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Friday's Mini-Report, 5.10.19

05/10/19 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The latest step: "A House committee issued subpoenas Friday ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig to turn over President Trump's tax returns by next Friday at 5 p.m., according to copies of the subpoenas provided by the committee."

* Baker will be on with Rachel tonight: "Former top FBI lawyer James Baker offered a robust defense Friday of the bureau's investigation into President Trump and his 2016 campaign, taking aim at Trump's allegation that the inquiry was tantamount to a coup and describing how he sought to ensure agents' work was on solid legal footing."

* Is this really a good idea? "The Pentagon is shifting $1.5 billion in funds originally targeted for support of the Afghan security forces and other projects to help pay for construction of 80 miles of wall at the U.S.-Mexican border, officials said Friday. Congress was notified of the move Friday."

* I'm not at all sure what, exactly, Trump would be able to say if Tehran did call: "President Donald Trump has a message for Iran's leaders as tensions flare over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program: 'Call me.'"

* HUD: "The Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged that a Trump administration plan to purge undocumented immigrants from public housing could displace more than 55,000 children who are all legal U.S. residents or citizens."

* Hmm: "In a highly unusual move, national security adviser John Bolton convened a meeting at CIA headquarters last week with the Trump administration's top intelligence, diplomatic and military advisers to discuss Iran, according to six current U.S. officials."

* This story is far from done: "The FBI has opened a public corruption investigation into Republican donor and South Florida massage-parlor entrepreneur Li "Cindy" Yang, focusing on whether she illegally funneled money from China into the president's re-election effort or committed other potential campaign-finance violations, the Miami Herald has learned."

* Daniel Hale: "Federal prosecutors in Virginia charged a former United States intelligence analyst with providing classified information to a reporter, according to unsealed court documents.... This is the third case in which someone was prosecuted after providing [The Intercept] outlet with classified information."

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Mick Mulvaney

Why would Trump be embarrassed by his tax returns?

05/10/19 02:54PM

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney sat down with CBS News' Major Garrett this week for a podcast interview that covered a fair amount of ground. Of particular interest, though, was the exchange that began at the 23:12 mark of the conversation.

The host noted that the Treasury Department has refused a congressional order to turn over Donald Trump's tax returns, and Garrett asked why. This was the exchange that followed:

MULVANEY: Because they are not entitled to see them by law. By the way, they know, especially on this one, they know they're never going to get these documents. This is a pure show-pony-type of situation. They know the legal reasons they can get those documents --

GARRETT: Legitimate legislative function.

MULVANEY: Right. And they're not even close to that... They're just doing this to make the president look bad. They don't care. This is not about information about the president. Keep in mind, all of the president's financial holdings, by law, are disclosed. Want to know what the president owns? Want to know how he makes money? All of that stuff is, by law, I have to fill out my form by the end of next week. So does he. This is just about trying to embarrass the president.

GARRETT: What's embarrassing about his tax records?

MULVANEY: That's what they want to know.

GARRETT: But what is it?

MULVANEY: I don't know because I've never seen

GARRETT: Is there something embarrassing about his tax records?

MULVANEY: I have no idea and I don't care.

Oh my.

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