The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office announced Tuesday that Facebook will be fined £500,000 (roughly $660,000) for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data-collecting scandal.
The ICO is giving Facebook the maximum fine possible for two breaches of the Data Protection Act, saying Facebook did not safeguard user information and was not transparent regarding how data was harvested by others. "Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system," Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said.
Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the company "should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015. We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries." Catherine Garcia
If you already work from home and need a change of scenery, Vermont might be the place for you.
On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation that pays people who move to the state and work remotely. They will receive $5,000 a year, not to exceed $10,000 over two years. The money can be used on certain expenses, including relocation costs, computers and software, and internet access. To be eligible, a person must move to Vermont after Jan. 1, 2019, be a full-time employee for an out-of-state business, and work primarily from home or a co-working space.
Joan Goldstein, the state's commissioner of economic development, told CNN Vermont's population is small and aging, and "we recognize the need to recruit people" to live there. The funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, and only $125,000 will be given out in 2019. Catherine Garcia
David MacNeil, a Chicago-area businessman who has donated more than $1 million to President Trump, told Politico Republican candidates can expect nothing from him until they take action on an immigration bill.
MacNeil owns the WeatherTech automotive company, and employs more than 1,100 people. MacNeil told Politico that if Congress doesn't come up with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal, one of his employees could be deported. "I'm saying this as a political donor who's donated seven figures in the last couple of years: I will not donate any more money to anyone who doesn't support DACA, period," he said. "I'm putting my money where my mouth is."
The "critically important" employee was brought to the United States as a toddler, and "it would be a disaster if I were not able to legally employ her," MacNeil told Politico. "They should not be playing political football, political blackmail with people's lives." Catherine Garcia
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt was confirmed on Feb. 17, 2017, and he's had his unusual 24/7 security detail since day one on the job, the EPA's inspector general told lawmakers in a letter sent on Monday.
EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. said Pruitt had requested the blanket security before taking office, and the EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training had complied with his request. Elkins sent his letter to Democratic senators who asked for more details on why Pruitt had such a security detail. He noted that his office "played no role in this decision."
Previous EPA administrators have not had constant security, Reuters reports, and agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the decision was made "before Administrator Pruitt arrived at EPA." Last month, Pruitt — who has come under scrutiny for his expensive travel and penchant for flying in first class — told lawmakers that he needed 24/7 protection because of threats made against him once he was in office. Catherine Garcia
Since Jan. 1, President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has spent $835,000 on legal fees, about 22 percent of its total spending, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show.
The Trump campaign has paid at least eight law firms, with the two firms working on the Stormy Daniels case receiving a combined $280,000. The reports also state that the campaign has spent $125,000 at several Trump businesses, including Trump International Hotel and Trump Tower, and paid former White House aide Johnny McEntee $22,000. After McEntee was fired in March, apparently for security concerns tied to a gambling habit, he was immediately hired by the campaign. So far this year, the campaign has raised $10.1 million, spending $3.9 million. Catherine Garcia
For supporters of President Trump who want the whole world — or at least those watching a livestream of his first State of the Union address via his campaign website — to know they've got Trump's back, it'll cost just $35.
Trump sent out a fundraising solicitation on Monday that said his "movement" is about "ALL of us," and that's why "your name deserves to be displayed during Tuesday night's speech." Donors have to give at least $35 to Trump's re-election campaign for their name to flash across the screen during the livestream, but they are more than welcome to donate up to $2,700, the maximum amount allowed per election. Calling it now: at least a few Ben Dovers, Don Keys, and Ivana Tinkles will be among the donors. Catherine Garcia
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is sitting on a mountain of campaign cash for 2020, Politico reports, which is larger than any other senatorial war chest at this distance from Election Day. Warren presently has $12.8 million banked, a near-record for a senator at this point in the campaign.
Warren's aggressive fundraising — plus a busy schedule of meetings with constituents and prominent figures including former President Obama — has fueled ongoing speculation that her 2020 plans may aim higher than the Senate. She reportedly has staffers searching for personal vulnerabilities that could serve as attack ad fodder, and she published what is arguably a campaign book this past April.
This posturing puts Warren in an elite group of serious contenders for the 2020 Democratic nod that also includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Of the three, Warren is the youngest and the only woman.
"The stuff that Trump is focused on, a lot of it is big breaks to big corporations and the banks and others, and that's in her sweet spot, that's why she was elected, it's what she cares about," Democratic strategist and 2012 Warren campaign staffer Doug Rubin told Politico. "So you may see more of her, just because this stuff is out there." Bonnie Kristian
The Republican National Committee has decided to pull out of a joint fundraising agreement it had with Roy Moore, the GOP Senate candidate in Alabama, a senior party official told Politico Tuesday.
Moore has been accused of making sexual advances towards teenage girls when he was in his early 30s, and GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have spent the last few days calling on him to drop out of the race. Alabama's special election is set for Dec. 12, but the RNC has also decided to shut down its field program in the state; they had about 12 paid canvassers working there for Moore. Last Friday, one day after The Washington Post reported on the allegations against Moore, the National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew from its joint fundraising agreement with the candidate. Catherine Garcia