Trump Cuts Staff At Federal Watchdog Agency Obama Created After 2008 Financial Crisis: Report

NEWS

President Trump has reportedly cut 40 staffers from the U.S. Office of Financial Research, a federal agency created as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation signed into law by President Obama, tasked with identifying financial risks and stress on global financial markets following the 2008 financial crisis.

Around 40 staff members were told they are losing their jobs on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The Hill notes that the move was part of the Trump administration’s larger vision announced in June to vastly reorganize the structure of the federal government.

Trump proposed dramatically slashing the office’s budget and slashing employees last May.

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Conservative Columnist Who Worked for McCain, Romney: ‘I’d Take Obama Back in a Nanosecond’

Posted on July 20, 2018 at 5:15pm

A conservative columnist who worked for both campaigns against former President Barack Obama now yearns for the days of reason and morality.

Max Boot, who served as a foreign policy adviser for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post that he would take Obama back in a “nanosecond.”

Boot wrote that despite his criticism of the last president, Obama’s tenure now “appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned.”

Boot wrote that he got a “new perspective” watching Obama speak in South Africa on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

“I was moved nearly to tears by his eloquent defense of a liberal world order that President Trump appears bent on destroying,” Boot wrote.

“Obama has a far better claim than Trump to being a ‘very stable genius,’ but he didn’t call himself one,” Boot explained. “The sentences were complete and sonorous — and probably written by the speaker himself.”

“Imagine Trump writing anything longer than a tweet — and even those are full of mistakes,” he added.

He pointed to a big scandal in 2013 – when Obama put his foot on the Oval Office desk.

“Can you believe that an Obama-era scandal was that the president wore a tan suit or put his feet up on the desk?” he asked.

“Oh, to have those days back again — before we had a president who was involved in indecent relationships with a Russian despot and (allegedly) a porn star,” Boot wrote.

“He reminds me that just 18 months ago — can you believe it was so recently? — we had a president with whom I could disagree without ever doubting his fitness to lead. We can have one again,” he wrote.

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Trump bashes Obama, CNN and “deep state” after Mueller indicts Russians over election interference

By Eric Lutz | 3h ago

President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia’s election interference, tweeting the day after a grand jury indicted a dozen Kremlin intelligence officials that his predecessor should’ve done “something about it.”

“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” the president tweeted. “Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”

The remark — part of a string of tweets related to the Russia probe — came on the heels of a new wave of indictments against Russian intelligence operatives accused of hacking Hillary Clinton and the Democrats and releasing sensitive stolen documents in an effort to damage her 2016 presidential campaign.

While Friday’s indictments did not include official allegations of misconduct by any Americans, the charges seemed to implicate Trump ally Roger Stone, who reportedly communicated with a fictitious online persona created by the Russian conspirators, and WikiLeaks — the organization Trump repeatedly said he loved in 2016.

It also raised further questions about possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, as the conspirators allegedly began a spear-phishing offensive against Clinton and members of her team the same day Trump publicly called on Russia to find his opponent’s missing emails — a comment members of Trump’s team have dismissed as a joke.

Continue reading “Trump bashes Obama, CNN and “deep state” after Mueller indicts Russians over election interference”

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Obama offers Democrats tough love ahead of midterms: ‘Enough moping’

By Dan Merica, CNN

article video

Beverly Hills, California (CNN) Former President Barack Obama, re-emerging into the political fray for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser here on Thursday, had a message for troubled Democrats: Do more than just mope.

Obama peppered his 45-minute appearance with subtle knocks for despondent Democrats, warning that it is not enough to lament Donald Trump’s presidency or complain about the impact he is having on the country. Instead, a tie-less and visibly relaxed Obama urged Democrats to back up those concerns with action and avoid the belief that the party is bound to defeat Republicans in November.

“If what you are doing requires no sacrifice at all, then you can do more,” Obama told the tony crowd at a sweeping multi-million-dollar Beverly Hills home. “If you are one of these folks who is watching cable news at your cocktail parties with your friends and you are saying ‘civilization is collapsing’ and you are nervous and worried, but that is not where you are putting all your time, energy and money, then either you don’t actually think civilization is collapsing … or you are not pushing yourself hard enough and I would push harder.”

At one point, he turned to the crowd and declared, “Enough moping, this is a mope-free zone.”

And the former President even suggested to the roughly 200 donors in attendance, who also enjoyed a performance from Christina Aguilera, that Democrats can’t get fixated on the glitz and personality of politics.

“We shouldn’t expect (politics) to be entertaining all the time — and Christina Aguilera was wonderful — but you don’t need to have an amazing singer at every event,” he said. “Sometimes you are just in a church basement making phone calls and eating cold pizza.”

The fundraiser, the first Obama has done for the DNC this year, is a rare foray into electoral politics for a former president who has spent much of his time focused on two priorities: His forthcoming book, which he is writing by hand on a yellow legal pad, and The Obama Foundation, his non-profit that will eventually be housed in his Chicago library.

But Obama’s message on Thursday, sitting in overstuffed armchairs across from DNC chair Tom Perez, was far more a call for Democratic self-reflection than the hope and change the launched him into the White House 10 years ago. At an event that included opening remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Obama urged Democrats to not grow complacent and at times validated their fears about the last 18 months.

“This is a moment of great urgency and you are right to be concerned,” he said.

At no point in the event did Obama actually say Trump’s name. But he did sprinkle his remarks to ardent Democrats, some of whom spent thousands to see him, with plenty of knocks against the opposing party.

“They are mad even when they win,” he exclaimed. “Have you noticed that? They don’t look happy at all!”

The fact Obama has returned to the political fight will be welcome news for Democrats who, facing what they believe to be a generational fight against Trump, have publicly pleaded with the former president to stop avoiding the day-to-day political drama.

But his tough love message to the party is likely not what those Democrats expected.

“I would caution us from extrapolating too much from a bunch of special elections and starting to think, ‘OK, this will take care of itself,'” he said. “Because it won’t.”

Obama to step up involvement in midterms

Obama stays in regular contact with informal advisers and keeps tabs on the news, said one strategist close to him, but he has avoided weighing in on a host of issues, despite the calls for his involvement.

“He takes what’s happening seriously,” said the strategist, but Obama often talks “about the long arc of history” and how “our country, like all others, will zig and zag.”

“Yes, he definitely follows the news and is engaged but is not consumed with day-to-day Trump news — certainly doesn’t follow the hysterics on Twitter or cable news,” the source said.

That could soon change.

A host of Democrats said that the former president has signaled to top lawmakers and operatives that he will be stepping up his involvement in the midterms soon and is telling friends and advisers that his priorities are flipping the House and backing up redistricting efforts led by former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Obama’s midterm strategy is not yet fully formed and his top advisers are still plotting the role he hopes to play the election. And while his message is a work in progress, Obama will likely urge Democrats to keep up the momentum they have shown over the last 18 months.

Obama acknowledged that Democrats are still searching for a message in the midterms and took a stab at a message of his own.

“The simple message right now is that if people participate, and they vote, then this democracy works,” he said, “And if we don’t vote, then this democracy does not work.”

He added: “So, I am happy to talk about specifics, but I want you to know for those of you who have decided you have got something else to do, I am giving you the executive summary: Vote! Participate! Get involved!”

Obama argued on Thursday that the divide in America is a split between “a fundamental contrast of how we view the world and what is going on right now” and that America is “seeing the consequences of what happens when one vision is realized, or at least is in charge.”

“That’s the bad news,” he said. “The good news is that it is entirely within our power to solve it.”

Fundraising trip

Obama’s visit to California was part of a broader fundraising swing to the state.

On Friday, Obama will travel to the Bay Area to headline a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Anna Eshoo. The luncheon event is expected to raise millions, with top tickets to the event running $237,300 per couple and general entry running $10,000, according to an invitation.

The trip will also benefit Obama’s growing post-presidency foundation, with the former President meeting with prospective donors to his foundation.

Democrats close to Obama describe him as very hands on with the library, including everything from programing, outreach to the Chicago community and the library’s architectural planning — a reflection of the fact that the former President once pined to be an architect.

Obama regularly meets with the architects for hours, one of his advisers said, and they often bring in design models for him to look over, causing the meetings to go on far longer than their allotted time.

It was clear throughout the event that even though Obama has been away from day-to-day politics over the last 18 months, he had not lost his quickness on the stump.

Asked about women in politics, he opened by saying, “First of all, lets stipulate that women are smart.” When the women in the audience hollered, he added, “But, women, you guys aren’t perfect, let’s be clear. I just don’t want you to feel, to quote Beyonce, I don’t want you to feel yourself too much now.”

When a helicopter was heard buzzing overhead, causing numerous donors to look upwards, Obama said, “Don’t worry, everyone seems very concerned about the helicopter.”

“Is it yours?” a woman in the audience asked.

“No, I don’t have one anymore,” he said. “That one that I had, that was a loaner.”

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