On The Money: New York AG sues to dissolve Trump Foundation | Issa tamps down rumors of consumer agency nomination | Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism | Cohn contradicts Trump on trade

On The Money: New York AG sues to dissolve Trump Foundation | Issa tamps down rumors of consumer agency nomination | Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism | Cohn contradicts Trump on trade
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, which is not in the running to be CFPB director. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL: New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D) alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday against President TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE, the Donald J. Trump Foundation and members of the Trump family that the charity violated federal and state law and was illegally used to help the president's campaign.

The lawsuit alleges that Trump used the foundation to illegally support his 2016 presidential bid, and that the charity made an illegal in-kind donation of more than $2.8 million to his campaign.

The complaint, filed in the New York State Supreme Court, also alleges that Trump improperly used the foundation's assets for his properties and businesses, including to settle a legal dispute involving his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and to purchase a portrait of himself at a charity auction.

"For more than a decade, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing New York State charities," the complaint states.

"This pattern of illegal conduct by the Foundation and its board members includes improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement event elementary corporate formalities required by law."

The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen breaks it down here.


The New York attorney general's office also sent referrals to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the IRS, arguing that the Trump foundation may have committed violations of federal election and tax laws that warrant further examination by the agencies. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has more about that here.



NEW: Issa tamps down rumors of consumer bureau nomination: Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaPainting of Trump with past GOP presidents hung up in White House Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips Poll: Dems lead in 5 critical California House seats MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday poured cold water on rumors that President Trump would nominate him to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Issa, who is retiring after this year, told The Hill that he's not currently speaking with the White House about the position and "have not been contacted as currently in line for it."

"I think it's a wonderful story but I'm not currently having discussions with the White House on it," Issa said. 

Issa declined to say whether he's discussed the position with Trump before, but said he would consider taking a role in the Trump administration. 

"Discussions I may have had on anything in general, I'm not at liberty to say," Issa said. "The administration has a lot of positions and I could be potentially be open to one, but like I say, we're not talking."

I've got more on Trump's choices, and where Issa could fit in, right here.


Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism: A top bank regulator on Thursday defended his commitment to fighting racism in banking as senators ripped him for controversial comments he made Wednesday to a House panel.

Democrats on the Senate Banking panel questioned Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting on his Wednesday remarks that he's never personally witnessed racial discrimination, but believes people who have told him it exists.

Otting sought to clarify those comments, made before the House Financial Services Committee, during a Thursday hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

The comptroller reiterated he's never personally experienced racism, but was aware of instances where it happened and believes that there is discrimination in mortgage lending.

That wasn't enough to pacify Democrats who skewered Otting's response and questioned his commitment to tackling racism in banking.

I'll take you to the contentious hearing right here.


Cohn contradicts Trump on trade deficits: Former White House economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnDina Powell no longer under in running to become UN ambassador Trump expands anti-China effort Hopes for infrastructure deal with Trump rise if Dems win House MORE on Thursday contradicted his former boss on the importance of trade deficits, which President Trump has frequently railed against. 

"I have always said a trade deficit doesn't matter. In many respects it's helpful to our economy," Cohn, the former director of the White House National Economic Council, said at a Washington Post event.

Cohn's views on trade have long clashed with Trump's, and he left the White House after Trump began ramping up tariffs on major U.S. trade partners.

Cohn went on to say that a trade-induced downturn could wipe out the positive economic gains of the GOP tax law, which was his central accomplishment in the White House.

"I've always been worried that trade can have a derailing effect on the US economy," he said.

The Hill's Niv Elis tells us more about Cohn's worries, and what the former NEC director thinks of Trump's intentions.


MARKET CHECK: Stocks were mixed across the board Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shaving off 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted gains of 0.85 percent and 0.25 percent each.



  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Thursday that it does not consider the popular cryptocurrency ether to be a security.
  • Members of Congress from both parties and both chambers called on Thursday for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to embark on a new study of pay differences between men and women in the federal government, which would be the first such study since 2009.
  • Dozens of House Democratic and Republican lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to go back to the negotiating table and strike a deal with Canada on softwood lumber.
  • Stock markets have brushed off President Trump's contentious performance at the Group of Seven summit, continuing to climb despite increased concerns about an escalating trade war.
  • The House Appropriations Committee approved a $23.4 billion financial services spending bill that includes a boost to IRS funding.
  • Op-Ed: Mark McCareins, business law professor Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, writes for The Hill on why the AT&T-Time Warner ruling is a milestone for vertical mergers.
  • Republican senators pushing to keep stiff sanctions on China's ZTE Corp. dug in for a potential showdown with the White House as some of their colleagues said they'd try to negotiate a way out with President Trump, according to Bloomberg.
  • The International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's new import tariffs threaten to undermine the global trading system, prompt retaliation by other countries and damage the U.S. economy, according to Reuters.