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Mick Mulvaney Melts Down Under Brutal Grilling By Fox’s Chris Wallace

Mick Mulvaney Melts Down Under Brutal Grilling By Fox’s Chris WallaceDays after his disastrous White House press briefing in which he admitted President Donald Trump was seeking out a quid pro quo with Ukraine before saying never mind, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney struggled to walk back his comments under the intense and relentless grilling of Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.Almost immediately during the Sunday morning broadcast, Wallace pressed Mulvaney on his remarks, asking why he said during the press conference that military aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the actions of Democrats during the 2016 election, prompting Mulvaney to assert that he never actually said that.“Again, that’s not what I said, that's what people said I said,” he replied before saying there were “two reasons” why the United States would have held up aid: corruption and whether other European nations were helping with aid.Mick Mulvaney Has Conservatives Asking: WTF Are You Doing?Wallace, meanwhile, didn’t let Mulvaney’s spin go unchecked, telling the chief of staff that anyone listening to the briefing could “come to only one conclusion” before playing clips Mulvaney confirming that Trump withheld aid unless the Ukrainians investigated the Democrats.Mulvaney continued to insist that he had been misinterpreted and that aid was only contingent on corruption and additional European assistance, causing the Fox News anchor to fire back.“I hate to go through this but you said what you said,” Wallace stated. “And the fact is, after that exchange with [ABC News correspondent] Jonathan Karl, you were asked another time why the aid was held up. What was the condition for the aid? And you didn’t mention two conditions, you mentioned three conditions.”Wallace, once again, threw Mulvaney’s own remarks back in his face, playing yet another clip from the press briefing of Mulvaney claiming military aid to Ukraine was contingent upon them cooperating with the Trump administration and investigating the Democrats.The Trump aide, however, attempted to brush off his previous remarks by saying he didn’t actually use the words “quid pro quo,” prompting Wallace to point out that when Karl pressed him on whether or not there was a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said that “happens all the time.”Fox News Host Ed Henry: Not ‘Media’s Fault’ Mick Mulvaney Admitted Quid Pro QuoThe two would go back and forth over this issue for a few more minutes, with Wallace repeatedly cornering Mulvaney over his previous comments and the chief of staff flailing away and struggling to present even a laughable defense.At one point, Wallace asked Mulvaney whether he had offered his resignation to Trump in the wake of the blowback and criticism he received over the press briefing. Mulvaney said the topic was “absolutely not” discussed with the president, adding that he is “very happy working there.”CNN, meanwhile, reported Sunday that prior to the impeachment crisis that Trump finds himself currently embroiled in, there were internal efforts to push Mulvaney out as acting chief of staff. Those efforts subsided, however, when the push for impeachment heated up in the wake of the Ukraine scandal late last month.Besides the issues surrounding the Ukraine scandal and impeachment, Wallace also grilled Mulvaney on the president’s sudden reversal on next year’s G7 summit, which Mulvaney announced last week would be held at Trump’s personal property. Asked by Wallace why the president “caved” to the bipartisan backlash, Mulvaney said Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback,” adding that the president “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”Wallace seized on the “hospitality business” comment and pressed Mulvaney if the president understood why it “looked lousy.” The acting chief of staff's retort: “I think he thinks people think it looks lousy.”Sean Hannity Goes Off on Mick Mulvaney: ‘I Just Think He’s Dumb’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Mexican president confirms Pemex union boss under investigation

Mexican president confirms Pemex union boss under investigationThe veteran leader of Mexico’s powerful oil workers’ union faces formal accusations of wrongdoing, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday, slowly turning up pressure on the labor boss to step aside. Earlier this year, sources said the attorney general’s office had accused Pemex union chief Carlos Romero Deschamps and several relatives of illicit enrichment and money laundering, charges he has consistently denied. “Complaints have been presented to the attorney general’s office,” Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.



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Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria

Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria(Bloomberg) — A renewed sell-off gripped Turkish markets after the U.S. brought criminal charges against one of the nation’s largest banks, in what could be an escalation of Washington’s efforts to reprimand Ankara for its military incursion into northeast Syria.Stocks fell with government bonds and shares of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank slumped the most in a year. The lira bucked the rout as state banks were seen selling dollars to support the currency, according to three traders with knowledge of the matter.An indictment filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court accused Halkbank of participating in a wide-ranging plot to violate prohibitions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system. The looming legal standoff is raising an alarm in Turkey that the U.S. may soon mete out more severe penalties, dealing another blow to the $ 772 billion economy that’s just begun to recover from a recession and remains heavily reliant on foreign capital.“The timing of these charges would appear to be less than coincidental and is clearly highly politicized,” said Julian Rimmer, a trader at Investec Bank in London. “This is another warning shot across Turkey’s bow.”On Tuesday, Donald Trump sanctioned three senior Turkish officials and increased steel tariffs — a milder punishment than expected — but U.S. lawmakers from both parties are already pushing the president to adopt stricter measures.‘Immediate Cease-Fire’The Trump administration has been calling for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria after the hostilities unleashed by Turkey across its border this month. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the demand.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara to reiterate Trump’s commitment to sanctions, according to a White House statement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Ambassador James Jeffrey will also be on the trip that begins Wednesday.The lira has weakened more than 4% this month as tensions percolate with the U.S. The yield on Halkbank’s dollar bond due 2021 surged more than 400 basis points.In response, the Turkish stock exchange “temporarily” banned short-selling in seven banks, or wagers that their shares will decline using borrowed securities.The banking watchdog also advised some local lenders against offering lira liquidity in the offshore money-market, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, in an apparent attempt to get in the way of betting that it will depreciate further.Turkey Advises Banks Against Offering Lira Liquidity OffshoreThe benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was trading 1.7% lower as of 12:06 p.m in Istanbul, led by Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS and Akbank TAS. The lira edged 0.3% higher to 5.8973 per dollar while the yield on two-year government bonds jumped 48 basis points.“The Americans intend to use these charges as leverage,” Rimmer said. “And given they can impose almost unlimited fines and heavy penalties, the Turks will have to take this seriously.”To contact the reporters on this story: Tugce Ozsoy in Istanbul at tozsoy1@bloomberg.net;Asli Kandemir in Istanbul at akandemir@bloomberg.net;Constantine Courcoulas in Istanbul at ccourcoulas1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at brobinson58@bloomberg.net, Dana El BaltajiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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The Latest: Fire department: LA blaze began under power line

The Latest: Fire department: LA blaze began under power lineFire officials say a destructive fire that broke out on the edge of Los Angeles began beneath a high-voltage transmission tower. Capt. Erik Scott told The Associated Press on Monday that Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators have only determined the origin of the fire, not its cause. The location was at the base of power lines owned by Southern California Edison.



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Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders

Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders(Bloomberg) — Billionaires may have much more to fear from a Bernie Sanders presidency than they do from an Elizabeth Warren administration, according to two economists advising both candidates.That’s one of the conclusions of a new interactive website developed by University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.If Sanders had his way, they calculate that the 400 richest Americans, on average, would have an effective tax rate of 97.5%. That includes not only their income, but also a wealth tax that whittles away at the family fortune.The 97.5% average effective tax rate under his plans compares with 23% now and 62% under Warren’s proposals, according to the two economists. Sanders and Warren have both pitched wealth taxes, which is a key reason that their plans tax billionaires so much more. Warren’s wealth tax places a 2% levy on fortunes above $ 50 million and a 3% levy on assets more than $ 1 billion. Sanders’ plan goes further, and starts taxing wealth of $ 32 million at 1%, increasing to an 8% tax on fortunes above $ 10 billion.“With the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes,” Saez said in an email about Sanders’ tax, which Sanders has said would cut the number of billionaires in the country in half in 15 years.The calculations by Saez and Zucman cover state, local and federal taxes and also treat health insurance premiums that individuals pay as a tax, arguing that they are one of main drivers of inequality in the U.S.If a Democrat wins in 2020, wealthy Americans would fare best if it were Joe Biden, even though the former vice president would hit the rich with a markedly bigger tax burden — an effective average rate of 30.6%, or more than 7 percentage points higher than they face now under President Donald Trump.Read More: Why Taxing the Rich Is Popular But Isn’t Always Easy: QuickTakeLarge tax increases on the rich have been a key topic in the 2020 Democratic primary as candidates have looked for proposals that would lessen inequality and raise lots of revenue to pay for expensive social programs, such as expanded health care and free college tuition.The economists released an interactive website Sunday that lets users select different tax rates to see how levies on various income groups are increasing. Saez and Zucman are also releasing a book on Tuesday, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” making the case for large tax increases on top earners.All major Democratic candidates have called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including raising the income tax rates or increasing levies on capital gain income. Sanders, Warren and Senator Kamala Harris have also floated levies on stock and bond trades.Taxes on the wealthy have historically been popular with voters. For decades a majority of polls have shown that people think the wealthy pay too little in taxes. Gallup found in April that 62% of people say that “upper-income” individuals pay too little in taxes.To contact the reporters on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.net;Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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The Latest: US Syria outpost vacated after coming under fire

The Latest: US Syria outpost vacated after coming under fireU.S. officials say an American outpost in northeastern Syria has been vacated after coming under fire from Turkish artillery. Turkey says it didn’t target the U.S. outpost but was responding to fire from Kurdish groups nearby. The Pentagon says U.S. troops in Syria came under artillery fire from the Turks on Friday, in an area where Turkey knows Americans are present.



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Turkish forces advance in Syria as US troops come under fire

Turkish forces advance in Syria as US troops come under fireTurkish forces faced fierce resistance from U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters on the third day of Ankara’s offensive in northern Syria as casualties mounted, international criticism of the campaign intensified and estimates put the number of those who fled the violence at 100,000. In a complicating twist, Washington said its troops also came under fire from NATO ally Turkey. No U.S. troops were hurt in Friday’s explosion at the small U.S. outpost, and the artillery strike marked the first time a coalition base was in the line of fire since Turkey’s offensive began.



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China, Solomon Islands sign deals under new diplomatic ties

China, Solomon Islands sign deals under new diplomatic tiesSolomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Wednesday and signed several agreements in the first official visit since the two countries established diplomatic relations last month. The new diplomatic relationship is a sign of China’s growing influence in the Pacific and a setback for self-ruled, democratic Taiwan. The Solomon Islands severed ties with Taiwan when it established them with Beijing.



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Duterte Says Police Chief to Maintain Post While Under Probe

Duterte Says Police Chief to Maintain Post While Under Probe(Bloomberg) — President Rodrigo Duterte said Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde will be given due process in an investigation over allegations he protected officers who recycled illegal drugs.The Department of Interior and Local Government is looking into accusations that Albayalde intervened to prevent the dismissal of officers involved in a controversial 2013 drug raid in Pampanga, which happened when he was the province’s chief of police. The probe comes on the heels of a similar Senate inquiry. Albayalde has denied interfering in the case.“He’s still there, otherwise I would have told him — just go out,” Duterte said in his arrival speech in Davao City on Sunday, when asked if Albayalde still has his trust. “You have to hear before you condemn.”Read: Duterte Rejects Millions of Dollars in Aid to Defend Drug WarThe president said Albayalde must be given “due process and allow him time to answer, the right to be heard,” adding that he’ll await the Interior Department’s probe before deciding on the case “with finality.”Duterte said he has yet to find a replacement for Albayalde, who is set to retire in November.To contact the reporter on this story: Cecilia Yap in Manila at cyap19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jiyeun Lee, Matthew G. MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Saudi crown prince says journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder 'happened under my watch'

Saudi crown prince says journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder 'happened under my watch'“I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an excerpted interview, though he denied direct knowledge.



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