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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

    Accused by Democrats of blatant corruption by planning to host the 2020 G7 Summit at his Doral resort and golf course in Miami, President Donald Trump on Saturday night reversed course and dropped those plans, retreating just two days after his acting White House Chief of Staff announced the plans. 'I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,' the President wrote on Twitter, defending his choice of venue - which he owns. 'I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!' the President wrote. “To translate, “Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility” means people who stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law against what some of the most flagrant corruption in American history,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). Critics in Congress and outside ethics groups had denounced the President's decision, arguing that it was a clear cut example of corruption. Democrats had already planned a vote this coming week in the House on a measure to condemn the President for his choice, as some suggested it was such a  clear cut violation of ethics rules - and federal law - that it would automatically become an article of impeachment. “After demanding answers from the White House about the President’s decision to hold the G-7 at his Doral resort, I’m glad he’s reversed course,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). “But it never should have come to this.” “It's just one mind-blowing, embarrassing fiasco after another,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). 'President Trump’s decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation,' said Noah Bookbinder, the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.  'It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration,' Bookbinder added. The announcement on Twitter by the President came barely 48 hours after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was pelted with questions in a rare briefing for reporters, as he shrugged off repeated questions about why the G7 selection wasn't straight and simple corruption. 'Get over it,' Mulvaney said at one point. That news conference also included Mulvaney openly acknowledging that the Trump White House had pressured the Ukraine government to investigate items related to the 2016 elections, in exchange for the release of military aid to Ukraine. Several hours after that briefing, Mulvaney issued a denial of any quid pro quo, as he accused reporters of twisting his words - even though his statements were very clear. “I don’t think he’s enjoying impeachment at all,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said of the President. “He can also repay American taxpayers the millions collected at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump Hotel, and other Trump properties from DOD, Secret Service, the White House and other fed agencies in violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause,” tweeted Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
  • Ridiculing the White House for planning a major summit of world leaders in 2020 at one of President Donald Trump's golf resorts, Democrats will bring a resolution to the House floor in coming days to signal Congressional opposition to the plan, arguing the President is misusing his office for personal financial gain. 'Trump’s corrupt plan to host the G-7 at his failing golf resort in Florida is a blatant violation of the Constitution,' said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).  'This is blatant corruption in plain sight,' said Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO). 'Trump’s big plans to host the G-7 at his Golf Resort are a complete repudiation of everything the Founders wanted for our government and how the President should behave,' said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). “This is another outrageous example of the President using his office to funnel money from American taxpayers and foreign sources into his own pockets,' three Democratic Senators wrote in a letter to the White House. An effort to halt a G7 at the Doral resort owned by Mr. Trump could be in the shape of a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to the move, a specific bill passed by both the House and Senate, or through restrictions in various government funding bills, which would say that 'none of the funds' in various departments could be used for a G7 event at the President's golf property near Miami. 'A President participating in a contract award to himself is an impeachable act,' said Walter Shaub, a former head of the United States Office of Government Ethics, who has been a sharp critic of the President's actions. The vote would come at a time where Democrats want to put GOP lawmakers on the record about actions by President Trump - mirroring Republican calls for Democrats to vote specifically to authorize an impeachment investigation of Mr. Trump.
  • A day after remarks by the acting White House Chief of Staff forced officials to scramble and walk back his statement that the U.S. did engage in a quid pro quo to get Ukraine to investigate a GOP election conspiracy theory, President Donald Trump had little to say about the situation on Friday, as some cracks in his support began to appear in GOP circles on Capitol Hill. Asked about the Thursday briefing by Mick Mulvaney, the President offered up only five words for reporters, before immediately moving on to other topics. 'I think he clarified it,' Mr. Trump said of Mulvaney, who basically confirmed the story of an intelligence community whistleblower, by acknowledging that military aid to Ukraine was held back, as the U.S. pressed Ukraine to investigate evidence-free claims that a Democratic Party computer server had been hidden in Ukraine by a U.S. internet security firm. “That's why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said in the White House Briefing Room. Mulvaney later accused the press of deliberately mischaracterizing his words. Even with his later walk back, Mulvaney's confirmation that military aid to Ukraine had been delayed on purpose - along with the plan for the President to host the G7 Summit at his own golf resort in Florida - was too much for some Republicans. On conservative talk radio, Mulvaney was blistered as well. 'I don't even think he knows what he's talking about,' Sean Hannity said on his Friday radio program. 'I just think he's dumb.' Meanwhile Democrats said Mulvaney had confirmed why there needed to be an investigation. “This is about the president systematically abusing the power and resources of his office,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
  • After clearly acknowledging to reporters on Thursday that President Donald Trump had withheld military aid for Ukraine partly in hopes of spurring an investigation into a 2016 GOP election conspiracy theory, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tried a few hours later to erase those comments, drawing fire from Democrats in Congress. 'That's why we held up the money,' Mulvaney said in an afternoon briefing at the White House, telling reporters that President Trump had made clear he wanted Ukraine to find the DNC computer server - which had been hacked by Russian Intelligence in 2016 - as the President believes it was somehow moved and hidden in Ukraine. 'Did (Trump) also mention to me the corruption related to the DNC server?' Mulvaney asked.   “Absolutely, no question about that.” The remarks put Mulvaney fully on board with an evidence-free allegation pushed by some Republicans - and embraced by President Trump - which says the hacked DNC server was taken from Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C., and hidden in Ukraine by the computer security firm CrowdStrike. A few hours later, Mulvaney put out a written statement in which he said the press was twisting his words, as he tried to back away from his statement that President Trump wanted aid to Ukraine linked to 2016 investigations by that country's government. “There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server,' Mulvaney said in a written statement issued by the White House, hours after the Mulvaney said the exact opposite about what the President wanted from Ukraine. 'Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump,' Mulvaney said - though Mulvaney's words were very clear in the White House Briefing Room about the President wanting Ukraine to investigate. 'The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that (the President) was worried about,' Mulvaney said. During his briefing, Mulvaney scoffed at reporters who questioned whether the President was trying to get something from the Ukrainian leader by withholding aid money. 'Get over it,' Mulvaney said at one point. After Mulvaney tried to take back his words - which were broadcast live on all the cable news networks - Democrats said it was obvious that the only mistake Mulvaney had made, was the mistake of telling the truth. 'Mick Mulvaney needs to testify,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). 'Mick Mulvaney has confirmed what we knew all along,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).  'There is no doubt anymore,' said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA). 'The President’s top advisor says withholding foreign aid in exchange for political favors is 'absolutely appropriate.'' 'We condition aid to advance the national interest,' said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). 'Never the partisan interest of the president.' In his July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine, the President clearly mentioned the DNC server and CrowdStrike. 'The server, they say Ukraine has it,' Mr. Trump said, according to a document released by the White House. Mulvaney's remarks came at a briefing where the White House announced that the U.S. would host the G7 summit at President Trump's Doral golf resort in Florida. Democrats said both the G7 Summit decision and the Ukraine investigation could well become part of impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.
  • Brushing aside questions about the ethics of hosting the G-7 summit at one of President Donald Trump's own  golf properties, the White House announced Thursday that the 2020 meeting of the G-7 will take place at the President's Doral resort in Miami, Florida. “Doral was by far and away - far and away - the best physical facility for this meeting,” said Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Pressed repeatedly by reporters in a rare Q&A in the White House Briefing Room, Mulvaney gave the back of the hand to any ethical concerns. Democrats in Congress said the decision just screamed self-dealing by the President. “This is corruption in the open,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). “Corruption in plain sight is still corruption,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). “Unbelievably brazen. Taxpayer and foreign money funneled right to his own club as a result of a decision he is making as President,” tweeted Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). “This is just open corruption,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). “Congress should block any taxpayer money from going to G7 while it's at Trump's resort,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “This is a textbook case of unconstitutional conduct,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). “By holding G7 summit at his own resort, the President is using his office to enrich himself,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). “This is corruption, plain and simple,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is running for President. Outside ethics watchdog groups chimed in immediately. “By treating the G7 summit like a commercial for his businesses, inviting foreign governments to line his pockets and hold their next meeting at his Doral, FL golf course next year, he mocks the Constitution he swore to uphold,” said Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra.
  • Capitol Hill on Thursday was mourning the unexpected death of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, as lawmakers in both parties saluted the veteran Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who died early this morning at a hospice facility in his home town of Baltimore. Cummings had risen to the forefront of Congress in recent months as part of Democratic Party efforts in the U.S. House to investigate President Donald Trump and his administration. “When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to show that I was among those in the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny,” Cummings said last month about his support for the impeachment of President Trump. 'The Congress and the nation have lost one of the great ones,' said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). 'This is a heartbreaking loss for Baltimore, Congress, and our entire country,' said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). 'Elijah Cummings was a good friend and a powerful advocate for what he believed,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). First elected to Congress in 1996, Cummings had in recent years become the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, sparring first with Republican investigations of the Obama Administration, and then taking the lead on investigations of President Trump and his administration. “The news that our friend and colleague Elijah Cummings has passed away marks a sad day for the members of the United States Congress, the people of Baltimore, and the entire nation,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). In a statement released by aides to Cummings, his staff gave few details on his health troubles, saying that Cummings had died around 2:30 am on Thursday, in a hospice care facility, where the Maryland Democrat had been treated for 'longstanding health challenges.'  It had been obvious to reporters in recent months that Cummings was facing some sort of health challenge, as he was using a wheelchair in the halls of Congress, and then a walker to make his way on to the floor of the House. But in interviews with reporters in the Speaker's Lobby just off the House floor, his voice still seemed strong, and gave no hint of immediate medical troubles. 'We're going to uphold the rule of law,' Cummings told me and other reporters in mid-May, as he outlined efforts to get information from the White House, which were routinely stonewalled by the Trump Administration. Cummings had returned after Labor Day, but had missed most votes after mid-September. Earlier this year, Cummings had drawn the ire of President Trump over investigations of the White House, as Mr. Trump called the Maryland Democrat a racist. “His loss will be felt across our country,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlihan (D-PA). Throughout the Mueller investigation - and other probes of the Trump Administration, Cummings had repeatedly urged voters to consider the totality of the situation involving President Trump, as he openly expressed concern about damage to the underpinnings of the federal government. “We are going to uphold the rule of law,” Cummings told a group of reporters in May. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in search of the truth,” Cummings said.
  • Angered by the outbreak of violence and a Turkish military invasion in areas of northern Syria held by U.S. forces until just last week, members of both parties joined in the House on Wednesday to deliver a clear rebuke of President Trump as lawmakers easily approved a resolution denouncing the policy change. 'This is one of those rare moments in Congress where we see both sides coming together,' said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), as the House voted 354-60 for the resolution. The plan decried 'an abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria,' saying the resulting change 'is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, Iran, and Russia.' 'President Trump's decision to pull hastily out of Syria has caused a humanitarian disaster, endangers our Kurdish allies, and could cause the resurgence of ISIS,' said Rep. David Trone (D-MD). 'The President has demonstrated complete disregard for the harmful implications that his erratic decision-making will have on our troops,' tweeted Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO). Even among GOP lawmakers who don't like these type of overseas deployments for the U.S. military, there was the overwhelming sense that the President had hastily decided to withdraw, leaving a vacuum which only benefits Russia and its Syrian allies, along with the Islamic State. After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lumped additional criticism on the White House, when a briefing for lawmakers on the situation in Syria was scrapped. 'I am deeply concerned that the White House has canceled an all-Member classified briefing on the dangerous situation the President has caused in Syria, denying the Congress its right to be informed as it makes decisions about our national security,' Pelosi said. In the Senate it was much the same, as lawmakers in both parties spent much of Wednesday expressing their outrage over the President's decision, baffled that he would unravel years of work with a minimal number of U.S. troops to hem in Syria and the Islamic State - while partnering with Kurdish forces in the region. 'Withdrawal of U.S. troops gave Turkey a green light to go into Syria,' said Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT). At the White House, the President denied that he had given Turkish leaders the green light - but a White House statement issued when Mr. Trump's withdrawal was announced clearly stated that the U.S. expected Turkey to move forces into Northern Syria. 'I want to get out of the Middle East,' the President said on Wednesday. Not long after the vote, members of both parties met with President Trump about Syria - as the meeting quickly turned sour, with Democrats raising objections to the President's moves in withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, and the President pushing back. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats left the meeting, and told reporters that Mr. Trump had a 'meltdown.' Republican leaders and the White House denied that version of events.
  • Again endorsing the efforts by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to seek out corruption in Ukraine involving the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump on Wednesday again pressed a conspiracy theory that a DNC computer server hacked by Russia somehow is now in the hands of a company in Ukraine. 'The server - they say - is held by a company whose primary ownership individual is from Ukraine,' the President told reporters in the Oval Office.  Mr. Trump has been pushing the idea that a company brought in by the Democratic National Committee to examine evidence of hacks by Russian intelligence - Crowdstrike - had ties to Ukraine, darkly hinting that Ukraine, and not Russia, may have been behind the DNC hacks in 2016. 'I think it's very important to see the server,' the President said again on Wednesday, even though there is no evidence to support the idea that the DNC server is in Ukraine. During a July phone call with the leader of Ukraine, President Trump made a specific request that Ukraine help track down the DNC server. 'I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike,' the President said according to notes released by the White House.  'I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it,' the transcript states. 'I would like you to get to the bottom of it,' the President is quoted as telling the Ukraine President in that July 25 call. A former top national security aide to President Trump, Thomas Bossert, has sharply criticized the President and top aides in recent weeks for pushing the idea that the DNC server is in Ukraine. 'It's not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked,' Bossert told ABC News in late September. In an interview, Bossert blamed Giuliani and other aides for continuing to talk to the President about the unproven Ukraine involvement in the 2016 hacking, which U.S. Intelligence and the Mueller probe has pinned on Russia. 'I am deeply frustrated with what (Giuliani) and the legal team are doing, in repeating that debunked theory to the President,' Bossert said. 'Let me repeat again, that theory has no validity,' Bossert added.
  • Buoyed by the decisions of a series of witnesses to ignore requests by the Trump Administration not to testify before Congress, House Democratic leaders said Tuesday evening that they would push ahead with their impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, seeing no need to hold an official vote now to authorize a formal probe. 'They can't defend the President, so they're going to process,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.  'There's no requirement that we have a vote,' Pelosi pointed out accurately about the rules of the House - though Congress in the past has held such votes to officially launch such an investigation. 'What a SCAM,' said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), as Republicans complained bitterly about closed door depositions, and their inability to control the narrative about the investigation - a reminder that elections do matter, as Democrats are able to run this probe simply because they won control of the House in 2018. Democrats emerged from a closed door meeting in no hurry to have a vote on the House floor, as some lawmakers worried that voters would not be able to divine the difference between launching an investigation, and actually casting a vote on impeachment. Coming out of a closed door meeting, House Democrats were a loose group, not feeling any pressure to force a vote - arguing it would be a meaningless exercise. 'It seems to me that every day they get more information,' said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), who said there should be no rush to any vote. 'I don't think it matters at this point,' said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL). 'An inquiry is ongoing.' There were some Democrats who were still withholding judgment. 'I'm not talking, I'm not saying anything,' said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who has steadfastly refused to take a position on the impeachment of President Trump. Republicans denounced the effort. 'They know they cannot win at the ballot box with these out of touch ideas, so they are trying to impeach,' said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Republicans have focused mainly on the closed door aspect of depositions, arguing they undermine the credibility of the impeachment investigation. But GOP lawmakers routinely used closed door questioning during their own investigations of the Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and with controversies like Uranium One - where GOP lawmakers interviewed a man who supposedly held bombshell evidence about wrongdoing involving Hillary Clinton. The Q&A was done in secret; no transcript was ever relased. And the GOP never issued any details of what was said to lawmakers.
  • On a day when another Trump Administration official refused to follow the directive of the President to not cooperate with a U.S. House impeachment investigation, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer told Democrats that he would heed Mr. Trump's call, and refuse to turn over documents and other information to Congress. 'Mr. Giuliani will not participate because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate 'impeachment inquiry,'' wrote Giuliani's own counsel, John Sale. Those words echoed a missive from the White House last week, in which the President's White House Counsel declared that the Executive Branch would not cooperate with the House impeachment investigation. 'In addition, the subpoena is overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry,' the Giuliani letter continued, as Democrats look for more information on what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine in recent months. Democrats had asked for 'text messages, phone records, and other communications' about his work in Ukraine in a September 30 letter which set Monday as the deadline to produce information. 'He’s solely focused on obstructing the Impeachment Inquiry,' tweeted Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) about President Trump. 'The White House has engaged in stonewalling and outright defiance of Congressional prerogatives,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. Republicans meanwhile complained that Democrats were running an unfair investigation, echoing attacks from the White House. 'The American people are not participants in this process,' said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), as Republicans said a series of closed door depositions should be made public. As lawmakers in Congress returned from a two week break, some Republicans were reminded of their past statements about figures who refused to honor subpoenas during investigations. Meanwhile, as questioning continued behind closed doors for another State Department witness, an interesting break was developing in this investigation - while high profile witnesses like Giuliani were defying subpoenas, former Trump Administration and State Department officials were not. On Tuesday, George Kent, a State Department official who specializes in Ukraine policy was answering questions, even though he had been directed not to answer any. Wednesday is expected to bring testimony from a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Michael McKinley abruptly resigned from his State Department post earlier this month.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A road construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after being hit by a suspected drunken driver near Concord Mills Mall in North Carolina early Saturday, police said. >> Read more trending news  Danyel Middleton was charged with felony death by a motor vehicle, and police said she could face more charges. She spent her 22nd birthday in jail and will face a judge Monday. Socorro Martinez, 50, was confirmed dead at the scene. The three other victims were taken to a nearby hospital. Two were being treated for serious injuries, and the third was treated and released from the hospital. The crash happened around 1:45 a.m. on Concord Mills Boulevard near Entry A to Concord Mills Mall. Police said the four crewmen were working on road improvements when Middleton plowed into them. According to authorities, the crew had appropriate signs and lighting indicating the work zone. 'They're just trying to make a living, and they can't come to work and be safe,' a Concord community member told WSOC's DaShawn Brown.  Officials said the four who were struck were workers with Cruz Brothers Concrete. The company, based near Burlington, North Carolina, is said to have over 75 years of experience and family-owned.  For community members, news of the crash was unsettling enough, but even more so close to home.  'You know, sometimes if I want to go out and drive at night, it makes me a lot more nervous knowing something like this could've happened,' Nate Seedorf said. 'Not only is the driver going to live with that for the rest of her life, but the family of the victims are also going to be dealing with this forever,' another community member told WSOC-TV. Middleton is being held at the Cabarrus County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) charged two men with what they call “ the state’s largest seizure of turtles in recent history.” Officers say a tip back in February 2018 started the investigation into what they call a turtle trafficking ring that involved thousands of animals and thousands of dollars.  On October 18 wildlife officers arrested Michael Boesenberg, 39, and Michael Clemons, 23, both of Fort Myers, Fl. and charged them with poaching and selling the turtles on the black market.  Most went to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who would then ship them overseas on the black market with a majority of the animals ending up in Asia,  according to a press release. The turtles would fetch between $300 and $10,000 dollars each. Officers estimate one month of turtles would net approximately $60,000. The FWC documented more than 4,000 turtles illegally taken and sold over a 6-month period in the release,  including Florida box turtles, Eastern box turtles, striped mud turtles, Florida mud turtles, chicken turtles, Florida softshell turtles, Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtles, spotted turtles and diamondback terrapins. When investigators arrived with a search warrant they say they found the poachers in possession of hundreds of turtles, along with the skull and shell of a protected Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  Biologists evaluated all of the animals for health and species identification and were able to return more than 600 of them back into the wild.
  • Friday was a tough night for residents in Polk County where a EF-2 tornado touched down causing damage to homes and churches and left thousands without power.  But it was especially hard for the Pelham family who told Bay News 9 they had only moments to get into a closet before the tornado struck.  After the storm passed, they discovered their pitbull, Tuffy, and his dog house were gone.  The family told reporters they immediately began searching the area and discovered the dog house 100 yards away. It was severely damaged.  Still, there were no signs of their big dog.  Miraculously, 18-hours after the search began a neighbor found the pooch hiding in a ditch about a half-mile away.  He was scared but otherwise seemed to be OK.  Tuffy’s reunion was shared on twitter by reporter Trevor Pettiford Sunday.  One person commented, “They don’t call him Tuffy for nothin!” App users click here to see the video.   
  • One of Texas' largest cities is reeling after a tornado swept through north Dallas on Sunday night, officials said. >> Read more trending news  According to KDFW-TV, the twister struck about 9 p.m. CDT near Dallas Love Field Airport, then headed east, damaging homes and businesses while initially knocking out power to more than 100,000 people in the region. As of early Monday, no deaths or serious injuries had been reported, the city of Dallas said in a news release; however, emergency officials told The Associated Press that they received reports of people cut by glass shards. Crews also were trying to determine whether any victims were trapped inside a collapsed structure after seven people safely fled the building, the AP reported.  WFAA-TV reported that the storm destroyed Dallas Stars hockey player Tyler Seguin's mansion. Seguin appeared to confirm the news on Twitter but assured fans that he was OK. 'Thanks to everyone reaching out about the news tonight, I am safe,' he tweeted. 'Luckily this is my house for sale and I have moved into a new one. I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see. Prayers to everyone affected by the tornado.' The storm caused 'significant' damage to six homes in nearby Sachse, as well, the AP reported. Four of those houses are now considered 'uninhabitable,' according to the news agency. Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Residents in Gotha have been dealing with flooding for weeks. They said it’s because road projects nearby are dumping water into Lake Nally and that water is running straight into their homes. With the outer bands of Nestor impacting the area, some residents had to find a new place to stay because their homes were being flooded from all the rain. One family had to find a new place to stay and another may need to soon due to flooding. The Fernandez family was forced to move out of their home.  “There are snakes in there, and ... we haven’t been able to move out anything,” Mery Fernandez said. Neighbors said the county refuses to take responsibility for the road projects that dump water into the lakes. The water then floods homes in the area. “The county's going to own up to that and they’re gonna get my house back,” Fernandez said. Resident Paul Dehart is worried he won’t be able to get into his house one day. “Doesn’t have to rise much more and I won’t be able to get in and out, which will effectively take away my house,” Dehart said. People in the neighborhood said county officials told them that because the lakes are private, the responsibility falls on the homeowners.  “In the meantime, they still say there’s no temporary solution for this, which is hard to believe,” Dehart said. Residents said county officials told them authorities are working on conducting a study of the entire basin to find a long-term fix. For now, the neighbors are doing what they can to help each other out.

Washington Insider

  • Accused by Democrats of blatant corruption by planning to host the 2020 G7 Summit at his Doral resort and golf course in Miami, President Donald Trump on Saturday night reversed course and dropped those plans, retreating just two days after his acting White House Chief of Staff announced the plans. 'I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,' the President wrote on Twitter, defending his choice of venue - which he owns. 'I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!' the President wrote. “To translate, “Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility” means people who stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law against what some of the most flagrant corruption in American history,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). Critics in Congress and outside ethics groups had denounced the President's decision, arguing that it was a clear cut example of corruption. Democrats had already planned a vote this coming week in the House on a measure to condemn the President for his choice, as some suggested it was such a  clear cut violation of ethics rules - and federal law - that it would automatically become an article of impeachment. “After demanding answers from the White House about the President’s decision to hold the G-7 at his Doral resort, I’m glad he’s reversed course,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). “But it never should have come to this.” “It's just one mind-blowing, embarrassing fiasco after another,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). 'President Trump’s decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation,' said Noah Bookbinder, the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.  'It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration,' Bookbinder added. The announcement on Twitter by the President came barely 48 hours after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was pelted with questions in a rare briefing for reporters, as he shrugged off repeated questions about why the G7 selection wasn't straight and simple corruption. 'Get over it,' Mulvaney said at one point. That news conference also included Mulvaney openly acknowledging that the Trump White House had pressured the Ukraine government to investigate items related to the 2016 elections, in exchange for the release of military aid to Ukraine. Several hours after that briefing, Mulvaney issued a denial of any quid pro quo, as he accused reporters of twisting his words - even though his statements were very clear. “I don’t think he’s enjoying impeachment at all,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said of the President. “He can also repay American taxpayers the millions collected at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump Hotel, and other Trump properties from DOD, Secret Service, the White House and other fed agencies in violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause,” tweeted Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).