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Russia and Iran Benefit From the Syria Crisis

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Argument of the Day

(JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)

The White House announced this week that the U.S. would host the 2020 G7 summit at the president’s Trump National Doral golf course, near Miami.

In other words, Trump is choosing to host an important international conference at a resort he owns, which has been struggling badly. In a presidency marked by the shameless intermingling of the personal and the political, it may be the most brazen act of self-enrichment yet.


[Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick] Mulvaney barely tried to justify the ethics of the choice during a briefing.


“He’s not making any money off of this just like he’s not making any money from working here,” he said, without offering any explanation for why such a statement was true.

→ Read the full argument from David A. Graham here.

+ More from David: Trump has no shame, Graham argued last month when the president addressed questions from reporters about the Ukraine scandal during the UN General Assembly:

“While Trump may not have been ashamed of the political power play, the filing of a formal legal complaint by the whistle-blower creates a concrete legal process, as well as a rising threat of impeachment—both things Trump fears.”


In Memoriam

(TOM BRENNER / REUTERS)

Elijah Cummings, the stalwart representative from Maryland who passed away this week, was overseeing a powerful House committee at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

But he wasn’t just the Democratic warrior that came to define his public persona.

Cummings had an inclination for befriending the Republicans with whom he sparred. And there was a time two years earlier—as Peter Nicholas has written—that Trump listened, really listened, to Cummings:

Sitting together in the Oval Office that day, Cummings was blunt. The 13-term congressman told the president that his words were “insulting” and that “most black people are doing pretty good.” Trump didn’t get defensive or angry. He listened quietly, taking it in, Cummings recalled. “Probably nobody has ever told you that,” Cummings told the president. “You’re right—nobody has ever told me that,” Trump replied.

→ Read the rest of the story here.


Weekend Read

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / GETTY)

Our White House reporter Peter Nicholas spoke with close associates of the president to take the temperature on what’s to come, as the impeachment inquiry ramps up.

Apparently absent from his life are traditional family bonds, creative outlets and hobbies, even exercise. (While some of his children are visible and vocal advocates for their father, Trump’s relationships with them are notoriously complex.) Splayed out on Twitter, his life has always seemed a limitless diet of Fox & Friends episodes and interpersonal disputes. Long gone are the trusted aides with whom he seemed comfortable (and who were willing to speak their mind), such as the senior adviser Hope Hicks.


“I think what we’re viewing, if you think about the human side of it, is the man has no life. He just has no life,” the person close to him told me.

→ Read the rest



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