Contributor

Ben Brody

Ben Brody writes about politics from Washington, D.C. He has written about government and business for CNNMoney, Ad Age, and Westchester Magazine. A native New Yorker, he graduated from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2014 and Yale University in 2010.

Flynn May Have Lied in Security Review, Lawmaker Says

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may have lied in his application for a security clearance by saying that his paid speech at a Moscow gala for a Russian TV network in 2015 had been “funded by U.S. companies,” a Democratic lawmaker said Monday, citing a Defense Department investigation.

Democrats Keep Pressure on Trump Over Comey Firing

U.S. lawmakers from both parties kept up the pressure on Donald Trump over the sudden firing of James Comey, demanding that recordings the president suggested he may have made of his meetings with the former FBI director be preserved and handed over to lawmakers.

Fannie CEO's Dating Prompts Call to Consider His Firing

The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency said the regulator should consider firing Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Timothy J. Mayopoulos for not properly disclosing he was dating a senior executive at a bank that does business with the mortgage-finance giant.

Lewandowski Exits Lobby Firm Amid Reports of Foreign Clients

Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, is leaving Avenue Strategies amid a spate of negative publicity, saying he is concerned that he’s lost control over the lobbying and political consulting firm he co-founded after the 2016 election.

Flynn Was Told in 2014 He'd Need Approval to Take Foreign Income

The Defense Department told former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in 2014 that he was prohibited from accepting payments from foreign governments after his retirement without approval, according to a letter released by the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.

Senior White House Adviser Departs for Business Lobby Group

Senior White House budget adviser Marcus Peacock is leaving President Donald Trump’s administration to become the second in command at a high-profile business lobby group in Washington that’s looking to increase its influence.

McConnell Offers Confidence on Government Funding, Gorsuch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s confident that Congress will avoid a government shutdown at the end of April, and that the Senate will confirm Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick this week -- even as his Democratic counterpart said Neil Gorsuch doesn’t have 60 votes in favor.

Ivanka Trump Joins White House Officially, Won’t Sell Brand

Ivanka Trump said she will become an official unpaid federal employee after Democratic lawmakers said her previously unspecified role advising her father, President Donald Trump, raised questions about how she’d avoid conflicts of interest.

Trump Washington Hotel Not Violating Lease, Government Says

President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel isn’t violating the terms of a lease with the U.S. government that appeared to ban elected officials from participating, according to the federal agency that serves as the hotel’s landlord.

Ryan Plans Tweaks to Health-Care Bill to Help Older People

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would “most likely” bring a health-care bill forward for a floor vote on Thursday, even as he seeks to increase tax credits to help older people buy insurance to tamp down concerns about moderate Republicans.

Flynn Paid Thousands for Work With Russian Firms, Documents Show

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn received more than $45,000 from RT, the Russian government-backed television network, for his participation at a December 2015 gala where he sat at President Vladimir Putin’s table, according to documents released Thursday by congressional Democrats.

House Democrat: Trump ‘Enthusiastic’ on Drug-Price Negotiation

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, says that President Donald Trump in March 8 meeting "was enthusiastic" about a proposal to allow Medicare "to negotiate drug prices" as well as one to import drugs. Says on Friday morning Trump made a "lengthy" followup call "reiterating that he was going to do something about it, and then another call on Friday evening" Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, speaks on ABC’s "This Week With George Stephanopou

Would-Be Trump Appointees Say ‘No Thanks’ Due to Lobbying Ban

One sign of how entrenched the revolving door has become in Washington: Experienced people are forsaking chances to fill key posts in President Donald Trump’s administration partly because of his executive order forbidding federal employees from lobbying for five years after leaving government service.

Clapper Denies Trump Wiretapped as White House Demands Probe

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said there was no wiretap activity directed against President Donald Trump or his campaign by the Obama administration, as Trump has claimed without evidence in calling for a Congressional investigation.

Past CIA Director Brennan Says Russia Probe Must Be Bipartisan

Former CIA Director John Brennan called for congressional committees looking into the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to “pursue this investigation with vigor and with the appropriate amount of bipartisan support.”

Ryan Makes Emphatic Plea for Tax Plan Seen ‘on Life Support’

Not long after House Speaker Paul Ryan offered a full-throated affirmation of his tax-overhaul plan, an influential conservative group announced a grassroots campaign against it and a Senate leader said a key part of the proposal is “on life support.”

Aide Says Courts Grabbed Power From Trump on Immigration Ban

White House policy adviser Stephen Miller said judges on a San Francisco-based appeals court who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban took power that belongs “squarely in the hands of the president” in a “judicial usurpation.”

Trump’s Equating of U.S., Putin Derided on Both Sides of Aisle

Donald Trump’s statement that the U.S. is no more “innocent” than Vladimir Putin’s Russia drew howls from Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Sunday, while Vice President Mike Pence rejected the notion that Trump had been attempting to make a moral equivalence.

Why ‘Emoluments’ Might Mean Headaches for Trump: QuickTake Q&A

America’s founding fathers probably didn’t envision Donald Trump. They did, however, think to include a sentence in the U.S. Constitution that today strikes some critics as an appropriate check on the businessman-president. Chatter about the provision, known as the "emoluments clause," has intensified following Trump’s inauguration, his decision to keep his stakes in the Trump Organization, and a lawsuit by a government watchdog group. The first challenge may be determining what, exactly, the cl

U.S. Exempts Green Card Holders From Trump’s Travel Ban

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said green-card holders from the predominantly Muslim Middle East countries covered by an executive order on travel won’t be stopped from returning to the U.S., as criticism mounted over President Donald Trump’s action.

Trump Didn’t Give Ethics Office Documentation, Cummings Says

President Donald Trump didn’t provide government ethics officials documentation to show he had carried out his plan to step away from his businesses, a Democratic lawmaker said, something every other president since 1978 had done prior to inauguration.

Trump Lost $1.2 Million at Hotel He Should Sell, Democrats Say

President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel lost almost $1.2 million during its first two months of operation, before he was elected president, according to a letter released Monday by four congressional Democrats who say the president is violating the hotel’s lease with the federal government.

Top U.S. Ethics Official Assails Trump Business Plan as Weak

In an unusually frank statement Wednesday, the top U.S. government ethics officer declared that President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to place his business in a trust without divesting doesn’t meet standards for the highest levels of public service in the U.S.

Texas Republicans Meet With Taiwan Leader Over China Objections

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met Sunday in Houston with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, potentially adding to tensions with China after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump broke diplomatic protocol by speaking on the phone with her.

Trump Accepts Intelligence Findings on Russia, Priebus Says

Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff said the president-elect accepts the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, who concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hacking and disinformation campaign to influence the U.S. election and preferred Trump to win.

Trump Must Divest His Washington Hotel, House Democrats Say

President-elect Donald Trump will be in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel in Washington when he takes office if he doesn’t divest all financial interests in it, according to Democratic lawmakers after exchanges with the agency in charge of government buildings.

Trump Picks Exxon Mobil’s Tillerson as Secretary of State

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson will be nominated as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, setting up a confirmation battle with U.S. lawmakers who have questioned the oilman’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump Says No Deals While in Office; Sons Will Run Company

President-elect Donald Trump gave his first clues as to how he’ll step away from his businesses, saying he would put his two sons Don and Eric in charge by Inauguration Day Jan. 20 but offering no information about his own role.

Former GOP Officials Join Watchdog Calls for Trump Divestiture

Six days before Donald Trump is set to announce a plan to exit operations of his company, former Republican officials and a conservative author who targeted the Clintons -- and has close ties to a top Trump adviser -- signed a letter urging the president-elect to put his business enterprises into a blind trust in order to avoid any suggestions that his decisions benefit him, a watchdog group said.

About Those Trump Conflict-of-Interest Worries...

An incoming U.S. president’s stock portfolio might normally be the focus of potential conflicts of interest. Donald Trump, of course, is no typical president. The Trump Organization’s global business interests raise almost limitless possibilities for conflicts, or at least the appearance thereof. Trump promised a plan to “take me completely out" of operations of his businesses, then postponed spelling out the details, then tweeted that he will put his sons in charge, then spelled out limits on n