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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's namesake charitable foundation is being shut down, in keeping with previously announced plans.In a filing with the IRS last week, the foundation said it intends to dissolve and is seeking approval to distribute its remaining funds. The documents were posted publicly on Guidestar.org and reviewed by ABC News."The foundation continues to cooperate with the New York attorney general's charities division, and as previously announced by the president, his advisers are working with the charities division to wind up the affairs of the foundation. The foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations," a spokesperson for the Trump Foundation told ABC News.In December, when Trump was president-elect, he announced plans to shutter the Trump Foundation "to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president.""I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways," he added.The organization had come under scrutiny for its practices.Last year the Trump Foundation conceded that it gave "income or assets" to a "disqualified person" — a prohibited practice known as self-dealing — according to a 2015 tax filing obtained by ABC News. It was not clear from the filing how much was given or to whom.New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched the investigation into the Trump Foundation in 2016 over a donation that was made to a political fundraising group associated with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. He ordered that the foundation stop fundraising late last year.At the end of 2016, the Trump Foundation had a little more than $970,000 in assets, according to last week's filing.Even though his name is the basis for the charity, Trump was never the biggest contributor, according to the organization's 990 forms for 2001 through 2014.Trump made contributions to the foundation from 2001 to 2008, but he is not listed as making any financial contributions since then. His contributions ranged from $713,000 in 2004 to $30,000 in 2008; his total contributions to his foundation are in excess of $2.7 million.Earlier this year, the New York Attorney General's Office also launched an investigation into the Eric Trump Foundation after questions were raised about the charity in light of a media report that it paid large sums to use Trump-owned properties for fundraisers.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Travels by Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to meet with senior officials in Hungary during the 2016 presidential election are being closely examined by congressional investigators, given the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia and the role of the country as a hub for Russian intelligence activity. The Hungarian prime minister was the first foreign leader to endorse Donald Trump’s candidacy.Though characterized as a low-level volunteer, Page held high-level foreign policy meetings with Hungarian officials before the 2016 presidential election, ABC News has learned.The meetings included a 45-minute session in September 2016 with Jeno Megyesy, who is a close adviser to the Hungarian prime minister and focuses on relations with the United States, at his office in Budapest, where Page presented himself as a member of then-candidate Donald Trump’s foreign policy team.Megyesy confirmed to ABC News in an interview Friday that he met with Page at the request of Reka Szemerkenyi, the Hungarian ambassador to the U.S. Megyesy said he did most of the talking at the meeting because Page did not appear to be well versed on the issues facing the region.“I had the impression he didn’t deal with these issues on a regular basis,” Megyesy said.Page’s visit to Budapest drew notice from members of the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Hungary’s prime minister, who was the first world leader to endorse then-candidate Trump, has become increasingly aligned with Russian President Vladamir Putin, and Budapest is considered by experts to be a central hub for Russian intelligence activity.When questioned by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the committee, during a hearing in early November, however, Page had only hazy memories of the trip. He said that he remembered seeing a Hungarian official, but he could not recall who it was.“You don’t remember the names of anyone you met with or what their positions were in the Hungarian government?” Schiff asked, according to transcripts of the closed-door session.“Not right now,” Page replied. “I can’t recall.”Page told the members he could only barely remember the visit, saying “the detailed specifics of that are a distant memory,” but Schiff was incredulous.“You went all the way to Budapest, and you can’t remember who you met with and what you hoped to accomplish?” he asked.According to Megyesy, he spoke to Page in his office in the ornate parliament building, a sprawling landmark along the Danube River that draws legions of tourists. Their conversation covered a range of topics, Megyesy said, including the recent strain in relations between the U.S. and Hungary.“I walked him through the politics and the issues with respect to Hungary,” Megyesy said.Page held another meeting in Budapest, this one with Szemerkenyi, who was also in the city at the time, for coffee at a hotel, according to one person familiar with the meeting. Page initially met Szemerkenyi at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The two met a third time in October at an embassy function in Washington, she said.“When Mr. Page went to Budapest, I was on a scheduled visit back home and met with him for courtesy meetings,” Szemerkenyi told ABC News in a written statement. “Our conversations were friendly, discussing only general foreign policy issues.”The infamous 35-page dossier detailing unverified intelligence gathered by a former British spy hired to dig up damaging information on then-candidate Trump, contains allegations that Page held secret meetings with Russian officials during a visit to Moscow in July. Page has flatly denied the dossier’s assertion and frequently derides the document as the “dodgy dossier.”Megyesy said no outsiders attended his m
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  • Department of Homeland Security(WASHINGTON) -- Department of Homeland Security official Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday, stepping down from his role as director of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships for the DHS after his past comments on the black community and Islam surfaced.On Thursday, CNN published the remarks, which Johnson made during radio appearances from 2008 to 2016. In a clip that CNN said is from 2008, he is asked why "a lot of blacks" are anti-Semitic."I think one of the reasons why is because Jewish people, from their coming to America in great waves in the early part of the 1800s, immediately rolled up their sleeves and began to work so hard and applied themselves to education and other means of improvement," Johnson responded, adding that the example is "an indictment of America's black community that has turned America's major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity."He differentiated between black people born in the United States with black immigrants, who he suggested are especially hard working.On Iowa's "Mickelson in the Morning" radio show, Johnson said he agreed with the sentiment that "really all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies," according to a clip published by CNN.Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke accepted his resignation Thursday."His comments were made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security and clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration," DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton told ABC News. "The department thanks him for his recent work assisting disaster victims and the interfaith community."Johnson joined the DHS at the beginning of Trump's administration after working for his campaign in Iowa and was appointed by White House chief of staff John Kelly, who was the homeland security secretary at the time."Before accepting his appointment, he worked for many years in international humanitarian relief, helping charities provide food, water, clothing and medical care to those suffering from natural disaster, famine and poverty," read Johnson's DHS bio, which has been pulled from FEMA's website.Johnson did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel's first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein played key roles in Comey's removal. And Sessions has since faced withering criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein's subsequent appointment of Mueller.Mueller's investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told.The latest move suggests the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation.Last month, Sessions told lawmakers he would cooperate with any requests from Mueller and is willing to meet with him."I want him to complete his investigation professionally," Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee.Trump, however, has openly expressed disdain for the federal probe, and since his days on the campaign trail he has questioned the U.S. intelligence community's unanimous conclusion that Russia tried to meddle in last year's presidential election.Shortly before firing Comey, Trump secretly drafted a memo laying out his reasons for wanting the FBI chief ousted. The New York Times described it as an "angry, meandering" missive.The draft memo was never publicly released, but a copy was shared with Rosenstein, who had taken command of the Russia-related probe, according to the Times.To publicly bolster Trump's decision on Comey, the White House released two memos written separately by Sessions and Rosenstein, with both faulting Comey for his handling of the FBI's probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.During a House hearing in June, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House ahead of Comey's firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions "may well be within the scope of the special counsel's investigation."Rosenstein still maintains final supervision over the case, even though he was interviewed by Mueller's team as a witness for his own role in Comey's firing.Meanwhile, Trump has taken aim at Sessions for the recusal, launching such biting personal attacks months ago that it appeared as though Sessions possibly would not last the summer as attorney general.At one point, Trump told reporters he wouldn't have nominated Sessions to run the Justice Department had he known the attorney general was going to give up oversight authority of the long-running investigation.In July, Trump posted a Tweet demanding to know why "our beleaguered" attorney general wasn't "looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations."In announcing his recusal four months earlier, Sessions said he and "senior career department officials" spent "several weeks" discussing whether his role as top foreign policy adviser to Trump's presidential campaign last year meant his "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."His work leading the campaign's foreign policy team
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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied suggestions Tuesday that he misled Congress in previous appearances before Senate committees in which he was asked about Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials.Questions about Sessions' prior answers to Congress came during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers asked about the latest developments in the investigations into Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election — including a guilty plea by Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to a charge of misleading investigators.The questions focused on Papadopoulos' attempts to coordinate a meeting between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Papadopoulos' presence at a March 2016 gathering also attended by Sessions. The attorney general's responses to questions about communication with Russia drew scrutiny from Democrats who believed that he may have known more than he previously disclosed.Sessions said that he now recalled the 2016 meeting, after recent news reports on the matter, and that he "always told the truth" in his appearances on Capitol Hill. He added that he "wanted to make clear to [Papadopoulos] that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government.""But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago," he said.Here's a look at five key moments from Sessions' testimony Tuesday:Sessions claims he has 'always told the truth' and now recalls Papadopoulos meetingIn his opening statement, the attorney general told the committee he has "always told the truth," referring to his criticized appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.On the subject of meetings attended by Papadopoulos and campaign aide Carter Page, Sessions said he "had no recollection" of the meetings until he saw recent news reports. He previously told the Senate Judiciary Committee he was "not aware" of attempts by the campaign to communicate with Russia."I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at the Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting," Sessions said. "After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government or any other foreign government, for that matter."He continued that he "gladly would have reported it," had he remembered it. Sessions said he "pushed back" against what he thought was an improper suggestion by Papadopoulos — that Trump meet with Putin.Sessions says he has 'no reason to doubt' accusers of Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreThough he said he believes he should not be involved in the race for his former U.S. Senate seat representing Alabama, Sessions said he has "no reason to doubt" the women accusing Republican candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.Moore is accused of pursuing relationships with teenage girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including attempting to engage in sexual activity with one girl as young as 14.Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, asked Sessions whether he would push for a Justice Department investigation into the alleged actions should Moore win the election.Sessions would not comment on the hypothetical situation but pledged of his department, "We will do our duty."Sessions says DOJ shouldn't 'retaliate politically against opponents'After the committee's ranking member, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., showed Sessions several of Trump's tweets suggesting the Justice Department investigate former campaign rival Hillary Clinton, the attorney general was asked whether it was "common" for a country's leader to "retaliate against his political opponents.""The Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents, and that would be wrong," Sessions said. He added,
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