Trump threatens to send ‘gang members’ and ‘human traffickers’ to sanctuary cities in latest immigration meltdown

President Donald Trump again threatened to send asylum seekers to sanctuary cities.

“Democrats must change the immigration laws fast,” Trump demanded, despite nothing being done during the two years of his presidency that Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

Trump then branded immigrants as “criminals of all shapes.”

“If not, sanctuary cities must immediately act to take care of the illegal immigrants – and this includes gang members, drug dealers, human traffickers, and criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds,” Trump continued.

“Change the laws now,” he demanded.

[Raw Story]

Trump Bashes NY Times for Making Him Look Bad: ‘In 6 Years They Will Be Gone’

Back from his round of golf with Tiger Woods, President Donald Trumptook to Twitter on Saturday evening to bash the New York Times for being corrupt after running a story about sanctuary cities.

“The New York Times Sanctuary Cities/Immigration story today was knowingly wrong on almost every fact. They never call to check for truth. Their sources often don’t even exist, a fraud. They will lie & cheat anyway possible to make me look bad. In 6 years they will be gone,” Trump wrote.

He also insisted that the paper had to beg subscribers for forgiveness after botching coverage of the 2016 election.

“When I won the Election in 2016, the @nytimes had to beg their fleeing subscribers for forgiveness in that they covered the Election (and me) so badly,” Trump wrote. “They didn’t have a clue, it was pathetic. They even apologized to me. But now they are even worse, really corrupt reporting!”

Trump, by the way, doesn’t exactly have his facts right. The New York Timesactually reported that they had a “Trump bump” as a result of the election.

Here is the report from November 2018 (emphasis mine):

More than three million paid digital-only subscribers. More than four million total.

The New York Times Company announced on Thursday that it surpassed those milestones during the third quarter of 2018, when the number of its digital subscribers showed a net increase of roughly 203,000.

That was the highest gain in digital subscribers in a quarter since the so-called Trump bump in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 after the presidential election.

[Mediaite]

Donald Trump posts video of IIhan Omar with footage of NYC 9/11 attack

President Donald Trump posted a video criticizing freshmen Rep. Ilhan Omar, using footage of the Twin Towers burning on 9/11 to denounce her recent comments about the attacks. 

The video was criticized by Democrats, who accused the president of using out-of-context comments and video of one of America’s most horrific and devastating terrorist attacks  to slam a political foe. 

The 43-second video, which Trump pinned to the top of his Twitter account, is set to dramatic music and shows the Twin Towers burning, New Yorkers covered in debris and the aftermath of the 2001 attack at the Pentagon. It is coupled with footage of Omar’s recent comments, referencing the attacks as, “something” done by “some people.” 

Omar has been heavily criticized by conservatives for the remarks, including by members of Congress and a Fox News host who questioned her allegiance to the United States. 

Democrats have argued the comments were taken out-of-context and Omar was attempting to differentiate terrorists from all Muslims. 

Trump’s video shows Omar’s comments repetitively then switches to a black screen with the words “some people did something?” The video then shows the moment one of the jetliners crashed into one of the towers and people running in fear as the buildings collapsed.

The video ends with the words “September 11, 2001. We remember” stretched across the screen. 

Democrats accused the president of jeopardizing Omar’s life with the post, arguing the content was geared to incite Trump followers. A New York man was arrested last week after allegedly threatening to kill Omar, one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress, by putting a “bullet in her (expletive) skull.”

Fellow freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has also been a target of Trump and other Republicans, called on fellow lawmakers to denounce the president and his attack on Omar. 

“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today,” she wrote on Twitter. “@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress. We must speak out.”

Along with the call to fellow lawmakers, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., posted a photo of a display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The photo showed a quote at the museum from a theologian who was imprisoned during Adolf Hitler’s rule in Germany. 

[USA Today]

Trump told CBP head he’d pardon him if he were sent to jail for violating immigration law

During President Donald Trump’s visit to the border at Calexico, California, a week ago, where he told border agents to block asylum seekers from entering the US contrary to US law, the President also told the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, that if he were sent to jail as a result of blocking those migrants from entering the US, the President would grant him a pardon, senior administration officials tell CNN.

Two officials briefed on the exchange say the President told McAleenan, since named the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, that he “would pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying US entry to migrants,” as one of the officials paraphrased.

It was not clear if the comment was a joke; the official was not given any further context on the exchange.The White House referred CNN to the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS spokesman told CNN, “

At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal. Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”

[CNN]

Trump Says He Is Considering Releasing Migrants in ‘Sanctuary Cities’

President Trump said on Friday that his administration was “strongly” considering releasing migrants detained at the border into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” suggesting that the idea should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.

“We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it to be honest with you,” he said on Friday in response to a question about the proposal.

“We might as well do what they always say they want,” Mr. Trump said if Democrats do not agree to new immigration policies. “We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it,” he said, adding that California welcomed the idea of more people coming to the state.

“We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply,” he said.

The comments came a day after the administration said the policy proposal was never seriously considered. But after the president’s Twitter posts on Friday, a White House spokesman said Democrats should work with the administration to welcome migrants into their districts.

“Democrats say we must have open borders and that illegal immigrants have a right to be in this country at all costs,” the spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said, adding, “so they should be working with the administration to find the best ways to transport those illegal aliens that are already set for release, into communities in their districts and states.”

Democratic lawmakers do not want “open borders,” as the president has suggested. They favor improving border security, but they do not support many of Mr. Trump’s hard-line immigration policy proposals, such as building a wall along the southwestern border.

Last year, Trump administration officials had floated the idea of transporting migrants to sanctuary cities, which do not strictly adhere to federal immigration laws, as a way to address the influx of migrants crossing the border with Mexico.

One of the highest-profile sanctuary cities is San Francisco, home to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the president’s top political rivals and a thorn in his efforts to change American immigration laws. The White House raised the proposal again in February, suggesting it could punish Democrats for rejecting budget requests for border security.

Ms. Pelosi’s office condemned the Trump administration for the idea, which the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday was ultimately rejected.

But Mr. Trump’s tweets on Friday indicated it was not off the table, and the president appeared to revel in the Democratic outrage, saying, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, a state with several sanctuary cities, criticized the president’s proposal.

“Trump’s plan to release migrants into ‘enemy’ cities as if they are some kind of contagion is reprehensible,” Mr. Markey tweeted. “Trump is obsessed with the border and sanctuary cities because he only wins by dividing people.”

There has been an influx of migrant families crossing the southern border into the United States, exceeding the staffing and resources available for immigration enforcement. And with a shortage of space in shelters and detention centers, immigration officials have been releasing migrants into the country as they wait to appear before an immigration court. Those courts are so backlogged with cases that it can be months or years before the migrants are called to appear before a judge.

[The New York Times]

Trump in 2016: ‘I love WikiLeaks,’ Trump now: ‘I know nothing about WikiLeaks’

President Donald Trump, when asked if he still “loves” WikiLeaks as he said in 2016, told reporters in the Oval Office that he knows “nothing about WikiLeaks.””

I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing and I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange. I’ve been seeing what’s happened with Assange,” Trump told reporters while meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, referring to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.Assange was arrested Thursday morning in London after Ecuador revoked his diplomatic asylum claim. He has been charged with helping the former Army intelligence specialist Chelsea Manning access Defense Department computers in 2010 in an effort to disclose secret government documents, the US Justice Department announced Thursday morning, hours after Assange was forcibly removed by authorities from the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

Trump on Thursday repeatedly denied knowledge about WikiLeaks and Assange. But, in fact, Trump has a history of supporting WikiLeaks, saying at one rally in 2016: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”During the campaign, Trump routinely applauded WikiLeaks for its role in disseminating the contents of internal communications stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. He even publicly encouraged the Russians “to find the 30,000 emails (from Hillary Clinton’s server) that are missing.”Still, Trump said Thursday he knows “nothing” about Assange or WikiLeaks.”

I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing and I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange,” he said. “I’ve been seeing what’s happened with Assange, and that will be a determination. I would imagine mostly by the attorney general, who is doing an excellent job. So he’ll be making a determination. I know nothing really about him. That’s not my deal in life.””

I don’t really have an opinion,” Trump asked when reporters continued to ask questions.

[CNN]

Reality

Donald Trump praised WikiLeaks 141 times in the one month before the 2016 election.

Trump Spreads Fake Poll on His ‘Soaring Approval’ Aired By Fox’s Lou Dobbs

President Donald Trump seemed delighted on Thursday when he posted a screen-shot from Lou Dobbs‘ Fox Business show supposedly showing his approval polling is at 55%.

There’s just one little problem: the number is way off, and his actual approval rating according to that poll is a paltry 43%.

The Fox Business host spent a good portion of his show repeatedly fawning over a new poll from the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service on Trump and the economy. Dobbs framed the poll’s findings with the graphic above, saying Trump enjoys “soaring approval” from 58% of voters for his performance on the economy, and an impressive 55% from voters overall.

Here’s what the poll actually says:

While President Trump’s overall unfavorable rating has remained steady at 55 percent since he announced his candidacy in 2015, 58 percent of voters approve of the job he has done on the economy.

To be clear: Trump’s disapproval is 55%, according to that poll. His approval rating, meanwhile, is 43%. That means his numbers are underwater by 12%.

Mo Elleithee, director of Georgetown Politics and a frequent Fox News guest, corrected the president on Twitter:

Whoopsies.

Watch above, via Fox Business.

UPDATE: Fox Business issued an on-air correction to the poll on Thursday morning.

From FBN’s Blake Burman:

It’s been a quite start to the day for President Trump, though he did send out a tweet this morning from the Lou Dobbs show last night on Fox Business. That tweet featured a poll that was not entirely accurate, which Fox Business would like to correct. According to a poll from Georgetown University, 58 percent of respondents approved of the president’s handling of the economy. That portion of the graphic was right. However, the graphic also showed that 55 percent of the respondents approve of the president, that number is not correct. The 55 percent number was those who have an unfavorable impression of President Trump.

[Mediaite]

Trump calls Mueller investigation ‘attempted coup’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as an “attempted coup” that failed and praised Attorney General William Barr for saying he is investigating how the probe began — a move congressional Republicans have long advocated.

“This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. We beat them,” Trump told reporters at the White House ahead of his departure for Texas. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. You know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was: It was a scam.”

At about the same time, Barr, on Capitol Hill, said “I think spying did occur: on the Trump campaign and he wanted to look into how it began and whether it was legally justified.

Trump also blasted what he called the “haters of Trump” and “dirty cops” and bad people” who worked on the investigation but, according to him, still found no evidence of the campaign colluding with Russia to influence the presidential election.

“What has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. And hopefully that’s where people are going now. That’s where people are going, and it’s very interesting. It was an illegal investigation,” Trump said.

Trump said he still has not read the Mueller report and said he’s not interested in the report, beyond the possibility that the Justice Department could look into the origins of the investigation.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care about the Mueller report. I’ve been totally exonerated. No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said. “I am not worrying about something that never, ever should have taken place.”

[ABC News]

Trump Laments Troops at Border Can’t Get ‘Rough’ Because People Would ‘Go Crazy’

During a roundtable in Texas on Wednesday, President Donald Trumplamented that troops on the United States border can’t can’t get a little “rough.”

“You don’t need drones…but if you don’t have a wall it is never going to happen” Trump began.

He then said border people are “fantastic” before insisting he was going to have to call up more military.

Then the president said this: “Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act because if they got a little rough everybody would go crazy. So our military can’t act like they would normally act — or like, let’s say, another military from another country would act.”

The roundtable was held in San Antonio. Trump was joined by local officials and ranchers. Trump is also set to attend a second fundraiser in Houston on Texas. According to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel the two fundraisers are expected to raise $6 million.

[Mediaite]

Trump accuses Dems of ‘treason’ even as Mulvaney seeks a border deal with them

President Donald Trump continues accusing congressional Democrats of treason — a crime punishable by death — over their border security policies even as his acting chief of staff was on Capitol Hill Wednesday seeking a deal.

And a senior Democratic aide expressed doubt that a deal is likely over what promises to be among 2020’s most contentious campaign trail issues.

Twice on Wednesday, the president had critical words for Democrats over their ongoing dispute about his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall and a list of other policy differences related to immigration. In a tweet as he returned from Texas on Air Force One, the president again accused unnamed Democrats of betraying their country — apparently for opposing his hardline immigration policies.

“I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” Trump tweeted at 10:33 p.m. He hit send on the post five minutes before a reporter traveling with him said Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington.

Trump’s use of the T-word is curious for many reasons, especially because policy differences with a sitting president are not criminal — much less a capital — charge. Another reason: His top spokeswoman recently panned Democrats over their contention that the Robert S. Mueller-led Russia probe would clearly show her boss colluded with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“They literally accused the President of the United States of being an agent for a foreign government. That’s equivalent to treason. That’s punishable by death in this country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on March 25.

Trump is eager to make immigration a major part of his 2020 reelection campaign after the issue helped him win the presidency in upset fashion four years earlier. His late-night treason tweet came hours after he called on Democrats to help him and Republicans improve what he dubbed “bad laws” related to the southern border and immigration.

“It’s very important that the Democrats in Congress change these loopholes,” the president said Wednesday morning as he left the White House for the Lone Star State before issuing a warning: “If they don’t change them, we’re just going to be fighting.”

As often is the case, Trump recently has signaled he is pivoting toward, in his words, a “tougher” immigration and border security stance. He has removed several senior Department of Homeland Security officials, including former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Last Friday, the White House withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Ron is a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction,” Trump said.

On Friday at the border in California, Trump said this to would-be migrants: “The system is full. We can’t take you anymore. … Our country is full.” This has left Democrats outraged.

But as Trump moves to the right yet again in his public remarks about the border and immigration — including signaling Tuesday that he views his since-scrapped child separation policy as an effective deterrent to illegal immigration even though he is not restarting it — his top aides are looking for a path toward a bipartisan deal.

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a former conservative GOP congressman from South Carolina, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with senators of both parties.

Those talks were border-related, a source with knowledge of the meetings said, acknowledging the White House is trying anew to strike a deal amid a dramatic upswing in illegal border crossings and apprehensions that has left the president admittedly frustrated.

One senior House aide told Roll Call Thursday morning that among that chamber’s Democratic caucus, “no one views the White House as credible on this issue” because the president and his top aides are “constantly talking out of both sides of their mouths.”

The same Democratic source said there were no signs Mulvaney met with House Democrats on Wednesday.

Neither Trump, congressional Republicans or congressional Democrats have explained any proposal that the other involved parties might support.

The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration overhaul bill in 2013. But it immediately stalled in the then-GOP controlled House. And when a group of Democratic and Republican senators in 2017 pushed a bipartisan measure, Trump himself helped sink it as his more-hardline version received even fewer votes.

The two parties have been in a standoff ever since, both playing a role in a partial government shutdown that bridged 2018 and the start of this year.

That longest shutdown in U.S. history culminated in Trump getting less for his proposed border barrier than he could have gotten in the weeks before those handful of agencies, including DHS, were shuttered.

There has been no movement since. Instead, there have been just words like “treason” being bandied about by the president while Democrats continue to label his border barrier as a waste of taxpayer money and his immigration stances un-American.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters at a Democratic retreat at a Leesburg, Va., resort said she remains “optimistic” about a deal.

“It’s complicated but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said of a comprehensive immigration overhaul agreement. “And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”

[Roll Call]

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