U.S. Politics

Experts Say Susan Rice Had Every Right To Request ‘Unmasking’ In Intel Reports



A Monday Bloomberg report alleging that a former top Obama administration official requested the unmasking of U.S. persons tied to the Trump campaign who were swept up in foreign surveillance is not the “smoking gun” that the President’s backers are making it out to be.

According to surveillance and national security experts, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice would be within her rights to make such requests if she was trying to determine the extent of Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

“Part of her job as national security adviser is to pay attention to what foreign governments are doing,” Rebecca Lonergan, a former federal prosecutor who handled foreign surveillance cases, told TPM. “If she’s asking for specific names to be unmasked in order to understand what Russia may be doing to influence the U.S. political system and influence our elections, presumably in a way they thought would benefit them, she’s doing her job.”

Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst, noted on Twitter that it was not “odd or wrong” for the national security adviser to read “a report of foreign officials discussing US persons coming into” the White House. And Susan Hennessey, a fellow in national security governance studies at the Brookings Institution, wrote of the Bloomberg article that “nothing in this story indicates anything improper whatsoever.”

Eli Lake, the Bloomberg View columnist who wrote the report, noted in his piece that “some intelligence value” is required for senior officials to request that U.S. persons’ names be unmasked, and that as a result, Rice’s alleged requests were “likely within the law.”

The intelligence reports in question were primarily summaries of conversations between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, as well as communications between Trump staffers and foreign officials being monitored by the U.S. government, according to Lake’s reporting.

Lonergan said that given the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, which Director James Comey recently confirmed has been ongoing since July 2016, the discovery of such conversations would “naturally and appropriately” prompt top-level national security officials to ask that U.S. persons’ names be unmasked “to see if any inappropriate action is taking place.”

That was not how Trump’s allies viewed the Bloomberg report and other reports alleging Rice asked to have Trump staffers’ identities unmasked, however.

“Smoking gun found!” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) charged on Twitter. “Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.”

“Unmasker Unmasked: Susan Rice Named As Intel Boss Who Exposed Team Trump Surveillance,” read the headline on Fox News’ homepage.

That reaction was familiar: A similar chorus erupted when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) first went public last month with claims that Trump staffers’ names were unmasked in intercepts unrelated to the FBI’s Russia probe. Conservative pundits and politicians seized on the purported unmasking as proof of Trump’s oft-repeated and baseless claim that he was surveilled by the Obama administration.

That interpretation is a fundamental misreading of who the target of the surveillance was and why U.S. persons swept up in that surveillance would be unmasked, according to Lonergan. The Trump team was not being “spied on” by the Obama administration, she explained, but individuals associated with his campaign were being discussed by or in communication with foreign nationals who were being surveilled. She said the staffers’ names would only be unmasked to help U.S. national security officials understand the national security threat posed by Russia’s involvement in the election.

“If we just heard Susan Rice as national security adviser is trying to keep track of Russia’s interference in the election, we’d all cheer,” Lonergan said. “But then we hear the word surveillance and people start talking about it in very inexact ways that make it seem like something wrong was done.”

The opaque nature in which U.S. intelligence is classified makes it easy for politicians and pundits to spin that intelligence in ways that read differently to the press, said Jack Lerner, an expert on technology law at the University of California Irvine School of Law.

“There are lots of minimization procedures, some of which are classified, that the NSA follows. There are various levels of intelligence information in terms of sensitivity, in terms of classification that various people in Congress and the White House are given exposure to,” Lerner told TPM. “And it’s difficult for someone who doesn’t work for that agency to figure it out.”

Lonergan charged that Nunes was himself “leaking classified information” when he went to the press with his initial claims that Trump staffers’ identities had been unmasked and widely circulated within the intelligence community. She said intelligence and national security officials who are required to remain mum about the information they receive are now “clashing” with politicians accustomed to speaking to the public about what they know.

“A lot of people who know what’s actually going on don’t talk about it because they’re not supposed to talk about it,” she said. “And then you get the politicians out talking about it in very broad, accusatory terms so it gets very distorted in the media.”


U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: April 3, 2017



Ron Jenkins/Getty Images


1. Senate committee to vote on Gorsuch nomination
The Republican push to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, heads into a final showdown this week, with the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled to vote on the nomination on Monday. The committee’s GOP majority is expected to send Gorsuch’s nomination to the full Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised that the Senate will confirm Gorsuch by Friday. Democrats have enough votes to block a final vote with a filibuster, and despite help from three Democrats, Republicans are still several votes short of the 60 votes they need to get past the filibuster. GOP leaders have indicated that they would change Senate rules on confirming Supreme Court justices if necessary, ditching the filibuster and allowing final votes to be called with a simple majority, a change that would alter the way justices are confirmed in the future.

Source: The Washington Post

2. South Carolina beats Mississippi State to win NCAA women’s basketball title
The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 67-55 to win the team’s first women’s NCAA basketball championship on Sunday. South Carolina was led by junior center A’ja Wilson, who scored 23 points and 10 rebounds. Both teams were playing in the title game for the first time. The Bulldogs earned their shot at the championship with an upset victory in the Final Four that ended a 111-game winning streak for tournament favorite and four-time defending champion UConn. The Gamecocks kept Mississippi State to 34 percent shooting in their third victory over the Bulldogs this season.

Source: The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated

3. Paul and Trump continue ObamaCare replacement talks on golf course
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and President Trump discussed the ongoing GOP negotiations on replacing ObamaCare at Trump’s golf club in Virginia on Sunday. “We had a great day with the president,” Paul told the White House press pool after his round of golf with the president. “Played some golf, and we talked and we talked about a little bit of health care. I continue to be very optimistic that we are getting closer and closer to an agreement on repealing ObamaCare.” Paul criticized the House GOP leadership’s health proposal, dismissing it as “ObamaCare lite” and siding with conservatives who helped defeat the legislation. Trump last week harshly criticized Republicans who opposed the plan, but he tweeted Sunday that talks “will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.”

Source: The Hill

4. Trump says U.S. will handle North Korea alone if China won’t help
President Trump said in an interview published Sunday in the Financial Times that he would take unilateral action to rein in North Korea if China won’t help. “China will either decide to help us with North Korea or they won’t,” Trump said in the interview. “If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone.” North Korea has conducted a series of nuclear weapon and missile tests in recent months in defiance of international warnings. Last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a visit to South Korea that the U.S. was leaving military action on the table as it considered options for curbing Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

Source: Financial Times, CNN

5. Kushner makes surprise visit to Iraq
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, made an unannounced trip to Iraq over the weekend with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, a senior U.S. official said Sunday. The official said that Kushner wanted to show his support for Iraq’s government, and get a better understanding of conditions in the country. Trump has given Kushner several major responsibilities, including working on peace in the Middle East. Trump met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month. Al-Abadi said he was told the U.S. would provide additional support in the fight against the Islamic State.

Source: Politico, The New York Times

6. Haley says Trump is not going easy on Russia
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sundaythat President Trump had never discouraged her from “beating up on Russia” even as federal investigators look into possible cooperation between Trump associates and Russia during last year’s campaign. Haley said there was no doubt that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, and that she would support a strong response once the investigations into the meddling are complete. “We don’t want any country involved in our elections, ever,” Haley said. “We need to be very strong on that.” Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Russia used hacking and information leaks to help Trump beat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Source: The Associated Press

7. South Korean ship goes missing in South Atlantic
A South Korean freighter, the Stellar Daisy, went missing in the South Atlantic on Sunday. One of the vessel’s 22 crew members sent a text message on Friday saying that the 148,000-ton ship was taking on water. Two Filipino crew members were found in a life raft and rescued on Saturday. Other lifeboats also were found in the area, but they were empty. The ship was carrying 260,000 tons of iron ore from Brazil to China. Rescue crews are continuing to search for survivors. “The more hours pass, the less the chances are of finding them,” Gaston Jaunsolo, the spokesman for the Uruguayan navy told Reuters.

Source: Reuters, BBC News

8. Both sides claim victory in Ecuador presidential election
Lenín Moreno of leftist President Rafael Correa’s ruling party appeared to have beaten conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso in Ecuador’s presidential election, leading 51 percent to 49 percent with nearly all of the votes counted in Sunday’s second-round runoff. Lasso, however, refused to concede after three exit polls showed him winning, and vowed to challenge the vote count, urging supporters to protest peacefully. “This is very sickening. We’re not going to allow it,” Lasso said. Both sides claimed victory. Correa accused Lasso supporters of trying to stir up violence, and Moreno said he would start working on his transition.

Source: The Associated Press

9. U.K. leaders balk at discussing Gibraltar in Brexit negotiations
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday that the sovereignty of Gibraltar would not change as part of Britain’s exit from the European Union. British leaders bristled after the EU on Fridayreleased draft negotiation guidelines saying the status of the British outpost on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula would have to be approved by Spain, which has long claimed Gibraltar as its own. Over the weekend, a former leader of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said the U.K. would be willing to defend Gibraltar as it did the Falkland Islands off Argentina 35 years ago. Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said his government was surprised to see British leaders “losing their cool” over Gibraltar. Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called for calm, saying, “You can now see how difficult the divorce is.”

Source: BBC News, Reuters

10. UNC and Gonzaga prepare for NCAA title game
The University of North Carolina and Gonzaga square off Mondaynight in the championship game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Gonzaga advanced to its first appearance in the title game by beating South Carolina 77-73 in the Final Four. The Tar Heels, who won their spot in the finals with a 77-76 win over Oregon, will be playing in their record 20th title game, and their second straight, after losing to Villanova on a last second 3-pointer last year.

Source: USA Today

U.S. Politics

Adam Schiff: Trump’s Use Of The Word ‘Fake’ Should ‘Set Off Alarm Bells’


Schiff said the president’s tweets “tell the story.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says Americans should be wary of President Donald Trump’s use of the word “fake.”

On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked Schiff if Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was attempting to distract from the Russia investigation with claims that members of Trump’s transition team were subjects of “incidental” collection during routine surveillance targeting suspected foreign spies.

“I would tell people, whenever they see the president use the word ‘fake,’ it ought to set off alarm bells,” Schiff told Tapper, suggesting the president’s tweets signal where there’s real controversy.

“[Trump’s] tweets tell the story, and the story is ‘Look over there at leaks,’ and ‘Look over there at anything the Obama administration, we can claim, did wrong on incidental collection or anything else ― but whatever you do, under no circumstances look here at me or at Russia,’” Schiff continued. “I think that’s really what’s going on.”

Trump has repeatedly suggested that leaks from within his administration are the biggest problem he’s faced as president. He tweeted about “leakers” Sunday morning:

Paige Lavender

U.S. Politics

Mitch McConnell is having trouble justifying Republicans’ Supreme Court hypocrisy

Mitch McConnell is having trouble justifying Republicans' Supreme Court hypocrisy

Source: AP

MIC News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to MSNBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to promise President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, would be confirmed this week.

Host Chuck Todd in turn took the occasion to press McConnell on whether he regretted blocking Barack Obama’s prior nominee Merrick Garland from ever reaching a floor vote, leaving a somewhat flustered McConnell hard pressed to justify the 10-month refusal to so much as hold a hearing for Garland.

“The tradition had been not to confirm vacancies in the middle of a presidential year,” McConnell told Todd. “You’d have to go back 80 years to find the last time it happened.”

But when Todd pressed McConnell on why the senator blocked Garland from ever having a committee hearing, not just oppose his confirmation, McConnell veered into full error: divide by zero territory.

“Look, we litigated that last year,” McConnell said. “The American people decided that they wanted Donald Trump to make the nomination, not Hillary Clinton.”

“You say it’s been litigated, the Garland situation,” Todd shot back. “For a lot of Senate Democrats, they’re not done litigating this … What was wrong with allowing Merrick Garland to have an up or down vote?”

“I already told you!” McConnell said. “You don’t fill Supreme Court vacancies in the middle of a presidential election.”

But McConnell was willing to apply a completely different standard to whether it would be improper for Democrats to filibuster Gorsuch in response: “To oppose cloture, on a partisan basis, to kill a Supreme Court nominee … never happened before in history, in the whole history of the country.”

“No Supreme Court justice has ever, in the history of our country, been stopped by a partisan filibuster, ever,” he added, ignoring that Republicans’ refusal to give Garland a hearing had a nearly identical effect.

Here’s the thing: historian Kevin Kruse noted on Twitter, the supposed tradition of not confirming SCOTUS nominees during election years never really existed.

kevin kruse tweet

According to the New York Times, as Garland met with all dozen of the Republican senators who agreed with him, many openly acknowledged the refusal to schedule a hearing was political. One study in the New York University Law Review concluded it was “an unprecedented development.” Even Gorsuch has hinted the Senate appeared to have blocked Garland because of “political disputes” rather than concerns over Garland’s qualifications.

McConnell has good reasons to avoid admitting that — especially as he is working to carefully flip Democrats to prevent a Gorsuch filibuster. Democratic leadership like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have promised to fight Gorsuch’s confirmation, and remain angry about the way Garland was treated.

When Todd pressed McConnell on whether he’d consistently apply the dubious election-year standard to future SCOTUS nominees, which could backfire on Republicans, McConnell evaded again.

“That’s an absurd question,” McConnell responded. “We were right in the middle of a presidential election year. Everybody knew that either side — had the shoe been on the other foot — wouldn’t have filled it. But that has nothing to do with what we’re voting on this year.”

U.S. Politics

Trump’s meeting with Egyptian leader to push human rights to the background


(Photo: Dominick Reuter, AFP/Getty Images)


WASHINGTON — President Trump’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the White House Monday may represent the strongest signal yet that Trump is making counter-terrorism a top priority — even if it comes at the expense of human rights in the region.

White House aides said Trump hopes to use Monday’s meeting to “reboot” the relationship and reestablish a connection made when they first met in New York last September. It’s a reversal from President Obama, who gave a cold shoulder to the Egyptian leader after he helped depose the democratically elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Since then, Sisi’s regime has been responsible for jailing and killing thousands of protesters. “He took control of Egypt. And he really took control of it,” Trump told the Fox Business Network last September.

One senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House press office, said Trump would address human rights issues, but would handle it in a more “discreet” way.

“Do we believe it, given that this administration has gone out of its way to avoid talking about human rights?” said Neil Hicks, an Egypt specialist at Human Rights First. “I think we’re entitled to be skeptical.”

The Trump administration has already taken a number of steps to de-emphasize human rights in its foreign policy. Last week, the administration approved the sale of 19 F-16 fighter jets to the Kingdom of Bahrain, despite human rights concerns that had held up the sale under the Obama administration.

And when the State Department released its annual human rights report last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not hold a press conference to detail the findings of the human report.

Thar report cited Egypt for a long list of human rights violations. Among them: excessive use of force by state security forces, including impunity for the killing and torture of political opponents; the use of military courts to try civilians in mass trials, and widespread practices that include female genital mutilation, human trafficking, forced marriage and child abuse.

In one closely watched case, Egyptian officials arrested Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American citizen who ran a charity for street children. White House officials would not make any assurances that Trump would bring up her two-year detention. “We are going to address this issue with Egypt in a way that he hope will maximize the chances of getting it resolved,” said a second official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Trump has said his first foreign policy priority is to “defeat radical Islam.” And in a speech outlining his strategy last year, he mentioned only two world leaders by name as natural allies in that effort.

“We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan and the president of Egypt, President Sisi, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished,” he said in a speech in Youngstown, Ohio last August. Abdullah also visits the White House this week for a separate meeting focused on the campaign against the Islamic State and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump aides say the president will assure both leaders that he would “continue to maintain a strong and sufficient level of support to Egypt and Jordan,” despite a budget outline that slashes foreign humanitarian and development aid — aid that has helped Jordan deal with a torrent of refugees from Syria’s Civil War.

U.S. Politics

Even Fox News slams EPA chief’s climate denial: ‘All kinds of studies contradict you’

Screenshot of FoxNews Sunday morning graphic debunking EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s claim CO2 is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming


Even Fox News can’t believe that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t accept the basic scientific finding that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to recent global warming.

To promote President Trump’s disastrous plan to gut the EPA and U.S. climate action, Pruitt has been pushing his dangerous beliefs on all the major networks.

Pruitt may have thought the Murdoch-owned network that has led the way on attacking climate science for two decades would be a friendly audience. He was wrong.

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace thoroughly debunked Pruitt for defending his absurd claim that CO2 is not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Wallace will have none of it: “Mr. Pruitt, there are all kinds of studies that contradict you.” He quotes the conclusion of the world’s leading climate scientists in the U.N.’s 2013 assessment of the scientific literature that there’s a 95 to 100 percent chance “human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Pruitt hems and haws and tries to gloss over his statement. Wallace then blasts him for “sugarcoating what you said,” and reduces the question to its simplest form. “What if you are wrong?” asks Wallace.

“What if, in fact, the earth is warming, what if it is causing dramatic climate change and we as humans through carbon emissions are contributing to it? Simple question, what if you are wrong?”

Pruitt can’t admit that possibility, so he hides behind the tiny mistake Wallace makes in an otherwise outstanding grilling of Pruitt. Wallace only asks what if humans are “contributing” to climate change, rather than hitting Pruitt on his denial that humans are the “primary” contributor.

This allows Pruitt to concede CO2 makes some contribution, assert “the issue is how much we contribute to it,” and sidestep the fact that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists — over 97 percent of them — understand that humans are the primary cause of climate change and thus are the primary solution.

As an important aside, the UN assessment of climate science that Fox News cited states clearly, “The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.” That is, the best estimate by scientists is that humans are responsible for all of the warming we have suffered since 1950! Every major government in the world signed off on this finding.

Still, kudos to Chris Wallace for dismantling Pruitt’s lies. What a topsy-turvy world it is where Fox News takes on the role of defender of climate science. It seems even they draw the line at certain alternative facts.

Joe Romm

U.S. Politics

Confused Old Man Shows Up At The Golf Course Instead Of His Job For 14th Time In 10 Weeks

Confused Old Man Shows Up At The Golf Course Instead Of His Job For 14th Time In 10 Weeks

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images


A tired 70-year-old man keeps forgetting to show up at his new job and instead, he has repeatedly gone golfing. The irony is that this same man routinely mocked the man who previously held his job for golfing. This man’s job title: Commander-in-Chief. We suspect that former reality show star Donald Trump didn’t realize that being the alleged leader of the free world would be a difficult job. Trump is up to his eyeballs in scandals and instead of addressing them, he’s either tweeting or on the golf course, or both.

Again, the Twitter-addicted amateur president is playing golf at a Trump-owned golf course, raising more concerns over his mounting conflicts of interest.

The White House press pool reports that Trump is meeting with budget director Mick Mulvaney and Senator Rand Paul. Last time Trump went golfing, he claimed to be in meetings, however, that doesn’t appear to be true.

Trump returned to the same golf club in Virginia.

Last year, during a campaign rally, Trump referred to his golf courses when criticizing former President Barack Obama.

The Independent reports:

The President has visited his own-branded properties approximately once every three days during the course of his presidency so far, according to The Washington Post.

“You know what – and I love golf – but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again,” Trump declared. “I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again, I own Doral in Miami, I don’t think I’d ever see many of the places that I have.”

“I don’t ever think that I’d see anything, I just wanna stay in the White House and work my ass off, make great deals, right? Who’s gonna leave? I mean, who’s gonna leave?” he said.

At a 2016 rally in Virginia, Trump said, “I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

This is Trump’s 14th golf outing in just 10 weeks. We get it, Donald. You’re tired and what better place to take a break than the Sunshine state? After all, he’s been on the job for two whole months.

Conover Kennard

U.S. Politics

The White House Wouldn’t Post Trump Staffers’ Financial Disclosures. So We Did.

The White House Wouldn’t Post Trump Staffers’ Financial Disclosures. So We Did.


In a remarkable Friday night news dump, the Trump administration made dozens of White House staffers’ financial disclosure forms available. But they did it with an extra dose of opacity.

These are important disclosures from the people who have the president’s ear and shape national policy. They lay out all sorts of details, including information on ownership of stocks, real estate and companies, and make possible conflicts of interest public.

But the White House required a separate request for each staffer’s disclosure. And they didn’t give the names of the staffers, leaving us to guess who had filed disclosures, a kind of Transparency Bingo.

Since the White House wasn’t going to post the documents publicly, we did.

We teamed up with The New York Times and The Associated Press, requested docs for every staffer we know and put them in this public Google Drive folder.

We’re continuing to look through them. And we want your help: If you see anything that merits a closer look, comment on the thread below or fill out our Google Form.

Among the things we’ve learned already:

Steve Bannon, President Trump’s hand-picked chief strategist, earned more than $500,000 last year through businesses connected to Republican donors Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah. The companies include the conservative website Breitbart News Network; the data-crunching firm Cambridge Analytica; the conservative nonprofit Government Accountability Institute; and the entertainment production company Glittering Steel. (Per an agreement with White House ethics attorneys, Bannon is selling his stakes in Cambridge Analytica and Glittering Steel. He made somewhere between $1.3 million and $2.3 million last year, according to the filings.)

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, resigned his positions in 266 different business entities in order to comply with federal ethics rules, White House officials said Friday. He and his wife Ivanka’s financial disclosure shows the scale of their wealth, largely through the family-run Kushner Companies: real estate and investments worth as much as $741 million.

And Kushner is holding onto more than 100 real-estate assets, including a Trump-branded rental building in Jersey City, New Jersey, which was financed with millions from wealthy Chinese investors through a visa program.

As part of Kushner’s financial disclosure, Ivanka Trump, who recently took an official post in the White House, had to disclose her assets. Ivanka Trump’s branded companies, including her clothing and jewelry lines, brought in more than $5 million in 2016 and are valued at more than $50 million. Her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which opened in September, brought in income of between $1 million and $5 million. (She is putting her companies in a trust that she won’t manage while her father serves as president.)

There are other tidbits, too. Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker who now serves as director of the National Economic Council, has assets worth at least $253 million, including million-dollar or more stakes in several private companies. Omarosa Manigault, the reality-TV star who took a job as a White House communications staffer, has a 33 percent stake in a trust worth between $1 million and $5 million established by her late fiancée, the Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who died in 2012. Reed Cordish, a Trump family friend and Maryland real-estate developer who now oversees technology initiatives at the White House, reported assets of at least $197 million, including partnerships in Baltimore casinos.

So far, we’ve received less than half of the roughly 180 financial disclosures White House officials said they have processed. But the moment we get them, you will, too.

by Ariana Tobin and Derek Kravitz