Trump says administration looking ‘seriously’ at ending birthright citizenship

President Trump on Wednesday said his administration is once again seriously considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship months after several lawmakers cast doubt on his ability to take such action.

“We’re looking at that very seriously,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Kentucky. “Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land — walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a U.S. citizen.”

“We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” he added. “It’s, frankly, ridiculous.”

The president proposed ending the practice that grants citizenship to those born in the United States during his 2016 presidential campaign. He revived the idea last year, saying he would sign an executive order to enact the change.

Numerous lawmakers, including several Republicans, quickly pushed back on the idea and argued Trump lacked the authority to make such a change using an executive order. They cited that birthright citizenship is a right enshrined under the 14th Amendment.

Trump responded to the criticism by saying birthright citizenship would be ended “one way or another.”

The president has sought various ways to crack down on illegal and legal immigration throughout his presidency.

His administration enacted and later reversed a “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families; Trump has sought changes to asylum laws to keep refugees in Mexico while they wait to be processed; and the White House last week rolled out a rule that would make it more difficult for some immigrants to obtain green cards.

The Trump administration announced earlier Wednesday it would unveil a new rule that would allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, ending a procedure known as the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires children to be held no longer than 20 days.

[The Hill]

Trump: Jews that vote Democrat show ‘lack of knowledge or great disloyalty’

President Trump said Tuesday that Jewish people who vote for Democrats are either ignorant or disloyal as he railed against two congresswomen who have been critical of the U.S.-Israel alliance.

“I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Romania.

Trump and the GOP have sought to win over Jewish voters from the Democratic Party by criticizing statements by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Both have criticized Israel’s government.

Trump last week urged Israel to block Tlaib and Omar from visiting the country, saying in a tweet that allowing the visit would show “great weakness.” An hour after Trump’s tweet, Israel denied the congresswomen entry. 

But in stating that Jewish people who voted for Democrats were disloyal, Trump appeared to step into the same verbal quagmire about Jewish loyalty to the Israeli state that had drawn criticism to Omar earlier this year. 

Omar took heat for remarks that suggested to some that Jewish Americans were more loyal to Israel than the United States.  

Trump’s comments came as he accused Tlaib and Omar of hating Israel and the Jewish people, and he complained that Democrats should also be criticizing them.

“The concept of even talking about this … of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people, I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump said in the Oval Office.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone?” he continued. “Where have they gone … where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel?”

Liberal Jewish groups swiftly condemned the president’s Tuesday remarks. 

“At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased — due to the president’s emboldening of white nationalism — Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope. If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism. If this is about Jews being ‘loyal’ to him, then Trump needs a reality check,” said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.

Trump has made unwavering support of Israel one of the pillars of his foreign policy, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognizing Israel’s claim over the disputed Golan Heights territory. 

Tlaib and Omar have supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, and have been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes.

Omar drew criticism when she suggested lawmakers support Israel because of money from lobbyists and was rebuked again when she claimed those who back the country harbor “dual loyalty.”

Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, drew backlash from conservatives earlier this year for comments about the Holocaust when she said it gave her a “calming feeling” to think of persecuted Jews finding safe haven in Israel.

The two congresswomen held a joint press conference on Monday denouncing Israel’s decision to bar their entry. Tlaib teared up as she recounted her family’s experiences as Palestinians in the Middle East, while Omar suggested that Congress reconsider the annual U.S. aid allocated to Israel after the international incident.

Trump said Tuesday that he was not involved in the decision to bar Tlaib and Omar entry, but that he supported Israel’s decision and that it would have been “very bad” to have let the congresswomen in. He went on to chastise Tlaib for getting emotional a day earlier, saying he’d seen her be “vicious” while protesting one of his campaign events in 2016.

Trump has hammered Tlaib and Omar with criticism in recent months, seeking to portray them as extreme and cast them as the face of the Democratic Party.

But Trump has stoked accusations of anti-Semitism with his own rhetoric as well.

The president angered Jewish groups and others in 2017 when he said there were “very fine people on both sides” of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where marchers carried Nazi banners and chanted anti-Semitic slogans.

Jewish groups called on Trump to more forcefully condemn white nationalism last year after a gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people.

In 2016, Trump tweeted an image of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with the phrase “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever” inside a Star of David on top of piles of cash. 

Multiple exit polls from the 2016 presidential election showed that more than 70 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Clinton.

[The Hill]

Ahead of a far-right rally in Portland, Trump tweets a warning to antifa

President Trump issued a stark warning to antifa, the collective of militant anti-fascist leftist groups, ahead of a rally on Saturday in Portland, Oregon, where antifa activists were widely expected to confront far-right activists.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,’” Trump tweeted. “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”

Notably, the president did not warn or criticize the controversial right-wing group organizing the rally that antifa was planning to protest against. Organizers Joe Biggs and Enrique Tarrio, who did not receive a permit for the rally, are members of the Proud Boys, a group of self-proclaimed “Western chauvinists” with links to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and a history of violence against left-wing activists. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated them as a hate group.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told the Oregonian he believed self-described members of the alt-right like Biggs and Tarrio come to Portland hoping to foment violence, well aware that it is home to a large antifa contingent, Rose City Antifa. “I think they come to Portland because it gives them a platform,” Wheeler said. “They know that if they come here conflict is almost guaranteed.”

Of Trump’s tweet, Wheeler said, “Frankly, it is not helpful.”

Trump’s disinterest in criticizing the Proud Boys is part of a longer trend in which he’s remained completely silent or, at most, has been mildly critical of the threat posed by white nationalist and white supremacist organizations, many of whom view his presidency as a boon for their cause and whose language echoes that of the president.

Trump often undercuts his criticism of hate with statements that run counter to the point he seems to be making, and with political talking points. As Vox’s Aaron Rupar writes, following a mass shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, “Trump responded by reading a speech in which he denounced the ‘evil anti-Semitic attack.’ But during unscripted comments later that same day, he lamented that there wasn’t an armed guard inside the synagogue.”

And following the recent shooting in El Paso — in which the shooter left writings that made it clear he hoped to target members of the Latinx community — Trump said “one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy,” but also blamed mental illness and video games for the violence.

The president also, infamously, responded to the death of Heather Heyer amid the violence in Charlottesville by saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of a protest that included neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Trump has been repeatedly critical of antifa, however, and has threatened in the past to label the association a terrorist organization. GOP lawmakers have already made symbolic gestures to the same effect: In July, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Bill Cassidy (LA) introduced a nonbinding resolution that would label antifa activists as terrorists.

“Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Bullies get their way until someone says no. Elected officials must have courage, not cowardice, to prevent terror.”

Part of what would make Cassidy and Cruz’s effort difficult (beyond the fact that antifa has not yet committed any terror acts) is that antifa is not a centrally organized organization. Its members mostly participate in actions anonymously, making it difficult to pin down a clearly stated ideology or code of ethics toward violence.

“The group of typically black-clad activists are radicals who believe the best way to deal with the rise of white supremacy and hate groups in the Trump era is by confronting them on the street,” Vox’s Zack Beauchamp has explained. “Sometimes, this means organizing demonstrations against them; other times, it means brawling in the streets.”

Portland has seen a striking number of brawls between antifa and far-right groups in recent years. The Proud Boys themselves have a known record of violence against their political adversaries. Two members of Proud Boys are currently on trial in New York and are charged with, among other things, attempted gang assault.

In anticipation of a standoff between antifa and the members of the alt-right who gathered in the city Saturday, Mayor Wheeler and Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw ordered that no police officers would have the day off, and more than two dozen other agencies, including the FBI, were involved in preparation. Fortunately, despite some altercations, the protests remained largely peaceful and the bulk of the alt-right demonstrators were escorted out of the area police had cordoned off for them following a brief event.

Both antifa and alt-right representatives called the event a success; Trump, however, did not tweet what he took away from his close watch of the situation.

[Vox]

Trump Just Shared an Anti-Immigrant Tweet from a QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Named ‘MAGA Michelle’

Imagery for the QAnon conspiracy movement has become increasingly present at Trump rallies and among pro-Trump social media users. It even made a campaign ad

Now, the president has breathed yet more life into it.

During his morning Twitter session Thursday, Trump quote-tweeted an anti-immigrant post by “MAGA Michelle.” The user’s bio includes the hashtag #WWG1WGA — short for “where we go one, we go all” — a phrase that followers of the deep-state conspiracy frequently attach to their social media posts. 

“My children & grandchildren are dreamers & should COME FIRST! Trump we got ur back, build that wall 100 ft tall!” MAGA Michelle wrote over a video of a black Trump supporter. “Hey Democrats that plantation is getting smaller by the day!”

Trump replied in sharing the post: “Thank you, and the Wall is under major construction!”

MAGA Michelle has previously tangoed with the Trump family, as noted by Alex Kaplan, a researcher for the liberal group Media Matters for America. After the author E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of rape in New York magazine in June, the user helped promote the conspiracy that Carroll had ripped off the story from a 2012 episode of Law & Order. Donald Trump Jr. later liked at least one post spreading that hoax.

President Trump — who’s blown all his predecessors out of the water in lies and falsehoods — has been on a tear recently sharing conspiracies. Along with recent tags or retweets of QAnon and Pizzagate-linked accounts, he shared a post by an avowedly pro-Trump social media personality that suggested Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide was actually a staged hit by the Clinton family. 

Trump’s explanation for sharing the tweet? The man has a lot of followers.

“The retweet — which is what it was, just a retweet — was from somebody that’s a very respected conservative pundit,” Trump told reporters afterward. “So I think that was fine.”

[Vice]

Trump nominates judge who argued countries are stronger if everyone is same ethnic group

A White House lawyer chosen by Donald Trump to serve on the federal appeals court previously argued countries were weakened by ethnic diversity.

Steven Menashi, the president’s nomination for the Court of Appeals Second Circuit, wrote in an academic journal that “ethnic ties provide the groundwork for social trust” and “solidarity underlying democratic polities rests in large part on ethnic identification”.

“Surely, it does not serve the cause of liberal democracy to ignore this reality,” he added in the 2010 article for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law.

The passages resurfaced on social media following the announcement of Mr Menashi’s nomination on Wednesday and were later discussed on air by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who described them as “a highbrow argument for racial purity in the nation state”.

In the journal article, titled “Ethnonationalism and Liberal Democracy”, the lawyer says he aims to refute claims that “Israel’s particularistic identity — its desire to serve as a homeland for the Jewish people — contradicts principles of universalism and equality upon which liberal democracy supposedly rests”.

“This article, in contrast, argues that ethnonationalism remains a common and accepted feature of liberal democracy, consistent with current state practice and international law,” he writes.

[The Independent]

Trump Endorses Anti-immigrant Former Baseball Player Known for Collecting Nazi Memorabilia

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitching great Curt Schilling said he is “absolutely considering” running for the U.S. Congress in Arizona, and it appears he has the support of President Donald Trump.

In an email to the Arizona Republic, Schilling, 52, who retired from baseball in 2007, cited immigration issues as motivation for his possible move into politics. The newspaper report notes that Schilling would run against one of the state’s five Democrats, but he did not specify which district he is considering.

“The state is not the state I grew up in. Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets,” wrote Schilling. “When you have homeless veterans, children, and you’re spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their ass kicked.”

The three-time World Series champion first revealed his plans for a political future on Sunday in an interview with Armed American Radio’s Mark Walters.

“I haven’t said anything publicly, but I’m considering going back to Arizona and running for a congressional seat, one of the blue ones,” he said Sunday. “It’s something that my wife and I have talked about, and she’s now becoming more and more pumped at the potential. Obviously, we’re still quite a few discussions away, but yeah, it’s something we’re absolutely considering.”

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump called the news “terrific,” writing, “Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!”

Schilling has been the center of controversy in the past for his race-baiting tweets and harsh anti-Muslim sentiment. In August 2015, Schilling shared a meme on Twitterthat compared Muslims and Nazis.

[Haaretz]

Reality

https://www.mediamatters.org/curt-schilling/trump-endorsed-curt-schillings-possible-run-congress-hes-conspiracy-theorist-who-0

Immigration Chief: ‘Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Who Can Stand On Their Own 2 Feet’

“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Tuesday, twisting Emma Lazarus’ famous words on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

Cuccinelli was speaking to NPR’s Morning Edition about a new regulation he announced Monday that targets legal immigration. The rule denies green cards and visas to immigrants if they use — or are deemed likely to need — federal, state and local government benefits including food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. The change stands to impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants who come to the United States legally every year.

The final version of the “public charge” rule is scheduled to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. A public charge refers to a person who relies on public assistance for help.

On Tuesday, Cuccinelli described the public charge as a “burden on the government.” He told NPR the new regulation was a prospective rule, “part of President Trump keeping his promises.”

The new rule will go into effect Oct. 15, and only government aid used after that point will be assessed, Cuccinelli said.

Welfare benefits will be just one factor that immigration service officers use to determine an applicant’s fate in the United States, in addition to age, health, education and financial status.

“If they don’t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them,” Cuccinelli said.

“All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps” would be welcome, he added.

Asked if that changes the definition of the American dream, Cuccinelli said, “No one has a right to become an American who isn’t born here as an American.”

Then he clarified: “It is a privilege to become an American, not a right for anybody who is not already an American citizen, that’s what I was referring to.”

He said the welcoming words from the 1903 plaque at the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor,” were put there “at almost the same time” as when the first public charge law was passed — in 1882.

Critics have denounced the rule as a sweeping attempt to stem immigration and favor wealthy migrants. The regulation is expected to be challenged by immigration groups in court.

Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration, said the case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I also expect lawsuits from individuals who say that, at the end of the day, if Congress provided certain benefits to be accessible by certain groups of immigrants, that meant that they did not want them then banned under the public charge rule,” Fresco told NPR.

Rumors that the Trump administration was considering the regulation already led to a chilling effect on immigrants looking to put down roots through legal and permanent residency. Public health and social service providers report that immigrants are worried about seeking medical and housing aid for themselves and their children, who may be U.S. citizens.

Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general, has long held a hard-line stance against immigration and asylum policies. President Trump tapped him to be the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in June, bringing him to the helm of an agency he had never worked in.

[NPR]

White Supremacists Responsible for All Race-Based Domestic Terrorism Incidents in 2018 – DOJ Blocked Report

The Trump administration has known since at least April that alleged white supremacists were responsible for every single act of race-based domestic terrorism in the U.S. in 2018, yet not only took no action to combat the growing right wing violent extremism, but actually substantially reduced or even eliminated funding and programsthat combat white supremacist extremism, violence, and terrorism – and then blocked the data from reaching the hands of Congress.

“Domestic Terrorism in 2018,” a document (embedded below) prepared by the State of New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness, “shows 25 of the 46 individuals allegedly involved in 32 different domestic terrorism incidents were identified as white supremacists,” Yahoo News’ Jana Winter and Hunter Walker report.

That document finds there were “32 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations in 2018.”

The report was “circulated” throughout the U.S. Dept. of Justice “and around the country in April just as members of the Senate pushed the DOJ to provide them with precise information about the number of white supremacists involved in domestic terrorism.”

The Justice Department, under President Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General Bill Barr, refused to hand over the data or the document to Congress.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in January of 2019 had already compiled a report, announcing that, “Right-Wing Extremism Linked to Every 2018 Extremist Murder in the U.S., ADL Finds.”

ADL reported that “Right-wing extremists were linked to at least 50 extremist-related murders in the United States in 2018, making them responsible for more deaths than in any year since 1995, according to new data from the ADL.”

1995 was the year domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building, slaughtering 168 people and injuring more than 680 others.

“The tally represents a 35 percent increase from the 37 extremist-related murders in 2017,” ADL reported, “making 2018 the fourth-deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970. Last year saw the highest percentage of right-wing extremist-related killings since 2012, the last year when all documented killings were by right-wing extremists.”

Why the Dept. of Justice and the White House blocked the data from reaching Congress is now yet another investigation Congress should take up.

Here’s the document the DOJ refused to hand over to Members of the House and Senate:

[New Civil Rights Movement]

Trump: ‘I’d Love to See Kaepernick Back in the NFL But Only if He is Good Enough’

President Donald Trump said he’d “love to see” former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick back in the league, “but only if he is good enough.”

Trump made Kaepernick a target of his ire during his 2016 election campaign, frequently trashing the ex-San Francisco 49er for kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaepernick was protesting racial injustice in America

“I think if he was good enough, I know the owners, I know Bob Kraft, I know so many of the owners. If he’s good enough they’d sign him. So if he’s good enough, I know these people. They would sign him in a heartbeat. They will do anything they can to win games,” Trump told reporters before leaving for a vacation Friday.

“Frankly, I’d love to see Kaepernick come in if he’s good enough. But I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks of it’s a good PR move. If he’s good enough, he will be in,” Trump said.

Earlier this year, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL, which is subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Kaepernick alleged that NFL owners conspired to keep him off the field after the end of his 2016 contract due to his activism.

Earlier this week, Kaepernick posted a work-out video indicating he was still interested in getting back to playing with an NFL team.

[Mediaite]

Trump Shares Racist Tucker Carlson Clip Amid White Supremacy Controversy

President Donald Trump retweeted a racist clip of Fox News Host Tucker Carlson, who’s facing backlash for claiming the notion of a white supremacy problem in the U.S. is “a hoax” created by the left and the media.

The video ― created by The Daily Caller, a conservative news site that Carlson co-founded ― features the Fox host discussing and questioning the legitimacy of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) prior marriage, immigration status and name. Omar, an American citizen, was born in Somalia and immigrated to the U.S. as a child.

The “sham marriage” that Carlson refers to is a popular right-wing conspiracy theory that Omar married her brother in order to bypass U.S. immigration laws. There is no evidence that indicates this is the case, and the theory originated from an anonymous internet forum post in 2016. 

Omar has denied the claim and provided a timeline of her marital history. In 2018, she showed a reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune images of her father’s immigration documents, which did not list her former husband among his children.

But this is not the first time that the president has drawn attention to the unsubstantiated theory.

“Well, there is a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother,” Trump told reporters last month, before adding: “I know nothing about it.”

Trump has a history of engaging in or promoting racist attacks that question the legitimacy of the congresswoman’s status as an American. He has claimed that Omar hates America and said that she, alongside three other progressive Democratic congresswomen, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Carlson currently faces public backlash for claiming that white supremacy is not a threat in America just days after a shooter killed 22 people and injured dozens more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The shooter reportedly penned a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto before driving nine hours to the largely Hispanic border town.

“This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax,” Carlson said on Tuesday of the notion that white supremacy was a major threat in the U.S. “It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. That’s exactly what’s going on.”

Fox News and Carlson have lost several advertisers, including Long John Silver’s, Nestlé and HelloFresh, in the aftermath of his claim.

When the president was asked on Wednesday if he was concerned about the rising threat of white supremacy, he told reporters he was concerned about all hate groups, “whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any other kind of supremacy.”

[Huffington Post]

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