July 19, 2019

While California is definitely a blue state, there are deep red pockets throughout, and President Trump's supporters in those areas are opening up their wallets.

California residents have donated more money to Trump's re-election campaign than to most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, The Guardian reports. The nonprofit CalMatters found that since January 1, Trump has raised $3.2 million in the state. Just two Democrats have brought in more: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who has raised $7.5 million, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has raised $5.1 million.

Trump has received hefty donations from people in Beverly Hills and San Diego, but 92.8 percent of contributions have come from donors giving less than $100, with most living in the more conservative central part of the state. He has an edge over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has raised $2.2 million in California, 89.6 percent of which came from contributors donating less than $100. All together, the Democratic candidates have raised more than $26 million in the state. Catherine Garcia

April 15, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released 10 years worth of tax returns on Monday evening, showing that after the release of his book Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, his income rose to more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017.

Before that, most of Sanders' income came from the salary he receives as a senator. The returns show "that our family has been fortunate," Sanders said in a statement, adding, "I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country." The returns also reveal that in 2018, Sanders' adjusted gross income was $561,293, with a 26 percent effective tax rate, and in 2012 and 2013, Sanders and his wife, Jane, appeared to profit from a "small antiques business," BuzzFeed News reports.

While running for president in 2016, Sanders provided a summary of his 2014 tax returns, but he has never before released his full returns. Right after he launched his 2020 campaign in February, Democrats started pushing him to release his returns, and he promised to do so by April 15. One of his main themes on the campaign trail has been economic justice, and Sanders said that because he grew up in a family that "lived paycheck to paycheck," he knows "the stress of economic insecurity. That is why I strive every day to ensure every American has the basic necessities of life, including a livable wage, decent housing, health care, and retirement security." Catherine Garcia

June 15, 2018

Many people look at the Trump administration's new policy of forcibly separating kids from their parents when they cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as a gross violation of humanity and decency. Others see a business opportunity — specifically, The Daily Beast reports, intelligence and defense contractors, some of them with a trail of scandals and lawsuits. The Daily Beast notes recent postings for jobs related to housing migrant children by giant defense contractor General Dynamics and MVM Inc., which touts its "extensive domain expertise in counter-narcotics, criminal and civil investigations, public safety, and national security."

"It is mind-blowing that those types of industries would be even considered with respect to the care of children," immigration lawyer Matthew Kolken tells The Daily Beast. "They're not equipped to be able to do it. Would you want your child to be dropped off in their hands? I know I wouldn't." Neil Gordon, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, added: "It looks right now that the Trump administration's policies regarding immigration is proving to be a relatively lucrative area for private contractors. ... I'm concerned with these companies' track records."

Joe Arabit, the director of MVM's homeland security and public safety division, told The Daily Beast that the company's "top priority is the welfare of children while they are in our care. We are a trusted partner of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] because of the respect and dedication with which we treat those whom we transport." MVM has earned nearly $43 million since September handling child migrants for ICE and ORR. You can read more about the job postings and scandals at The Daily Beast. Peter Weber

April 19, 2018

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could announce as early as Friday that Wells Fargo is being fined $1 billion for, among other things, charging customers for car insurance they didn't need, a person familiar with the penalty told CNN Money.

Last year, the company apologized for forcing as many as 570,000 customers into purchasing unnecessary car insurance, and said after conducting an internal review, it was discovered that 20,000 or so of those clients may have defaulted on their car loans and had their vehicles repossessed because of the insurance cost. Wells Fargo also announced in October that some mortgage borrowers were charged after missing a deadline to lock in interest rates, even though the delay was caused by the company and not customers. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2017

Bill O'Reilly, fired from Fox News after it emerged that several women accused him of sexual harassment and he paid out millions in settlements, might be getting a second chance.

O'Reilly is in negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which earned some notice for telling local news channel managers they have to run segments featuring conservative commentary, two people familiar with the talks told NBC News. The recent revelation that O'Reilly paid $32 million to settle sexual harassment claims by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl didn't appear to scare off Sinclair. "They took a pause but it didn't really change anything for them," one person told NBC News.

Sinclair denies being in negotiations with O'Reilly, but a person close to him says they are "about midway" through talks. Sinclair owns or operates 173 television stations in the United States, and if a deal to purchase Tribune Media is approved by regulators, that number would rise to 220. As for O'Reilly, one person told NBC News that Sinclair is thinking about giving him a two-hour syndicated show, maybe starting at 6 or 7 p.m: "They want to do something anti-CNN, anti-MSNBC." Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2017

President Trump tumbled 92 places on Forbes' 2017 list of the richest Americans, released Tuesday, due to a $600 million loss since the last ranking, Deutsche Welle reports. Forbes, which credited Trump with $3.1 billion (a far cry from Trump's $10 billion boast in 2015), said that the drop was due to the "tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit; and an expensive presidential campaign."

Trump charted as the 248th-richest person in America in 2017, down from 156th. "The magazine said the downgrading was also a result of 'new information' it had collected after Donald Trump had claimed during his campaign in 2015 that he owned $9.2 billion in assets and $8.7 billion in net worth," Deutsche Welle reports.

The list is topped by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison. In sum, the 400 richest Americans are worth a combined $2.7 trillion, Politico reports. See the full list here. Jeva Lange

August 4, 2017

Unable to reach a lease agreement with the Trump Organization, the Secret Service no longer has a command post inside Trump Tower in Manhattan, instead setting up shop on the sidewalk outside, two people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post on Thursday.

Although President Trump has not been to Trump Tower since the inauguration and his wife and youngest son moved out in June, it is considered his primary residence and there are agents there around the clock to protect it. The command post, where supervisors and backup agents are stationed in case of emergency, was one floor below Trump's apartment, high up in the tower, and security experts say it's worrisome that the unit is now on the street because radio transmissions could break up due to distance and it would take longer for agents to get upstairs. "It's a security deficiency that has to be resolved," a former Secret Service official told the Post. "It's like having the quarterback of the football game actually being located in a different stadium than where the game is being played."

The command post was moved to a trailer in early July, and people with knowledge of the discussions told the Post the two sides could not agree on price and additional conditions of the lease. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told the Post it was "mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere," while a Secret Service spokeswoman said that "throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service." Catherine Garcia

December 14, 2015

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had not properly disclosed millions of dollars in investments since taking office in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reports. After WSJ reached out to him about his disclosures, he filed new forms Friday. Here's what the new reports revealed:

The new forms show that Mr. Corker had failed to properly disclose at least $2 million in income from investments in three small hedge funds based in his home state. He also didn't properly report millions of dollars in income from commercial real-estate investments due to an accounting error. And he didn't disclose millions of dollars in other assets and income from other financial transactions. [The Wall Street Journal]

"I am extremely disappointed in the filing errors that were made in earlier financial disclosure reports," Corker said in a statement to the newspaper.

There's no penalty for legislators who file corrections to these reports — and many do, though WSJ notes that Corker amending years of reports at once is not a common practice. Julie Kliegman

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