TrumpWatch, Day 341: Trump Continues Attack on FBI and Russia Investigation

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Trump: “FBI TAINTED”


Developments on Day 341 of the Trump Administration:

Trump’s Allies Talk of “Purge” of “Deep State”

After a one-day break for Christmas, Donald Trump resumes his attack on the FBI, hoping to collapse the Trump-Russia inquiry.

Trump tweeted a capital-filled rant on Tuesday morning, apparently after watching his favorite show Fox and Friends:

Trump and his supporters have stepped up their attempts to discredit the FBI and the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, following the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at the start of December over conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Hoping to prevent the investigation reaching Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — who guided Flynn in some of the contacts — and even Trump, they are accusing America’s top law enforcement agency of being part of a “Deep State” and attempted “coup”.

On Tuesday US Representative Francis Rooney, a Republican from Florida, called for a “purge” of the “Deep State” of the FBI and Justice Department:

Over the weekend, including on Christmas Eve, Trump assailed Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who temporarily led the FBI after Trump fired Director James Comey in May in a vain attempt to halt the Russia inquiry. McCabe is reportedly going to step down in March after reaching the age for a full FBI pension.

The “dossier” in Trump’s latest attack is a collection of 18 memoranda, disclosed in December 2016, collected by a former British intelligence officer working for the private firm Fusion GPS. The material — much of which has been corroborated by the separate investigations of the FBI and Mueller’s team — include claim of meetings between Trump’s campaign staff and Russian officials and of Russian financial involvement as well as influence operations in the 2016 Presidential election.

Meanwhile, Trump’s close advisors are trying to dismiss any significance in the Russian interference. Responding in a lengthy Washington Post article disclosing the extent of Russian operations before and during the 2016 campaign, a “senior Trump administration official” says:

If it changed one electoral vote, you tell me. The Russians didn’t tell Hillary Clinton not to campaign in Wisconsin. Tell me how many votes the Russians changed in Macomb County [in Michigan]. The president is right. The Democrats are using the report to delegitimize the presidency.


Trump Administration Rolls Back Fines Against Violations by Nursing Homes

The Trump administration is limiting fines of nursing homes for violations such as neglect or mistreatment.

The administration responded after the nursing home industry requested a change in the penalty protocols of the Medicare program. The American Health Care Association has maintained that inspectors are too focused on finding wrongdoings at nursing homes instead of assisting the facilities.

Almost 6,500 nursing homes have received at least one citation for a serious violation since 2013 and about two-thirds of those have been fined by Medicare. However, under new rules, regulators are discouraged from giving nursing homes fines, and the penalties may also be decreased.

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