FROM Kurt Eichenwald
Who will police presidential conflicts of interest? The 538 members of the Electoral College cast their votes today for a Commander-in-Chief with the most extensive potential conflicts of interest in the history of the presidency. Watchdogs say the law requires Donald Trump to sell off his holdings, but he's postponed addressing the issue until January, tweeting that his sons will run the business -- the same sons that are deeply involved in the Trump transition team. Democrats, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, have vowed to hold Trump to the standard of a little known constitutional principle, the Emoluments Clause , claiming it gives grounds for impeachment if Trump doesn't fully divest himself of his holdings. Why are Republican voters seemingly unconcerned with the blurring of the lines between the Trump Organization and the White House? With a Republican controlled Congress who can hold the President accountable?
Are hackers to blame for Trump’s false Blumenthal, Benghazi link? Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi at the second presidential debate, saying that Clinton consulted with her friend Sidney Blumenthal after the incident. Blumenthal’s name actually came up twice during Sunday’s debate, which left a lot of voters outside the Beltway wondering: wait, Sidney who? Blumenthal was a political journalist for years before he joined the Bill Clinton White House as an advisor in 1997. He’s remained a close confidant and unofficial advisor to Hillary Clinton ever since. But Sidney Blumenthal is also the star of some of the alt-right’s favorite conspiracy theories, including a false story Trump has repeated that links Blumenthal to Benghazi, which journalist Kurt Eichenwald says began when Russian hackers attributed his writing to Blumenthal. Are Russian hackers leaking false stories to influence the US presidential election?
The America presidential nominee and the Russian strongman Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin for what he calls "strong leadership" — especially compared to Barack Obama. The President says "strong leadership" means cronyism, corruption and censorship, while healthcare, education and the economy are in decline. But polls show many Republicans, once warned by Ronald Reagan about an "evil empire," now look more kindly on Russia under Putin’s iron-fisted control. W e talk with a reporter who interviewed Putin for two hours. What did he say about Donald Trump? What about trying to manipulate American voters? As Trump sings praises for Russia's leader, how strong is the appeal of Putin's authoritarian style to American voters?
Could Trump's foreign business ties harm US national security? Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s business dealings are in the spotlight. Kurt Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, has investigated Trump’s foreign interests and found The Trump Organization has business ties to companies across the globe that could create serious and unprecedented conflicts of interest should he become president.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.