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DC Daily: President Trump looking into pardon powers amid Russia probe, according to report

Posted: 8:10 AM, Jul 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-21 15:16:01Z

What's happening in the political world:

Trump looking into pardon powers?
-- President Trump is reportedly trying to gauge how much pardon power he has in regards to the ongoing Russia investigation into his family and associates.

Citing sources, the Washington Post reported Trump and his legal team were attempting to "limit or undercut" Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

According to report, Trump's legal team is "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work."

Additionally, the Washington Post reported: "Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves."

In light of the Washington Post report and the ongoing investigation, Trump has made changes to his legal team.

Marc Kasowitz, Trump's longtime personal attorney who has been the lead lawyer on the Russia investigation, will see his role recede, CNN reported, citing to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

Attorney John Dowd, along with Jay Sekulow, will now be Trump's primary personal attorneys for the investigation.

By being outside the White House, their dealings with the president will be protected under attorney-client privilege that is afforded any US citizen, the sources explained.

Attorney Ty Cobb will take the lead from inside the White House on the Russia investigation when he formally starts his job on July 31.

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President's $12 insurance comment leaves heads scratching
-- President Trump's comments on health insurance in an interview with The New York Times has some questioning his knowledge of prices and other key figures.

In the interview, Trump said, "You're 21 years old, you start working and you're paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you're 70, you get a nice plan."

Some outlets speculated the president confused life insurance with health insurance because those numbers aren't close to what people actually pay for health coverage. And many people in their 20s with serious conditions can't wait until they're 70 to be covered.

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GOP looking to reverse consumer lawsuits rule
-- Congressional Republicans are trying to reverse a new rule that makes it easier for consumers to join together to file suit against financial institutions rather than be forced into arbitration.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized the rule last week, which the bureau said would improve current practices where "companies can sidestep the court system, avoid big refunds, and continue harmful practices."

The CFPB rule bans most types of mandatory arbitration clauses, which had become standard language buried deep in the fine print of financial product disclosures, including those for credit cards and checking accounts.

Consumer advocates have been pushing for stricter rules because they say most consumers never make it through the fine print and are unaware they are subject to arbitration.

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CNN and Newsy contributed to this report