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Weekend Review: US Rep Elijah Cummings Dead at 68
Elijah Cummings, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, died on Thursday at the age of 68. According to Cummings’ office, the Congressman was quietly moved to hospice care due to ongoing health problems which had kept him from Capitol Hill in recent weeks.
Cummings was born and died in Baltimore, where he lived his entire life. He represented the city in the House from 1996 until his death. At age eleven, he helped integrate a Baltimore swimming pool by arranging protests after he and other black children were prohibited from swimming. When they tried to enter the pool, a mob would form to spit and throw bottles at them. Cummings said the experience “transformed my “entire life.”
He served as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and had a leading role in investigating President Trump and his family. He was a central figure in the impeachment inquiry.
Cummings took leave last month for an undisclosed medical procedure which he anticipated would require a short recovery time. He previously had knee problems and underwent an aortic valve replacement in 2017 which led to an infection, requiring a longer hospitalization.
The cause of Cummings’ death has not yet been reported. His widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, said through a statement that the Congressman ”worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Cummings will lie in state at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. His funeral will take place the next day at a church in Baltimore which he attended for almost 40 years.
Trump’s Miami Golf Resort to Host Next G-7 Summit
The Trump Organization’s Doral Resort in Miami was awarded the contract for the G-7 Summit by the Trump administration. The White House admitted this means the president’s own organization would receive taxpayer dollars but argued it would be “significantly cheaper” than other options.
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump himself suggested the Doral resort and argued that “it makes perfect sense.” Mulvaney referred to a cost analysis used by the White House that has not yet been presented to the public.
A source familiar with the situation told CNN that the Doral resort was not on the original list of suggested properties because all Trump properties were excluded to avoid ethics concerns and violations. It is not clear who made the final decision.
While the Trump Organization supposedly calculates all profits made from visits from foreign entities and writes an equal check to the State Department, these calculations do not reflect at cost business or the publicity benefits of hosting the summit at his resort.
Lawmakers in the House are working on a resolution to reject the president’s “practice of accepting foreign government Emoluments without obtaining Congress’ affirmative consent.” This includes but is not limited to Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 Summit at his own resort.
Video Parody of Trump Murdering Opponents Shown at Miami Golf Resort
According to a report from The New York Times, a parody video showing Pres. Trump shooting, stabbing, and beating members of the media, as well as political opponents like the late John McCain and Sen. Bernie Sanders, was shown to a group of supporters at Trump’s Miami resort last week.
The video was created by a political group who claimed that Trump and his organization had not seen or approved it. The White House said Trump had not seen the video but that he condemned it based on what he had heard about it.
The Doral resort is also where Trump is proposing the 2020 G-7 Summit be held.
2020 Democratic Debate and Primary Updates
Following the fourth 2020 democratic debate which was held Tuesday night, still only three candidates are polling in double digits. Former V.P. Joe Biden has kept the lead, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and and Sen. Bernie Sanders remaining in second and third.
Sanders made news not only for performing with zest after a recent heart attack, but by gaining major endorsements following the debate. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar both announced they are endorsing Sanders for president. Cortez joined Sanders at a rally on Saturday with over 25,000 in attendance, where she said a “moment of clarity” led to her decision to endorse him.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a major in the Hawaii National Guard and former Army Military Police officer who served in Iraq, was called a Russian asset by Hillary Clinton following the debate.
Clinton claimed that the Russians are grooming a female Democratic primary candidate to run as an independent. Clinton did not name Gabbard and also did not say how she was aware of such an alliance. Gabbard was insinuated because she has been vocally critical of the Democratic party and the debates.
Gabbard responded by calling Clinton the “queen of warmongers” and the “embodiment of corruption.” She further accused Clinton of an effort to ruin her campaign.
Ukraine: Former Aide Was Instructed to Alert White House Lawyers
Prior to being fired from the Trump administration, former national security adviser John Bolton shared with a former White House official, Fiona Hill, concerns he had developed over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Hill testified before Congress this week as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Hill reported that Bolton was unsettled by the efforts of Trump and his associates to put pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Bolton allegedly referred to Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as a “hand grenade” and instructed Hill to notify the top lawyer at the National Security Council of the situation.
Bolton was fired in September after reportedly clashing with the president for months. Trump boasted on Twitter that he had informed Bolton “his services are no longer needed at the White House.”