POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Barron Trump Still Wondering What Dad Did With His UNICEF Box

Because we’re entering into the final, far more serious, weeks of the campaign, we’ve moved on from frog-meme-centric news cycles to ones centered around Skittles. Donald Trump once used his charity’s money to purchase a portrait of himself, though we’re pretty sure Charity Navigator advises organizations to just use their work phones for a selfie instead. And John Boehner is joining Squire Patton Boggs, with a portfolio mostly consisting of running into Kevin McCarthy at the Capitol Hill Club and nodding knowingly. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, September 20th, 2016:

TRUMP DOES VERY ILLEGAL THING  - David Fahrenthold: “Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents. Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against ‘self-dealing’ — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses. In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole. In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.... In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.” [WaPo]

GOP COALESCING AROUND TRUMP - Keep it up, Evan McMullin! You’re almost there! Janie Velencia: “Republican support for Donald Trump is at an all-time high, with GOP voters now just as unified behind Trump as Democrats are behind Hillary Clinton, according to the HuffPost Pollster polling average. Polls have shown a tightening race in recent weeks, leaving Democrats on edge and concerned that Clinton is losing the comfortable lead she held over the summer. There’s data to back up Democrats’ hand-wringing. Republican voters who had previously withheld their support for Trump have come around recently. Trump has managed to gain 6 percentage points among Republicans since mid-August, and he’s on an upward trend, according to the HuffPost Pollster chart. This increased support could be due in part to the fact that Americans have been reading and hearing less about Trump in the news over the past few weeks, according to a Gallup poll. University of Virginia political scientists Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley have found empirical evidence to suggest a relationship between media coverage and voter support.” [HuffPost]

#NeverTrump update: “Like others in the #NeverTrump contingent, [former Jeb Bush staffer and #nevertrumper [Tim] Miller still thinks Trump will lose, citing unfavorable demographics and the likelihood that a candidate who loves riffing can’t remain stuck to a teleprompter. For that reason, abject panic hasn’t set in. ‘I’m not going on background to [Buzzfeed’s] McKay Coppins to tell him I have little pee stains in my panties in the evening,’ he said. “’At the end of the day, I don’t see an electoral path for Trump.’” [HuffPost’s Sam Stein]

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TRUMP DONATED TO NY CANDIDATE TO LOWER TAX BILL - Christina Wilkie: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave at least $45,000 to the campaign of Alan Hevesi, a New York state comptroller who later went to prison for his role in a pay-to-play bribery scandal, according to a Huffington Post review of campaign finance records. Trump’s donations coincided with a $500 million lawsuit he filed against the city of New York in the hopes of reducing his property taxes. As the city comptroller and later the state comptroller, Hevesi, a Democrat, played a role in evaluating and settling legal claims against the city of New York and its officials. The bulk of Trump’s donations went to Hevesi’s campaign for state comptroller, a race Hevesi won in the fall of 2002. In the fall of 2003, by which point Trump had given Hevesi $35,000, the city settled Trump’s lawsuit, a decision that would have involved both the state comptroller ― i.e., Hevesi ― and the new city comptroller.” [

MCCONNELL KEEPING SENATE IN SESSION FOR VETO OVERRIDE - *A disappointed Ben Cardin, with zinc oxide on his nose and a Hawaiian shirt on, disappointedly drops beach umbrella* Jordain Carney: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Senate will take up an expected veto override of legislation that lets families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts before breaking for the elections. ‘Both of those we’ll have to deal with before we depart,’ McConnell told reporters. He was referring to the veto override and a separate push to block a proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia. The Senate is scheduled to be in session through early October, but lawmakers were hoping to leave town as soon as this week until after the election.” [The Hill]

TRUMP GETS THING WRONG - Perhaps Holt registered as a Republican as part of NBC News’ Red State pandering when it brought Brian Williams on board. Zeke Miller: “Republican nominee Donald Trump called first presidential debate moderator, NBC News anchor Lester Holt, ‘a Democrat’ Monday, despite public records that indicate otherwise. New York State voter registration documents show that Holt has been a registered Republican in the state since 2003. Trump’s comments to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, which were offered without any evidence to support the claim, are part of a time-honored tradition of alleging moderator bias and expectations-setting before a presidential debate. ‘By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats. It’s a very unfair system,’ Trump said of the debate moderators. The NBC newsman, regarded by both parties as a straight shooter, is set to moderate the first debate on Sept. 26.” [Time]

This is incredible: “The photographer who owns the rights to the image of a bowl of Skittles tweeted out by Donald Trump Jr. to explain the ‘Syrian refugee problem’ says he doesn’t approve of its use. David Kittos, a UK-based photographer, posted the Skittles photo on his Flickr account more than six years ago under an ‘all rights reserved’ license. ‘I believe that the picture was lifted from my Flickr account WITHOUT permission. I don’t approve of its use by Mr. Trump or his politics,’ Kittos told BuzzFeed News via email. Kittos told the BBC he was once a refugee himself, leaving Turkish-occupied Cyprus as a 6-year-old.” [BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski]

BOEHNER HEADS TO K STREET - And here we thought he was going to take that department chair gig at the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Cristian Farias: “The longtime Ohio Republican, 66, has signed up with Squire Patton Boggs, a white-shoe law firm that represents a breadth of clients including Fortune 100 companies, local governments and up-and-coming businesses. ‘I left the private sector and got into public service decades ago because I wanted to help remove government barriers to economic growth and job creation, and that’s still the mission that drives me,’ Boehner said in a statement posted Tuesday on the firm’s website. ‘With Speaker Boehner joining our team, we’re better positioned than ever to grow our brand throughout the world and to fully capitalize on our integrated global platform,’ Squire Patton Boggs chairman Mark Ruehlmann said. Boehner won’t be doing lobbying work, according to the firm, but will serve as a ‘strategic advisor’ to domestic and international clients, with a special focus on ‘global business development.’” [HuffPost]

BUSH 41 VOTING FOR HILLARY - The nice thing about Hillary’s Kissinger courtship is that, to folks on the left, it makes all manner of GOP endorsements seem acceptable by comparison. Darren Samuelsohn: “Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys. Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy. On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: ‘The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!’” [Politico]

SAD: SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION IN PERIL- But John Boehner just landed at Squire Patton Boggs so everything is hunky dory. Benjamin Mullin: “The Sunlight Foundation, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting transparency in government, will lay off five staffers in the coming weeks as it seeks to merge with another organization, according to a source at Sunlight. The cuts come in the wake of a months-long search for an executive director to take over for Christopher Gates, who exited the nonprofit earlier this year. Although Sunlight considered about two dozen candidates to replace Gates, the nonprofit’s board failed to settle on his successor. That’s prompted the board to reconsider the future of Sunlight, according to a statement published today by Chairman Mike Klein.” [Poynter]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an otter with its pup.

HAVE YOU NO RESIGNATION, SIR? AT LONG LAST, HAVE YOU NO RESIGNATION, SIR? Emily Peck and Zach Carter: “Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on Tuesday for his role in a widespread scheme in which thousands of bankers opened more than 2 million accounts for customers without them knowing over at least five years. ‘You should resign. You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated,’ Warren told Stumpf, after he admitted under Warren’s grilling he hadn’t yet been held personally accountable for the actions of his employees. The Democratic senator also forced Stumpf, who was under questioning from the Senate banking committee over his bank’s handling of the scam, to admit that no senior executives have been held accountable for the actions of the low-level bankers.” [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Lin-Manuel Miranda sings Donald Trump tweets.

- A 1995 promo for Windows 95 featuring Bill Gates in DOOM.

TWITTERAMA

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Brangelina
Brangelina who?
Brangelina smokescreen the MSM use to divert our attention from the real issues.
@aparnapkin: Brangelina is like Brexit for TMZ

New York fears ranked
1. Pushed into subway tracks
2. Seamless outage
3. Have to go to Times Square
4. Fav dive bar gentrified
1,563: ISIS

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