Many people look at the Trump administration's new policy of forcibly separating kids from their parents when they cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as a gross violation of humanity and decency. Others see a business opportunity — specifically, The Daily Beast reports, intelligence and defense contractors, some of them with a trail of scandals and lawsuits. The Daily Beast notes recent postings for jobs related to housing migrant children by giant defense contractor General Dynamics and MVM Inc., which touts its "extensive domain expertise in counter-narcotics, criminal and civil investigations, public safety, and national security."
"It is mind-blowing that those types of industries would be even considered with respect to the care of children," immigration lawyer Matthew Kolken tells The Daily Beast. "They're not equipped to be able to do it. Would you want your child to be dropped off in their hands? I know I wouldn't." Neil Gordon, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, added: "It looks right now that the Trump administration's policies regarding immigration is proving to be a relatively lucrative area for private contractors. ... I'm concerned with these companies' track records."
Joe Arabit, the director of MVM's homeland security and public safety division, told The Daily Beast that the company's "top priority is the welfare of children while they are in our care. We are a trusted partner of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] because of the respect and dedication with which we treat those whom we transport." MVM has earned nearly $43 million since September handling child migrants for ICE and ORR. You can read more about the job postings and scandals at The Daily Beast. Peter Weber
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could announce as early as Friday that Wells Fargo is being fined $1 billion for, among other things, charging customers for car insurance they didn't need, a person familiar with the penalty told CNN Money.
Last year, the company apologized for forcing as many as 570,000 customers into purchasing unnecessary car insurance, and said after conducting an internal review, it was discovered that 20,000 or so of those clients may have defaulted on their car loans and had their vehicles repossessed because of the insurance cost. Wells Fargo also announced in October that some mortgage borrowers were charged after missing a deadline to lock in interest rates, even though the delay was caused by the company and not customers. Catherine Garcia
Bill O'Reilly, fired from Fox News after it emerged that several women accused him of sexual harassment and he paid out millions in settlements, might be getting a second chance.
O'Reilly is in negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which earned some notice for telling local news channel managers they have to run segments featuring conservative commentary, two people familiar with the talks told NBC News. The recent revelation that O'Reilly paid $32 million to settle sexual harassment claims by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl didn't appear to scare off Sinclair. "They took a pause but it didn't really change anything for them," one person told NBC News.
Sinclair denies being in negotiations with O'Reilly, but a person close to him says they are "about midway" through talks. Sinclair owns or operates 173 television stations in the United States, and if a deal to purchase Tribune Media is approved by regulators, that number would rise to 220. As for O'Reilly, one person told NBC News that Sinclair is thinking about giving him a two-hour syndicated show, maybe starting at 6 or 7 p.m: "They want to do something anti-CNN, anti-MSNBC." Catherine Garcia
President Trump tumbled 92 places on Forbes' 2017 list of the richest Americans, released Tuesday, due to a $600 million loss since the last ranking, Deutsche Welle reports. Forbes, which credited Trump with $3.1 billion (a far cry from Trump's $10 billion boast in 2015), said that the drop was due to the "tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit; and an expensive presidential campaign."
Trump charted as the 248th-richest person in America in 2017, down from 156th. "The magazine said the downgrading was also a result of 'new information' it had collected after Donald Trump had claimed during his campaign in 2015 that he owned $9.2 billion in assets and $8.7 billion in net worth," Deutsche Welle reports.
The list is topped by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison. In sum, the 400 richest Americans are worth a combined $2.7 trillion, Politico reports. See the full list here. Jeva Lange
Unable to reach a lease agreement with the Trump Organization, the Secret Service no longer has a command post inside Trump Tower in Manhattan, instead setting up shop on the sidewalk outside, two people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post on Thursday.
Although President Trump has not been to Trump Tower since the inauguration and his wife and youngest son moved out in June, it is considered his primary residence and there are agents there around the clock to protect it. The command post, where supervisors and backup agents are stationed in case of emergency, was one floor below Trump's apartment, high up in the tower, and security experts say it's worrisome that the unit is now on the street because radio transmissions could break up due to distance and it would take longer for agents to get upstairs. "It's a security deficiency that has to be resolved," a former Secret Service official told the Post. "It's like having the quarterback of the football game actually being located in a different stadium than where the game is being played."
The command post was moved to a trailer in early July, and people with knowledge of the discussions told the Post the two sides could not agree on price and additional conditions of the lease. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told the Post it was "mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere," while a Secret Service spokeswoman said that "throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had not properly disclosed millions of dollars in investments since taking office in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reports. After WSJ reached out to him about his disclosures, he filed new forms Friday. Here's what the new reports revealed:
The new forms show that Mr. Corker had failed to properly disclose at least $2 million in income from investments in three small hedge funds based in his home state. He also didn't properly report millions of dollars in income from commercial real-estate investments due to an accounting error. And he didn't disclose millions of dollars in other assets and income from other financial transactions. [The Wall Street Journal]
"I am extremely disappointed in the filing errors that were made in earlier financial disclosure reports," Corker said in a statement to the newspaper.
There's no penalty for legislators who file corrections to these reports — and many do, though WSJ notes that Corker amending years of reports at once is not a common practice. Julie Kliegman
The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old boy who was arrested in September after bringing a homemade clock to school, is asking for $15 million in damages and an apology from city and school officials in Irving, Texas, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Charges that Mohamed's clock was a hoax bomb were dropped after Mohamed was handcuffed and suspended from Irving MacArthur High School, but a letter from the family's attorney alleges that afterward, officials "sought to cover its mistakes with a media campaign that further alienated the child at the center of this maelstrom."
Mohamed and his family have said they plan to move to Qatar, partially due to threats of violence they've seen online and the fact that their address was made public.
If the money — $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school — and apologies don't come within 60 days, the attorney wrote that the Mohameds will file a civil suit. Officials told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram they'll review the information. Julie Kliegman
Next time you accidentally frequent a cash-only bar, you better think twice about settling for the nearest ATM. The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM is now a record-high $4.52, according to a Bankrate survey released Monday. If you live in a city like New York or Atlanta, average fees top $5, and you might wind up forking over as much as $8 in some cases.
The new average is a 21 percent spike from five years ago, The Wall Street Journal reports, chalking it up to a combination of pressure on banks to lower other fees and a sizable decrease in ATM withdrawal popularity.
U.S. banks don't disclose how much they earn in non-customer ATM fees, but overall, they've collectively brought in less money from all fees in recent years.
San Francisco boasts some of the lowest ATM fees out of the cities surveyed — $3.85 on average — but when you weigh that against the city's exorbitant housing market, it's a safe bet you're better off staying put. Julie Kliegman