scandal

Capitol Ink | Bold Prediction

Sinclair TV Owner Maxed Out Donations to Gianforte, Montana GOP
Robert E. Smith, who identified himself as ‘retired’ and worked in real estate, also donated to Trump’s campaign

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., has received maximum campaign contributions from an owner of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An owner of the controversial Sinclair Broadcast Group has donated more than $10,000 to Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte in the last year and a half.

Robert E. Smith, whose family owns the largest local television station operator in the country, gave the maximum $5,400 to Gianforte’s campaign in March, The Guardian reported. He did the same last year, ahead of Gianforte’s 6-point special election victory over Democrat Rob Quist.

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Capitol Ink | Reality TV

GAO: Pruitt’s Pricey Privacy Booth Violated Federal Law
Monday report states funds were not legally available

A staffer exits the Senate subway on April 11 with a poster detailing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethics issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The EPA violated federal law when it paid more than $43,000 to install a soundproof privacy booth for Administrator Scott Pruitt without first notifying congressional appropriators, the Government Accountability Office said.

The agency violated the law by using more than $5,000 of fiscal 2017 appropriated funds for an unintended purpose without giving lawmakers advance notice, GAO investigators wrote in a report released Monday.

White House Provides No Internal Assessment Backing Mueller Firing Claim
After making vague contention, Sanders said: ‘I can’t go anything beyond that’

The White House is unable to provide any internal analysis to support its contention that President Donald Trump can fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

White House officials are unable to point to any internal assessment to justify their contention that President Donald Trump has the legal authority to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are urging Trump to let the former FBI director complete his investigation of Russian election meddling and possible misconduct by the president and his campaign associates. Those pleas intensified last week when the president and his top spokeswoman signaled the White House has concluded he has the authority to do so.

Capitol Ink | Public Enemies List

Trump Fires Back at Comey, Calling Him a ‘Slime Ball’
Fired FBI director calls president untruthful in his new book

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump fired back at former FBI Director James Comey Friday morning, calling him an “untruthful slime ball” and saying it was an honor to terminate him.

The president delivered the broadside via a pair of tweets less than 12 hours after leaked excerpts of Comey’s new memoir were published by several media outlets who received advanced copies. In it, the career law enforcement officer pulls few punches, painting a portrait of a self-obsessed chief executive who struggles to tell the truth and operates like a mob boss.

Trump Suggests He Has Authority to Fire Mueller
President deflects on Syria, obscures actual mission of California Guard at border

President Donald Trump implied Thursday he believes he has the authority to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump began his Thursday by implying he has the authority to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and denying he sent signals that an attack on Syria was imminent.

He also appeared unaware — or unwilling to acknowledge — that California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to his request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in his state, just not for the immigration enforcement mission the president wants.

Capitol Ink | Fixer Upper