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TrumpWatch: 5 Things You May Have Missed During The Whole Donald Trump/FBI Saga

Infighting, tee-times, and the reclusive tycoon behind Trump.

21/03/2017 14:04

1) WHITE HOUSE INFIGHTING

White House insiders have revealed two factions within the administration battling for the President Donald Trump’s attention.

On one side are the more progressive so-called ‘New Yorkers’, led by Gary Cohn and Dina Powell - aligned with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

They are reportedly referred to, mockingly, as “the Democrats”.

On the other side are the so-called ‘ideologues’, led by the ardent nationalist and Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon.

Here’s a great little explainer video on Bannon’s ideology which, according to The Washington Post, is winning in the battle in the White House. 

The emerging turf war has led to fights over White House protocol and access to the president, backstabbing and leaks to reporters, and a heated Oval Office showdown over trade refereed by the president himself.

The tug at Trump forces near-daily decisions between following his tendency to gravitate toward those he considers highly successful in business and maintaining the combative political persona cheered by many conservatives.

2) ANOTHER WEEKEND AWAY

Trump spent yet another weekend at ‘Winter White House’ Mar-a-Lago where he was supposed to be “having meetings and phone calls”.

That explanation held firm. Then this photo appeared...

The White House later admitted he may have “hit a few balls”.

3) WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF MAR-A-LAGO...

The Mayor of Palm Beach has said he may increase taxes to pay for the extra police needed to secure Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago.

It reportedly costs $60,000 (£48,470) in overtime for every day the President is in town.

Joe Skipper / Reuters
President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is seen from West Palm Beach, Florida.

From CNN:

Protecting Trump while he is at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, primarily falls on the Secret Service. But when the President visits Florida, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is asked to assist in a variety of public and private ways. With Trump making his fifth trip as president to what he calls the “Winter White House,” the costs are rising.

Local officials, who are starting to grapple with the idea that they might foot the bill, say if the county has to pay for it, it will mean either tax hikes or cuts to services in the coming years.

“It means the local taxpayers will have to bear the added burden of being part of the security for the president of the United States,” Paulette Burdick, the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, told CNN Friday. “It will either be cuts or increase in taxes.”

4) MISUNDERSTANDING NATO

On Saturday Trump tweeted this...

Unfortunately for the President a former US permanent representative to Nato had something to say about the assertion.

Bravo, sir.

Mr Daalder continued his smackdown for another six tweets which you can read here.

5) THE RECLUSIVE POPULIST TYCOON BEHIND TRUMP

A number of articles have shed light on Robert Mercer, the shadowy hedge-fund tycoon behind the Trump campaign and the man “at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network”.

Sylvain Gaboury via Getty Images
Rebekah Mercer, left, Robert Mercer and Diana Mercer attend The 2014 World Science Festival Gala in 2014.

For a flavour of the type of chap he is, here are a couple of things he apparently believes.

Another onetime senior employee at Renaissance recalls hearing Mercer downplay the dangers posed by nuclear war. Mercer, speaking of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argued that, outside of the immediate blast zones, the radiation actually made Japanese citizens healthier. The National Academy of Sciences has found no evidence to support this notion. Nevertheless, according to the onetime employee, Mercer, who is a proponent of nuclear power, “was very excited about the idea, and felt that it meant nuclear accidents weren’t such a big deal.”

According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement.

Mercer, it may not surprise you to hear, is a major financial backer behind Breitbart.

Read more on the Mercers in the GuardianThe New Yorker and The Huffington Post Highline.

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