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Inside Trump (Nov 27th, 2017)

The current acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is declining to step down, and has asked a federal court to block President Trump's replacement from taking office. Outgoing CFPB director Richard Cordray appointed Leandra English as his interim replacement, but President Trump selected Mick Mulvaney - the current director of the Office of Management and Budget - to take over the job instead. Both English and Mulvaney were scheduled to begin work on Monday. The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Act during the Obama administration, and was intended to protect US consumers against financial industry special interests like banks, mortgage companies and debt collectors. Mulvaney called the CFPB a "joke in a sick, sad kind of way" in a 2014 interview. – GUARDIAN

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On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted that he'd like to see "just a few changes" to Republican tax reform bills before they come up for a final vote. Trump did not specify what specific changes he'd like to see, only that they would benefit "the middle class and job producers." The President is scheduled to meet today with some key lawmakers working on tax reform at the White House, and will attend a lunch with Senate Republicans to discuss the legislation on Tuesday. Senate leadership hopes to vote on their version of the bill this week; House Republicans passed their version before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Senate Republicans need 50 votes to pass the legislation, and currently control 52 seats. – THEHILL

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According to Reuters, 29 local police departments have joined a program - known as 287(g) - deputizing officers to take over some of the duties of federal immigration agents. Under 287(g), officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) train local law enforcement to use federal records to determine if recent arrestees are in the country illegally. The program also provides processes for turning undocumented immigrants over to government authorities post-arrest. The Department of Homeland Security claims that, so far, tens of thousands of individuals have been flagged for possible deportation by the program. Reuters reports that 38 additional law enforcement agencies have submitted applications or expressed interest in signing on. Nearly all of the police departments that have joined, or expressed interest in joining, represent areas with relatively small local populations, containing fewer than 100,000 residents; three quarters are in counties that supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election. The 287(g) program was down-scaled during the Obama administration. – REUTERS

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On Friday, President Trump denounced a terror attack in Egypt while renewing calls for a border wall with Mexico and immigration restrictions. Following an explosion and shooting at a northern Sinai mosque that left approximately 305 people dead, Trump tweeted that Americans "have to get tougher and smarter than ever before," and that the country needs "the wall" and "the ban." Following Trump's comments, Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas - who has been repeatedly critical of Trump's border wall plans - called the President "an idiot" on Twitter. – USAT

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The President has privately questioned the authenticity of a 2005 behind-the-scenes recording from the set of "Access Hollywood," in which he could apparently be heard boasting about grabbing women by the genitals. The tape, the source of an infamous quote about how women will let you grope them "when you're a star," was released publicly by the Washington Post in October of 2016. At the time, Trump apologized for the comments made on the recording, saying "I've said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them." He also dismissed the comments as "locker room banter." A New York Times article published over the weekend, however, claims that Trump has denied the authenticity of the recording to two unnamed individuals - an adviser and a sitting US senator. – CNN

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After a year spent working as an ethics lawyer at the White House, James Schultz will step down and return to private practice in Philadelphia. Schultz claims that the decision was made for personal reasons - a desire to return to his family and career responsibilities in Pennsylvania - and does not result from any of the controversial issues he has worked on during his time with the Trump administration. Schultz anticipated that he may agree to appear on TV news programs to provide insight into the Trump White House, but doesn't "plan to make a career out of being a pundit on TV." In comments made to Politico, Schultz was critical in particular of outspoken former Office of Government Ethics chief Walter Shaub, who he claims "thrust himself into the limelight instead of being helpful." – POLITICO

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Melania Trump has fired back at a Vanity Fair report claiming that she did not want to be the First Lady, calling it "riddled with unnamed sources and false assertions" through a spokeswoman. The Vanity Fair article, published on Sunday, quotes an unnamed friend of Melania's as saying "This isn't something she wanted and it isn't something he ever thought he'd win," adding "I don't think she thought it was going to happen." A spokeswoman told CNN that Trump, who declined to be interviewed for the piece, "is honored by her role" as First Lady. – THEHILL

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