Daily Archives: January 6, 2017

U.S. taxpayers may end up paying for Trump’s border wall with Mexico

President-elect Donald Trump may ask Congress for American tax dollars to pay for a border wall with Mexico, breaking a major campaign promise, according to multiple reports late Thursday

Making Mexico pay for a wall to stop the flow of smuggled drugs and illegal immigrants was a centerpiece of Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Mexico will pay for the wall,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Phoenix on Aug. 31. “Believe me. 100%. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

Critics have assailed the wall as being unrealistic, expensive and impractical.

According to CNN and the Associated Press, Trump’s transition team has spoken with Republican Congressional leaders about the possibility of funding the wall through the appropriations process, using the authority of a law passed in 2006 under the Bush administration to build fencing along the border. Doing so would avoid having to pass a new border-wall bill, which would likely face heavy opposition by Democrats and many Republicans.

“By funding the authorization that’s already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to secure the border,” Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, told CNN on Thursday.

Read on.

Trump’s debt held by Wall Street could reportedly pose conflicts for new administration

Wall Street holds hundreds of millions of dollars of Donald Trump‘s debt, widening the number of potential conflicts the president-elect’s businesses could pose for the incoming White House, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump’s debt from his businesses and other properties is held by more than 150 financial institutions, according to the newspaper’s analysis of legal and property documents. The debt is packaged as securities and has been sold to investors over the past five years, The Journal said.

“The problem with any of this debt is if something goes wrong, and if there is a situation where the president is suddenly personally beholden or vulnerable to threats from the lenders,” Trevor Potter, a general counsel to the presidential campaigns of Republicans George H.W. Bush and John McCain, told the Journal.

Representatives of the financial institutions either declined to comment or didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Journal. CNBC has reached out to the Trump transition team for comment.

Read on.

Trump’s DC Hotel Tagged With $5 Million in Unpaid Worker Liens

Donald Trump’s new Washington hotel, located just blocks from the White House, owes electricians, wood workers and a plumbing and heating business more than $5 million for unpaid labor, according to liens filed against the property with the District of Columbia.

The 263-room hotel, located on the historic site of the city’s former main post office, opened in October following a $212 million renovation of the 1899 structure. The liens were filed in November and December, according to public records.

Trump has acknowledged not always paying all his bills, saying it’s often a negotiating tactic when work is subpar. His companies have been sued numerous times over unpaid work. Among them were landscapers at Riverside South Park in Manhattan, who sued in 2001 seeking $111,000. Contractors at Trump Park Avenue sued in 2003 seeking $206,000. And in 2010 a painter in Chicago sued a Trump entity developing a high-rise claiming to be owed more than $4 million.

Read on.

Trump is going to appoint Pam Bondi, who got an illegal payment from the Trump Foundation, to a White House spot

The swamp continues…


Watchdogs calling on new CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra to prosecute Mnuchin and OneWest Bank based on the new leak evidence

SF Weekly:

A newly leaked 2013 memo from the California Attorney General’s office, first published this week by The Intercept, found that OneWest Bank illegally backdated foreclosure notices. In some cases, they backdated the notices to dates before OneWest Bank was even in existence.

OneWest Bank also has the distinction of foreclosing a 90-year-old woman’s home because her mortgage check was 27 cents short.

“How can the king of foreclosures, who has made his living off of the misery he personally caused on tens of thousands of families like mine, be considered Treasury Secretary?” OneWest foreclosure victim Peggy Mears said in a statement from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “No one who oversaw the defrauding of thousands of homeowners should be allowed to serve watch over our country’s money as Treasury Secretary.”

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and other watchdog groups are also calling on new California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to prosecute Mnuchin and OneWest Bank based on these new findings.

Former Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to prosecute Mnuchin or OneWest Bank when presented with these findings in 2013. She’ll have her chance again, as she’s now a California senator who will vote on Mnuchin’s confirmation as Treasury Secretary.

Mark your calendars: Confirmation hearing for HUD nominee Ben Carson set for Jan. 12

Over the last few days, Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead theDepartment of Housing and Urban Development, met with several senators in preparation for his upcoming confirmation hearing.

During his rounds on Capitol Hill, Carson met with Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, but Carson’s real moment of truth is coming soon, according to a report from Lorraine Woellert of Politico.

Per Woellert’s report, on Thursday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs set the date for Carson’s confirmation hearing – Thursday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Read on.