trading by members of Congress.”

Trump Budget Nominee Did Not Pay Taxes for Employee

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for White House budget director “failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee, he admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee, the sort of tax compliance issue that has derailed cabinet nominees in the past,” the New York Times reports.

In a questionnaire provided to the committee, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), a conservative and vocal proponent of fiscal restraint noted, “I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004.”

Is Trump Ready for a National Security Crisis?

Politico: “Sources close to the transition describe Trump’s national security staffing as a ‘black box,’ leaving everyone from Obama administration officials to Trump job seekers and foreign diplomats guessing at who will land crucial positions shaping policy and managing crises. Much of the speculation focuses on the NSC, which plays the vital role of coordinating foreign policy and national security within the White House. The NSC staffing process is being controlled closely by Trump’s national security adviser-designate, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who, unlike his past several predecessors, has no NSC experience.”

Clinton Would Crush de Blasio If She Ran

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that in “a very hypothetical race” for New York City Mayor, Hillary Clinton, running as an independent, would beat incumbent Bill de Blasio (D) handily, 49% to 30%.

Said pollster Tim Malloy: “New Yorkers aren’t in love with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they seem to like him better than other possible choices – except Hillary Clinton, who probably is an impossible choice.”

Walker Paid Off Debt By Selling Donor List

“In clearing more than $1 million in campaign debt over the past year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker got the majority of the money by selling his donor list to other candidates,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“In 2016, Walker brought in more than $823,000 by selling his donor list to other GOP candidates such as U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and Ben Carson, the nominee to serve as U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary, Federal Elections Commission records show. His massive list of contributors was marketed aggressively for him by Granite Lists of Dublin, N.H.”

The Weakest President In 140 Years

Sidney Blumenthal: “Before Trump, only four men became president without winning a plurality or majority of the popular vote. Only one lost a greater percentage of the vote than Trump. Three of them served only one term. Three assumed office under clouds of illegitimacy.”

“Each of these presidents, raised to the office against the popular will, was marked by the defect of their election. None evaded the debility of their unpopular elections. Either they were so politically hampered they lacked credibility and could do little, or else they tried to defy their original sin by governing as though they had solid mandates and disintegrated.”

For members: Top 5 Ways to Question Trump’s Legitimacy

Democrats Have Some Work to Do

NBC News: “When President-elect Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama on January 20, the Democratic Party will find itself more removed from power than at almost any point since the party’s creation. Scorned by the same voters who once embraced the New Deal, built the Great Society, and put their hope in the nation’s first black president, Democrats are now locked out of power in Washington and out of two-thirds of state legislative chambers across the country.”

“Simply put, Democrats’ once vaunted coalition of the ascendant — younger, multiethnic, educated, and urban — failed them in 2016, and in 2014 and 2010 before that. That coalition proved to have major handicaps, part demographic and part geographic, that have been hollowing out the party for years.”

Trump Prefers Short Intelligence Briefings

President-elect Donald Trump admitted that receiving intel briefings has shown him that the U.S. faces some formidable “enemies” but said he will “solve the problems,” ABC News reports.

Said Trump: “I’ve had a lot of briefings that are very… I don’t want to say ‘scary’ because I’ll solve the problems. But we have some big enemies out there in this country and we have some very big enemies — very big and, in some cases, strong enemies.”

He added that he likes his briefings short: “I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you.”

Trump Says He’ll Decide Media Access to Briefing Room

President-elect Donald Trump “plans to select the media representatives who are given access to the presidential press briefing room, but will not move the room out of the White House,” Reuters reports.

Said Trump: “We have so many people that want to go in so we’ll have to just have to pick the people to go into the room – I’m sure other people will be thrilled about that. But we offered a much larger room because we need a much larger room and we offered to do that, but they went crazy. And they’ll be begging for a much larger room very soon, you watch.”