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Trump says he’s losing as much as $5B being president

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that being president will personally cost him billions of dollars, due in part to the lawyers he has had to hire to defend him in various lawsuits.

“This thing is costing me a fortune, being president,” Trump said during a speech at the Shell Petrochemical plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500,’” Trump said, referring to reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and members of his delegation booked multiple nights in a Trump hotel.

“What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose?” Trump asked, noting his high cost of lawyers “cause everyday they sue me for something.”

“It’s probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the privilege of being — and I couldn’t care less—I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter. I just want to do a great job,” Trump added.

These figures are virtually impossible to check; the president has not released his tax returns, and has been found in the past to exaggerate his own wealth.

Trump also took aim at former President Barack Obama. “I got sued on a thing called ’emoluments,’” Trump said. “Now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book. That’s OK, even though nobody in history ever got that much money for a book. … But with me, it’s everything.”

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama signed a joint book deal for $65 million in 2017, after Obama had left office. The emoluments clause applies to federal officeholders, not private citizens.

Speaking to a room full of factory workers in a state that he narrowly carried in 2016, Trump joked about how easy re-election would be if he “got a fair press.”

“Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean we’re leading without it,” Trump said. “The election would be over. Have they ever called off an election before? Just said, ‘Look, let’s go, go on, four more years.”

Trump then made light of creating a joke twitter hashtag that he said would disturb reporters, telling the crowd if “you really want to drive them crazy, go to #ThirdTerm, #FourthTerm.”

Although the Shell Plant was an official White House event, not a campaign event, Trump launched his usual trail attack against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is running for president and has recently surged in primary polls.

“We will have to hit ‘Pocahontas’ again if she does win,” Trump said, using his favored nicknames for both the Massachusetts senator and former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the polls whom Trumps refers to as “Sleepy Joe.”

The White House had looked to showcase the massive construction project the president was there to tour as a symbol of the Trump economy in a key swing state. When complete, the facility is projected to employ about 500 workers who will make plastic pellets from ethane, a byproduct of fracking, that can be turned into a range of plastic goods, from food packaging to car parts.

The visit gave Trump an opportunity to get back on the offensive after a week of defending his divisive rhetoric and approach to gun control policy after the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

Shell began preparing the site for construction in 2015 and officially started construction in November 2017.

Shannon Pettypiece and Jane C. Timm contributed.



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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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