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Top Democrat urges foreign governments to stop paying Trump’s businesses

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The head of the House Foreign Affairs committee is directing the panel’s staffers to warn foreign governments not to patronize President Donald Trump’s businesses.

Rep. Eliot Engel — one of about 200 lawmakers who sued Trump in 2017 charging he’s violating the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause by making money from foreign governments while in office — issued the memo to the panel’s Democratic staffers on Monday.

“When meeting with officials from a foreign government, please inform them that by providing any form of payment or benefit to a Trump-owned property their government is facilitating the president’s apparent violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause,” Engel’s memo says.

Staffers should “urge those foreign officials to transmit to their governments that the House Foreign Affairs Committee requests that they cease and desist payments to the Trump Organization unless and until Congress approves the emolument, as provided in the Constitution.”

The emoluments clause says “[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Engel, a New York Democrat, noted in his memo that federal courts have ruled that emolument mean “any profit, gain or advantage, including profits from private transactions.”

Foreign governments have rented a number of suites and held large events at Trump properties since the President took office, and some othershave rented luxury condos at other Trump properties.

Trump’s lawyers have contended he is not violating the emoluments clause because the properties aren’t related to his duties as president.

A federal appeals court dismissed a suit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C. over the alleged violation last month, but the congressional lawsuit is still pending.

Speaking at a petrochemical company in Monaca, Pa. earlier in the day, Trump mocked the case against him, and denied he’s been profiting from the presidency — baselessly claiming his position will cost him $3-$5 billion.

“I got sued on a thing called ’emoluments.’ Emoluments. You ever hear the word? Nobody ever heard of it before,” Trump said. “And what it is is presidential harassment. Because this thing is costing me a fortune, and I love it, okay? I love it because I’m making the lives of other people much, much better.”

“This thing is costing me a fortune being president. Somebody said, ‘oh he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500,'” he said. “What about the $5 billion I’ll lose?”

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Amid mounting pressure, Buttigieg calls on McKinsey consulting firm to release his past client list

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Pete Buttigieg on Friday called on McKinsey & Company, the international consulting firm where he worked for nearly three years, to release his list of clients at the company.

Buttigieg’s request for his former employer to release the list comes as pressure mounts on the 2020 Democratic candidate to be more transparent about his years at McKinsey, amid news stories about the consulting firm’s work with controversial clients like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — a federal agency that handles immigration enforcement and deportations.

In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio on Friday, Buttigieg said he felt “that McKinsey should release the client list of the clients that I served.”

“It’s something they can do,” said the South Bend mayor, who worked at McKinsey from 2007-2010. Buttigeig explained that he’d signed a nondisclosure agreement at the firm under which “you promise to keep your client information confidential.”

“But right now I am calling on McKinsey to release that information. Maybe they’re not used to doing that, but they’re not used to having somebody who used to work there being seriously considered for the American presidency,” Buttigieg said. “This information should come up and I’m happy to speak to it when it does.”.

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Buttigieg’s latest comments came one day after The New York Times published an editorial calling on him to reveal more information about his time at McKinsey, including who his clients there were — either by way of having the company release him from his nondisclosure agreement, or by agreeing to a “more permissive” arrangement.

Earlier in the week, The Times reported on how McKinsey had advised the Trump administration on how to carry out its crackdown on immigrants, including providing guidance on “detention savings opportunities” that would help the agency save money by housing detainees in cheaper ways.

When asked by a reporter about Buttigieg’s work at McKinsey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of Buttigieg’s main challengers for the Democratic nomination, was asked about the mayor’s involvement with McKinsey at an event Thursday night, chose to call out her rival for his private fundraising events, not specifically his time at the consulting company.

“I think that voters want to know about possible conflicts of interests,” she said. “It is even more important that the candidates expose possible conflicts of interests right now.”

In addition, four immigration advocacy groups have called on Buttigieg to return campaign contributions made by McKinsey employees.

Buttigieg, for his part, told New Hampshire Public Radio Friday that the reports of McKinsey’s dealings with ICE were “disgusting” and evidence of the “amoral turn of mind that increasingly dominates corporate America.”

Later Friday, during a discussion with New Hampshire voters, Buttigieg responded to a question about his time with McKinsey by saying that, “What I did at McKinsey was consulted for clients and my specialties including grocery pricing, and part of it is publicly available because I worked on a project to fight climate change that involved energy efficiency.”

In an interview with NBC News a day earlier, Buttigieg said he had no regrets about his time at McKinsey.

He responded “no,” when asked if he had regrets about representing any of his clients, about whether he’d ever represented a foreign government, and about whether he’d ever represented a pharmaceutical company.

He said his job at the firm “mostly consisted of preparing spreadsheets and PowerPoints.”

NBC News has reached out to McKinsey directly about Buttigieg’s work there.

Amanda Golden contributed.



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Brexit Party: Election candidate run off the road after death threats from far-left

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A BREXIT Party candidate who was sent sick death threats from far left activists was run off the road while campaigning in Doncaster.

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Brexit latest: Brussels DISTANCES itself from Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

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BRUSSELS has repeatedly distanced itself from Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade talks timetable in fresh signs Britain could opt for a no deal.

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