Trump Blasts Paul Ryan for Contradicting Him on Birthright Citizenship: ‘Something He Knows Nothing About’

President Donald Trump ripped into Paul Ryan on Wednesday over his comments on birthright citizenship, in a stunning rebuke of his own party’s House Speaker just a week before the midterm elections.

“Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!” Trump tweeted. “Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!”

The Wisconsin Republican broke with Trump on Tuesday when he rejected the president’s expressed desire to end birthright citizenship through executive order.

Ryan said in a radio interview that Trump “cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Ramps Up Fear-Mongering: Caravans Made up of ‘Very Bad Thugs and Gang Members’

President Donald Trump is nothing if not consistent.

Despite significant and bipartisan criticism for irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric that critics have described as fear-mongering, Trump is hitting the same “be afraid of the Caravan” note on Twitter this morning.

Trump tweeted:

He followed that first tweet shortly after with:

These tweets came the morning after the Commander in Chief and First Lady returned from a somber visit to the Pittsburgh synagogue that saw 11 worshipers murdered by an unhinged individual that parroted right-wing rhetoric calling this mass of migrants “invaders.”

Depending on reports one follows, the caravan is comprised of roughly 3,500 Central Americans that are roughly 1,000 miles from the southern U.S. border and are traveling by foot. By most accounts, they won’t arrive at the United States for at least six to eight weeks.

[Mediaite]

Trump targeting birthright citizenship with executive order

President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, he said yesterday in an exclusive interview for “Axios on HBO,” a new four-part documentary news series debuting on HBO this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Why it matters: This would be the most dramatic move yet in Trump’s hardline immigration campaign, this time targeting “anchor babies” and “chain migration.” And it will set off another stand-off with the courts, as Trump’s power to do this through executive action is debatable to say the least.

Trump told “Axios on HBO” that he has run the idea of ending birthright citizenship by his counsel and plans to proceed with the highly controversial move, which certainly will face legal challenges.

  • “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said, declaring he can do it by executive order.
  • When told that’s very much in dispute, Trump replied: “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
  • “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits,” Trump continued. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.” (More than 30 countries, most in the Western Hemisphere, provide birthright citizenship.)
  • “It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order.”

The president expressed surprise that “Axios on HBO” knew about his secret plan: “I didn’t think anybody knew that but me. I thought I was the only one. “

  • Behind the scenes: “Axios on HBO” had been working for weeks on a story on Trump’s plans for birthright citizenship, based on conversations with several sources, including one close to the White House Counsel’s office.

The legal challenges would force the courts to decide on a constitutional debate over the 14th Amendment, which says:

  • “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Be smart: Few immigration and constitutional scholars believe it is within the president’s power to change birthright citizenship, former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Lynden Melmed tells Axios.

  • But some conservatives have argued that the 14th Amendment was only intended to provide citizenship to children born in the U.S. to lawful permanent residents — not to unauthorized immigrants or those on temporary visas.
  • John Eastman, a constitutional scholar and director of Chapman University’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, told “Axios on HBO” that the Constitution has been misapplied over the past 40 or so years. He says the line “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” originally referred to people with full, political allegiance to the U.S. — green card holders and citizens.

Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration, recently took up this argument in the Washington Post.

  • Anton said that Trump could, via executive order, “specify to federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens” simply because they were born on U.S. soil. (It’s not yet clear whether Trump will take this maximalist argument, though his previous rhetoric suggests there’s a good chance.)
  • But others — such as Judge James C. Ho, who was appointed by Trump to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans — say the line in the amendment refers to the legal obligation to follow U.S. laws, which applies to all foreign visitors (except diplomats) and immigrants. He has written that changing how the 14th Amendment is applied would be “unconstitutional.”

Between the lines: Until the 1960s, the 14th Amendment was never applied to undocumented or temporary immigrants, Eastman said.

  • Between 1980 and 2006, the number of births to unauthorized immigrants — which opponents of birthright citizenship call “anchor babies” — skyrocketed to a peak of 370,000, according to a 2016 study by Pew Research. It then declined slightly during and following the Great Recession.
  • The Supreme Court has already ruled that children born to immigrants who are legal permanent residents have citizenship. But those who claim the 14th Amendment should not apply to everyone point to the fact that there has been no ruling on a case specifically involving undocumented immigrants or those with temporary legal status.

The bottom line: If Trump follows through on the executive order, “the courts would have to weigh in in a way they haven’t,” Eastman said.

[Axios]

Reality

Fact is Republicans and Fox News have long targeted only Hispanic or Asian “anchor babies” claiming they were a national security threat. (cough) (cough) racism (cough) (cough)

The Trump administration’s flawed argument is over the line in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” claiming it only referred to people with full, political allegiance to the U.S., such as citizens or green card holders.

The problem with this thinking is the writings of the authors of the 14th amendment clearly show the line in the amendment refers to the legal obligation to follow U.S. laws within the U.S. border.

Finally, you can’t change the Constitution with an executive order. Can’t happen.

All Trump is doing is riling up his insanely racist base, who are trained by Republican news to fear all foreigners, to show up at the polls one week away.

Media

Trump: We will ‘build tent cities’ for migrant caravan

President Trump during an interview on Monday said that the administration is planning to “build tent cities” for the thousands of migrants seeking asylum who are heading towards the Southern border.

Trump in recent days has been stoking fears that violent gang members may be part of the so-called migrant “caravan,” which includes thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence and dire economic conditions in their home countries. The migrants are still weeks away from reaching the border.

The president during a pre-recorded interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham said the administration will “hold” the migrants who apply for asylum rather than releasing them pending their court dates, as previous administrations have done.

“If they applied for asylum, we’re going to hold them until such time as their trial takes place,” Trump told Ingraham.

“Where? We have the facilities?” she asked.

“We’re going to put up – we’re going to build tent cities,” Trump replied. “We’re going to put tents up all over the place. We’re not going to build structures and spend all of this, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars — we’re going to have tents.”

“They’re going to be very nice,” he added.

Trump has called the caravan of Central American migrants an “invasion.” He has also referred to the midterms as the election of the “caravan.”

Democrats and immigration-rights activists have accused the president of drawing on xenophobic and racist images in an effort to frighten the electorate ahead of Election Day. The migrants are still over one thousand miles away.

Ingraham during the interview asked Trump to respond to former President Obama, who denounced the president’s rhetoric about the caravan during a recent campaign event.

“Now the latest, they’re trying to convince everybody to be afraid of a bunch of impoverished, malnourished refugees a thousand miles away — that’s the thing, it’s the most important in this election?” Obama said during an event in Florida this week. “We’re scare-mongering people on the border.”

Trump responded by saying that there are people from “gangs” in the caravan. His claim has not been proven.

[The Hill]

Media

Pentagon to deploy 5,200 active duty troops to Mexico border as Trump escalates threats against migrant caravan

A week out from the midterm elections, the Pentagon said Monday it is sending 5,200 troops, some armed, to the Southwest border this week in an extraordinary military operation to stop Central American migrants traveling north in two caravans that were still hundreds of miles from the U.S. The number of troops is more than double the 2,000 who are in Syria fighting the Islamic State group.

President Donald Trump, eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the elections, stepped up his warnings about the caravans, tweeting: “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”

His warning came as the Pentagon began executing “Operation Faithful Patriot,” described by the commander of U.S. Northern Command as an effort to help Customs and Border Protection stiffen defenses at and near legal entry points. Advanced helicopters will allow border protection agents to swoop down on migrants trying to cross illegally, he said.

“We’re going to secure the border,” Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the Northern Command leader, said at a news conference. He spoke alongside Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

Eight hundred troops already are on their way to southern Texas, O’Shaughnessy said, and their numbers will top 5,200 by week’s end. He said troops would focus first on Texas, followed by Arizona and then California.

The number of people in the first caravan has dwindled to 3,500 from about 7,000, though a second one was gaining steam and marred by violence. About 600 migrants in the second group tried to cross a bridge from Guatemala to Mexico en masse on Monday but were met by ranks of Mexican federal police who blocked them from entering. The riverbank standoff followed a more violent confrontation Sunday when the migrants used sticks and rocks against Mexico police. One migrant was killed Sunday night by a head wound, but the cause was unclear.

The first group passed through the spot via the river — wading or on rafts — and was advancing through southern Mexico. That group appeared to begin as a collection of about 160 who decided to band together in Honduras for protection against the gangs who prey on migrants traveling alone and snowballed as the group moved north. They are mostly from Honduras, where it started, as well as El Salvador and Guatemala.

Overall, they are poor, carrying the belongings that fit into a knapsack and fleeing gang violence or poverty. It’s possible there are criminals mixed in, but Trump has not substantiated his claim that members of the MS-13 gang, in particular, are among them.

The president’s dark description of the caravan belied the fact that any migrants who complete the long trek to the southern U.S. border already face major hurdles, both physical and bureaucratic, to being allowed into the United States. Migrants are entitled under both U.S. and international law to apply for asylum, but it may take a while to make a claim. There is already a bottleneck of asylum seekers at some U.S. border crossings, in some cases as long as five weeks.

McAleenan said the aim was to deter migrants from crossing illegally between ports, but he conceded his officers were overwhelmed by a surge of asylum seekers. He also said Mexico was prepared to offer asylum to the caravan.

“If you’re already seeking asylum, you’ve been given a generous offer,” he said of Mexico. “We want to work with Mexico to manage that flow.”

The White House is also weighing additional border security measures, including blocking those traveling in the caravan from seeking legal asylum and preventing them from entering the U.S.

The military operation drew quick criticism.

“Sending active military forces to our southern border is not only a huge waste of taxpayer money, but an unnecessary course of action that will further terrorize and militarize our border communities,” said Shaw Drake of the American Civil Liberties Union’s border rights center at El Paso, Texas.

Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement. The troops will include military police, combat engineers and others helping on the southern border.

The escalating rhetoric and expected deployments come as the president has been trying to turn the caravans into a key election issue just days before the midterm elections that will determine whether Republicans maintain control of Congress.

“This will be the election of the caravans, the Kavanaughs, law and order, tax cuts, and you know what else? It’s going to be the election of common sense,” Trump said at a rally in Illinois on Saturday night.

On Monday, he tweeted without providing evidence: “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border.”

“Please go back,” he urged them. “you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”

The troops are expected to perform a wide variety of functions such as transporting supplies for the Border Patrol, but not engage directly with migrants seeking to cross the border, officials said. One U.S. official said the troops will be sent initially to staging bases in California, Texas and Arizona while the CBP works out precisely where it wants the troops positioned. U.S. Transportation Command posted a video on its Facebook page Monday of a C-17 transport plane that it said was delivering Army equipment to the Southwest border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot.

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with the deployment plans.

[CNBC]

Trump Posts Breitbart Story on Media ‘Smearing His Supporters’ After Bomb Scare

President Donald Trump is doubling down on defiance in the face of critics who suggested he tone down his anti-media rhetoric after a man sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and the CNN headquarters in New York.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted out a story from right-wing website Breitbart — “Donald Trump Thunders at Media for Trying to Smear His Supporters after Bomb Scares” — that detailed his attacks on the media at a rally Friday night.

Per the Breitbart story Trump linked to:

Trump condemned political violence and called for an end to the politics of personal destruction, especially from the media.

“Political violence must never ever be allowed in America and I’ll do everything in my power to stop it,” he said. “The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not.”

The president paused as his supporters continued to chant “CNN SUCKS!”

“They have a major role to play as far as tone, as far as everything,” Trump said. “The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility, and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.”

The man suspected of sending the pipe bombs to the president’s critics was arrested on Friday. He appears to be a fanatical supporter of Trump, and his white van was plastered with decals of the president — as well as one saying “CNN SUCKS.”

[Mediaite]

Trump: ‘I am bringing out the military’ to stop border crossings

President Trump said in an early morning tweet on Thursday that he is “bringing out the military” to secure the border with Mexico, calling it a “National Emergency.”

“Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border,” Trump tweeted. “MUST BE CHANDED [sic], but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!”

Trump tweeted last week that he would use the military to stop a caravan of migrants from Central America, which has reportedly swelled beyond 7,500, if Mexico did not stop it.

“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump tweeted.

He said Wednesday night at a rally in Wisconsin that the “military are ready” to help secure the border against the caravan, according to NBC News.

The Mexican ambassador to the U.S., Gerónimo Gutiérrez, said Monday that Mexico will continue to work to halt illegal immigration into its country and work with the Trump administration to block the caravan from passing into the U.S.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Bill Speaks told The Hill that the military is working through the logistics and is monitoring the situation at the border closely.

“At this time, I can only confirm that the Department of Defense continues to monitor events along the Southwest U.S. border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico,” Speaks wrote in an email.

“We anticipate receiving a request for assistance (RFA) from the Department of Homeland Security and are currently working with DHS to determine the specifics of our support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

[The Hill]

Trump warns that migrants created ‘total mess’ in Europe

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said mass migration in Europe has created a “total mess” on the continent, warning that immigration advocates in the U.S. will regret their position — just as, he claimed without evidence, Europeans do.

“For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years,” Trump tweeted. “A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again.”

Europe has seen a surge in migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East, over the past five years that has put a strain on countries like Greece and Italy that sit along the southern border of the European Union.

The influx of refugees has coincided with a rise of nationalism throughout Europe and has damaged the political standing of influential leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who initially welcomed refugees to her country with open arms.

“We are a great Sovereign Nation. We have Strong Borders and will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!” Trump wrote in a second tweet.

His comments come as a caravan of thousands of of migrants makes its way through southern Mexico en route to the U.S. and amid reports of a second asylum-seeking caravan forming in Guatemala.

The president has railed against the caravans at campaign rallies in recent days as proof that his hard-line immigration policies are warranted. In recent days, Trump has repeated and then backed off of baseless claims that there are “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” in the caravan and that the migrant groups have been paid by Democratic operatives.

The president has also threatened to cut off aid to countries that are unable to stop the caravan from continuing on its way, despite the fact that it is still far from the nearest point of entry to the U.S.

[Politico]

Reality

The Pew Research Center has found immigration concerns have largely fallen in Europe.

Trump admin official displayed a portrait of the KKK’s first grand wizard because he thought it was ‘nice’

A senior Veterans Affairs official displayed a portrait of Confederate general and KKK grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest prominently in his taxpayer-funded office — and claimed he didn’t know about the figure’s sordid past.

The Washington Post reported that David J. Thomas Sr., the deputy executive director of VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, had the portrait hanging with a spotlight on it in his office until he was informed of Forrest’s history.

“It was just a beautiful print that I had purchased, and I thought it was very nice,” Thomas said, noting that he thought of Forrest “as a southern general in the Civil War” and nothing more.

He claimed that the portrait titled “No Surrender” had been languishing in his basement until he moved to a larger office a few months ago. Michelle Gardner-Ince, a manager who reports to the deputy executive director, disputed his account and said it was in his previous office since at least 2015.

“Racial tensions have flared between Thomas and several of his employees, at least three of whom have pending claims of racial discrimination against him,” the report noted. “An attorney representing two of these employees said the portrait is evidence that Thomas is not comfortable around African Americans.”

Gardner-Ince, a program manager who has a pending case against Thomas before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was the person directed to install the spotlight onto the portrait.

None of the employees with pending cases against Thomas recognized the significance of the Forrest portrait until last week, the report noted, when a union steward recognized the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard depicted in it and was “aghast.”

The local VA chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees has since circulated a petition demanding the portrait’s removal to present to Secretary Robert Wilkie. Although it was taken down, AFGE Local 17 president Douglas Massey told the Post that Thomas’ claim to not know about Forrest’s history was “hard to believe.”

The report also noted that nine of the 14 managers who report to Thomas are black.

[Raw Story]

Trump embraces ‘nationalist’ title at Texas rally

President Donald Trump declared himself a “nationalist” during his rally here on Monday night, officially tagging himself with the label that has long defined his populist rhetoric and protectionist policies.

“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about the country so much. You know, we can’t have that,” Trump said, prompting boos from the crowd.

“You know what I am, I’m a nationalist,” he added, as the crowd erupted in “USA! USA!” chants. “Use that word.”

The comment marked the first time Trump has directly associated himself with the political ideology, which has long defined his outlook and the protectionist trade policies he has implemented in an effort to boost domestic manufacturing.

The remark came during a nearly hour-and-a-half-long rally in the arena that is home to the Houston Rockets, where the President rallied his base in this deeply red state 15 days before the midterms, stoking fears about illegal immigration, painting Democrats as criminal accomplices and basking in the glory of his accomplishments.

With his visit ostensibly aimed at boosting Sen. Ted Cruz’s re-election bid, the President took the stage after an introduction from his former political nemesis by addressing the elephant in the room.

“You know, we had our little difficulties,” Trump said to laughter from the nearly full house at the 18,000-capacity Toyota Center in downtown Houston.

He and Cruz, Trump said, had begun the 2016 presidential campaign as allies, rallying conservatives together in Washington early in the campaign. But eventually, Trump said, the two men decided it was “time” to begin hitting each other.

“And it got nasty,” Trump said.

But since he was elected, Trump said, Cruz has been one of his top allies in Congress.

“And then it ended and I’ll tell you what, nobody has helped me more with your tax cuts, with your regulation, with all of the things … including military and our vets, than Sen. Ted Cruz,” Trump said as he predicted that “in just 15 days the people of Texas are going to re-elect a man who has become a really good friend of mine.”

[CNN]

Reality

Donald Trump actually came out and said it, he labeled himself a “nationalist.”

Conservatives will bend over backwards to explain away how this has to do with a nationalist vs. globalist ideological context, but keep in mind this is the same week Trump is stoking racial fears of immigrants from countries he himself once labeled as “shitholes,” while wanting more European white immigrants.

This is the same week Trump pushed an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory and
echoed the Protocols of Zion, a faked document that white supremacists use as their “proof” that wealthy Jewish elites are puppetmasters “pulling the strings” to subvert democracy, by claiming without evidence that Jewish billionaire George Soros was secretly pulling the strings by paying migrants to come to American to illegally vote for Democrats, subverting democracy.

This is the same Trump who hired alt-right white nationalists, such as Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, who ran the white supremacist site Breitbart, a website that frequently used nationalist to mean “white nationalist” and frequently used “Jew” as a slur.

This is the same Trump who called Nazis “very fine people,” after one murdered and inured protesters by driving his car through a crowd.

This is the same Trump who kept retweeting known white supremacists, even after being told they were white supremacists.

This is the same Trump who said a judge, born in the United States, couldn’t be impartial because of his Hispanic heritage.

The Alt-Right, who Trump is again embracing, use “nationalist” to mean “a nation of white people” and “globalist” interchangeably with “elite cabal of Jewish puppetmasters.”

We’ve crossed a Rubicon here in America. Trump and the Republicans keep pushing themselves slowly towards white supremacy.

You should be alarmed.

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