Confluence | Oct 4, 2019 | 0
3 Stories You Should Read 2/13/2020: Border Wall, Bill Barr, Hope Hicks
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In the category of: Realocation
The Trump administration plans to take more than $1 billion from the National Guard and use it to fund border security, including new fencing, according to two Congressional sources briefed on the matter.
In total, the Pentagon aims to move $3.8 billion from their annual budget to border security spending, one of the sources said. Of that, about $1.3 billion will come from the National Guard and reserves equipment budget and will instead be spent on bollard-style fences, roads, and sensor lights in areas on federal land, according to the sources. The Trump administration cites cross-border drug trafficking as justification for the spending.
In the category of: Rigging the system
The Roger Stone prosecutors’ withdrawal is only part of it.
Attorney General Bill Barr and his allies are centralizing control over the Justice Department and acting in increasingly blatant ways to protect President Donald Trump’s interests and allies.
This became evident in dramatic fashion Tuesday when the entire team prosecuting longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone withdrew from that case after Justice Department higher-ups made clear they planned to override their sentencing recommendation.
But the Stone controversy was just the latest in a series of recent moves by Barr to “take control of legal matters of personal interest to President Donald Trump,” as Carol Lee, Ken Dilanian, and Peter Alexander of NBC News reported.
In the category of: The faithful
Trusted aide Hope Hicks will return, while Trump’s “body man” Johnny McEntee is getting a promotion.
President Donald Trump is surrounding himself with loyalists after a week of banishing staffers across the government in a post-impeachment revenge plot.
On Thursday, the White House confirmed that Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s most trusted confidants, will return to the White House to work directly for the president’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser after nearly two years away. Trump’s “body man” Johnny McEntee is also being promoted to run the office responsible for filling hundreds of top political jobs throughout the federal agencies, according to three senior administration officials, replacing Sean Doocey, who will move over to the State Department.
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