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Capitol Ink | Mustache Justice

Iran, North Korea and Crypto
Fintech Beat, Ep. 36

Looking toward the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area within the DMZ from Panmunjom, South Korea. (Photo By Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Fintech Beat gives an inside view from former intelligence officials on how sanctions and political gyrations between the Trump administration and Iran and North Korea can impact financial technology, and how these regimes can use cryptocurrencies in nefarious ways.

Top Trump aide stops short of echoing boss’ claim that economy is ‘best it’s ever been’
But Lawrence Kudlow touts wage growth and low unemployment rate

Larry Kudlow, director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, says the economy under Trump will “rank up there” with previous strong economies. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser on Friday stopped short of endorsing the president’s repeated claim that the U.S. economy is at its strongest point in the country’s history.

“In history? I think it’ll rank up there, yes,” Lawrence Kudlow told CQ Roll Call on Friday. But he notably did not say the U.S. economy is the strongest it’s ever been as his boss heads into what pollsters and strategists in both parties say could be a photo-finish election.

GAO: Trump’s hold on Ukraine aid violated budget law
1974 budget law limits presidential authority to prohibit congressionally approved spending

President Donald Trump boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in October. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Government Accountability Office said in an opinion Thursday that President Donald Trump violated federal budget law when he ordered White House officials to withhold most of a $250 million military aid package for Ukraine last summer.

The finding comes after House Democrats delivered articles of impeachment on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress grounds stemming from the Ukraine affair to the Senate Wednesday evening, triggering the Senate trial expected to start next week.

Iranian Quds commander’s assassination to follow Trump back to Washington
Democrats, allies calling for deescalation of tension with Iran while other tensions await at White House

Iranians burn an American flag during a demonstration in Tehran on Friday following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. strike on his convoy at Baghdad International Airport. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — There are two things White House and Trump campaign officials have not wanted to discuss when it comes to President Donald Trump’s reelection chances: An economic recession and a military conflict. Suddenly, the latter is possible.

The president’s top aides have acknowledged an economic slowdown would undermine the president’s top claim that he’s earned a second term. That’s because he leads almost every public event — no matter the topic — by touting the low unemployment and record-high stock market levels.

Capitol Ink | Best of 2019
The only constant in this wild year was unpredictability

Quid pro WHOA — what a year!

In January, Democrats took control of the House amid what would become the longest federal government shutdown in history. Springtime brought, besides cherry blossoms, special counsel Robert S. Mueller II’s release of his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election — and a blindsiding by his own boss, Attorney General William Barr.

Mar-a-Limbo: With Senate trial on hold, Trump faces uncertainty during Florida vacation
Despite likely acquittal, presidential scholars see an executive office likely changed forever

President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House before speaking to members of the media in Washington on Oct. 10. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Essay: For White House press pool on Trump’s impeachment day, the silence was deafening
President appeared to understand there are some historical events not even he can counter-program

President Donald Trump arrives at the White House early Thursday morning after a rally in Michigan. While Trump was speaking at the rally, the House voted to impeach him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

ESSAY | The silence was deafening. Certainly not what I expected as the White House in-town pool reporter on the day President Donald Trump was impeached. 

Trump, famous for his feisty interactions with the press as a New York businessman and who flashed his penchant for drama as a reality television host, has transformed presidential communications.

Minutes after being impeached, Trump says House Dems earned ‘eternal mark of shame’
45th president joins Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as only impeached chief executives

President Donald Trump addresses his impeachment during a Merry Christmas Rally at the Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019 in Battle Creek, Mich.  While Trump spoke at the rally the House voted to impeach him, making Trump just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

House Democrats will forever wear an “eternal mark of shame” for impeaching him on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, President Donald Trump said Wednesday evening.

“Democrat lawmakers don’t believe you have the right to elect your own president,” Trump said to boos during a rowdy campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. “Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame.

Officially impeached, Trump must learn to live with ‘black mark’ on his presidency
‘He sold himself as ... someone who operates differently. … They just accept it,’ expert says

President Donald Trump is now the third president to be impeached. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)