August 27, 2019

President Trump spoke several times and at length on Monday about how he wants to host next year's Group of Seven summit at the financially underperforming Doral golf club he owns and he still profits from, and now the White House is spinning that rampant conflict of interests as a fait accompli.

"It’s ethics violation squared," Kathleen Clark at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis told The Associated Press. Nevertheless, AP notes, Trump "was in full sales mode Monday, doing everything but pass out brochures as he touted the features that would make the Doral golf resort the ideal place for the next G-7 Summit — close to the airport, plenty of hotel rooms," and even ample parking.

Parking? "Trump touted his club as if he were trying to attract a convention of visiting dermatologists," The Washington Post adds. Along with the legal and ethical red flags, Trump is trying to pitch "a golf club set among drab office parks near the Miami airport" as the perfect spot for a G-7 summit, usually held in scenic, isolated resort areas like Biarritz, France — or Camp David and a Georgia resort island, the locations of the past two U.S.-hosted summits.

George Washington University political scientist Todd Belt explained to AP how a Doral G-7 summit would almost certainly violate the Constitution's emoluments clause, or prohibition against presidents profiting from their decisions, and he predicted that White House lawyers or other staffers would talk Trump out of it.

Some aides, "concerned that Trump would appear to be using the power of the presidency to direct taxpayer money into his own pockets," have "pushed Trump to consider other sites for the 2020 summit that are more remote and easier to secure," the Post reports. "He was not convinced, aides said." Peter Weber

2:20 p.m.

Khizr Khan is getting involved in another presidential race.

Khan, along with his wife Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star parents of Humayun Khan, stepped into the national spotlight when he decried President Trump's proposed "Muslim ban" at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Trump shot back with an insult for the Khans, and now, Khan is stepping in to try and stop him from being elected again.

In a Monday statement, Khan announced he's endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president because he "stands for" and "will fight for" the same America his son did. "Beating Donald Trump and the hatred he promotes is the top priority in this election," Khan continued, "but after Trump is gone, we need someone to unite us and help us heal." To Khan, Biden is the right choice to do that.

The Khans are Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, and Khizr Khan has been a U.S. citizen for at least 30 years. Their son was was an army captain killed in a 2004 while fighting in Iraq. Khan famously told Trump to "read the United States constitution" during his 2016 speech, pulling out a pocket Constitution and saying "I will gladly lend you my copy." Kathryn Krawczyk

2:19 p.m.

Who is the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time?

That question will be answered this January as the show's top three contestants — James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter — will face off in a special Greatest of All Time tournament, as ABC announced Monday. The event will be airing on prime time.

Rutter holds the record for all-time Jeopardy! winnings including tournaments with $4.6 million, followed by Jennings with $3.3 million and Holzhauer with $2.4 million. Jennings, however, holds the record for most consecutive games won at 74, as well as highest winnings during regular season play. During Holzhauer's unbelievable run on the show earlier this year, he repeatedly shattered the record for single-game winnings, reaching a high of $131,127. Jennings teased in June he would "love to" face off against Holzhauer, adding the idea would be "irresistible," although he noted, "it's been 15 years since I was in Jeopardy! shape."

In this tournament, the first player to win three matches will take home $1 million and be declared the show's all-time greatest player, per The Hollywood Reporter. "Based on their previous performances, these three are already the 'greatest,' but you can't help wondering: who is the best of the best?" host Alex Trebek said.

This, USA Today reports, will be the first time Jeopardy! has aired on a major network on prime time since 1990. The event will last at least three days and is set to kick off on Jan. 7. Brendan Morrow

1:52 p.m.

Put your 2020 speculations on hold for a minute, and look even further into the future.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who is retiring from Congress next year after three terms in office, might be gearing up for the 2024 primary already. Hurd was touring around New Hampshire on Sunday, attending six events focused on growing the Republican party in the state in one day.

Of course, New Hampshire is the first primary in the election cycle and second state to vote for nominees after Iowa (which holds a caucus), so Hurd's presence in the Granite State definitely raised some eyebrows.

It's a long way away from 2024, but Hurd hasn't dispelled rumors that he might run for president in the future, The Washington Examiner notes. "I will do what I have always done when I've had the opportunity to serve my country," he said. "I will think about it."

It looks like he's already doing just that. Tim O'Donnell

1:15 p.m.

Rudy Giuliani's unflinching love for President Trump didn't come out of nowhere.

Sure, Trump and his lawyer have a lot of shared history thanks to their reputations as some of most well-known and New Yorkiest New Yorkers of all time. But Giuliani's staunchest affinity for Trump comes from how the president brings Giuliani and his son Andrew Giuliani together, Giuliani tells The Atlantic.

The 31-year-old Andrew Giuliani has a White House job as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison, with current and former White House officials telling The Atlantic he coordinates events with athletes. Yet "sports-team visits are more special-occasion than scheduling staple in the business of government," especially with teams often rejecting meetings with Trump, The Atlantic writes. That's led White House officials to say it's clear Andrew Giuliani got a "nepotism job" thanks to his father's name, with one saying "he's just having a nice time" and not exactly working hard.

But Rudy Giuliani says that's just not the case. This "wasn't the usual 'hire my kid' situation," Giuliani said, because even though his son has "known the president since he was a baby ... they also had a relationship independent of me." That relationship came into play when Andrew Giuliani was a teenager and Rudy Giuliani was going through a divorce with Andrew's mother Donna. Andrew Giuliani "credits Trump with helping him navigate" his father's divorce and "particularly with helping him repair his relationship with Rudy," two former White House officials tell The Atlantic — and Rudy Giuliani said he agrees.

Andrew Giuliani didn't return a request for comment. Read more at The Atlantic. Kathryn Krawczyk

12:51 p.m.

The House of Representatives is examining whether President Trump lied in his written answers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reports.

Douglas Letter, the House's general counsel, on Monday cited questions over whether Trump lied to Mueller in explaining to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit why the House needs grand jury material from the special counsel probe, asking, "Did the President lie? Was the President not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?"

Previously, House lawyers while seeking grand jury information had said the materials "could reveal that Trump was aware of his campaign's contacts with WikiLeaks," Politico reported. In the recent trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone, former Trump campaign official Rick Gates testified that Trump spoke with Stone over the phone in July, after WikiLeaks had started releasing hacked Democratic National Committee emails, and said after the call ended that "more information would be coming." In his written answers to Mueller, Trump said, "I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Roger Stone], nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign."

CNN's Manu Raju notes that "whether Trump lied to Mueller is something Dems have raised in past legal filings," but "it was given new emphasis today in the aftermath of evidence that emerged from the Roger Stone trial." Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told The Daily Beast following Monday's news, "Read the answers to [the] questions. They speak for themselves." Brendan Morrow

12:45 p.m.

Social media company TikTok has made waves in the United States, but some employees and investors are worried that its ties to China will hinder its growth stateside going forward, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Investors in TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, which was founded and is based in China, believe that success in the U.S. is crucial if the company wants to achieve their goal of an initial public offering next year (a spokesman for ByteDance said an IPO isn't the company's focus), people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

But despite the app's growing popularity, U.S. lawmakers have scrutinized China's influence on TikTok, accusing ByteDance of censoring content to appease Beijing and storing American user data in China. So there's some real fear among investors that the U.S. could force ByteDance to divest TikTok or cease U.S. operations, potentially bringing other countries like Japan or India along for the ride, sources familiar with the matter said.

Some employees and advisers reportedly brought some ideas before senior executives that would serve to create some distance from China for TikTok. These included suggesting expanding operations to Singapore or rebranding in the U.S. But, per the Journal, it all looks like a long shot right now. And the company has reportedly already reduced the amount of content from China on the app. "We're a Chinese company," said a former employee in TikTok's Los Angeles office. "We answer to China." Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Tim O'Donnell

11:57 a.m.

John Legere is hanging up on T-Mobile.

Legere, who has been T-Mobile's CEO since 2012, will leave his position when his contract expires in April, he announced on a Monday conference call. Operating chief Mike Sievert will take the top spot, but Legere will remain on the board of directors at T-Mobile and help see the company through its acquisition of Sprint, the company said.

Since taking over the then-struggling mobile service provider seven years ago, Legere has led it to overtake Sprint as the third-largest cell service provider in the U.S. T-Mobile later bought Sprint for $26 billion, but still faces legal challenges as the merger takes shape. Beyond his business-leading prowess, Leger is also known for his colorful personality and Slow Cooker Sundays.

Legere's announcement comes after he was reported last week to be in talks to take over WeWork. The co-working space company had pushed out its eccentric CEO Adam Neumann with a multimillion-dollar exit deal, and were seemingly look to put another out-of-the-box leader in his spot. But Legere denied that, saying in the Monday call that he was "never having discussions to run WeWork" but still hinting he was looking to move to another company "that could use cultural transformation, leadership, and things similar to what we've demonstrated" at T-Mobile. Kathryn Krawczyk

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