* Ilya Marritz and Justin Elliott report that Donald Trump did indeed reap direct financial benefit from his inauguration:
When it came out this year that President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised and spent unprecedented amounts, people wondered where all that money went.
It turns out one beneficiary was Trump himself.
The inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, according to interviews as well as internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica.
During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals. A top inaugural planner emailed Ivanka and others at the company to “express my concern” that the hotel was overcharging for its event spaces, worrying of what would happen “when this is audited.”
If the Trump hotel charged more than the going rate for the venues, it could violate tax law. The inaugural committee’s payments to the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s role have not been previously reported or disclosed in public filings.
Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we hear about Trump profiting from the inauguration.
* Glenn Kessler and Scott Clement report on some interesting results from a new poll:
For months, President Trump has claimed that U.S. Steel has announced plans to build more than six new plants. Throughout the midterm election, he repeatedly said that Democrats had signed onto an “open borders” bill. And he has long charged that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election.
None of these claims is true. What’s more, most Americans don’t believe them, according to a new Washington Post Fact Checker poll.
Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans — including fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans — believe these or several other prominent claims by the president, according to the poll.
This is a good reminder not to freak out when Trump blurts out some bald-faced lie and assume that everyone believes him.
* Trump has chosen Tea Partyer Mick Mulvaney as his new chief of staff, the latest sign of Trump’s embrace of orthodox conservatism, despite having campaigned as an “economic populist.”
* Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young report on internal emails revealing that the Trump administration knew that cutting TV advertising to get people to sign up for insurance would hurt enrollment, but they did it anyway.
* Jeffrey Toobin reports that Rep. Adam Schiff has Donald Trump's finances in his sights.
* George Conway, Trevor Potter, and Neal Katyal explain why, despite his denials, it does indeed look like Trump violated campaign finance laws.
* Sarah Grant and Chuck Rosenberg look back on the famous Steele dossier to see how much of it holds up given what we know now.