American president Donald Trump has for the second time torpedoed a bipartisan immigration bill by threatening to veto it.
The reason, NBC News reports, is that he wants to keep immigration as a political issue to rally his base going into November’s congressional elections.
The cynicism is astounding. Chris Hayes points out on Twitter:
First the president unilaterally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, creating uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors.
He gave Congress six months to fix the problem (he had created), promising to sign whatever bill lawmakers would put in front of him.
He was promptly brought a bipartisan deal, which combined increased border security with a pathway to legal status for the so-called Dreamers. He rejected it.
He was then brought a second bipartisan deal with even more support. He rejected that.
Clearly the president isn’t interested a solution. He lied — as usual.
Also read David A. Hopkins, who argues Trump has pushed Republicans to the right on immigration, and Greg Sargent in The Washington Post, who points out that the Republican position on Dreamers is far to the right of Middle America’s. Read more
American president Donald Trump and his allies have come up with various defenses in the Russia scandal: There was no collusion; Collusion isn’t a crime anyway; The FBI is biased; Trump had every right to fire James Comey; And what about Hillary Clinton?
Damon Linker wonders what’s worse: that Republicans believe the FBI was doing the bidding of the Democratic Party by using opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign to get a court order to approve surveillance of a Donald Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page — or that they are only pretending to believe it in order to whip the Republican electorate into a conspiracy-addled froth of indignation against the legitimacy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation? Read more
Three Ways Republicans Could Undermine Russia Probe
In their desperation to save Donald Trump from scandal, Republicans in the United States are looking for ways to undermine Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump Apologists Muddy Waters After Flynn Pleads Guilty
President Donald Trump’s defenders are muddying the waters in the Russia scandal after his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.
Two of Trump’s confidants (Flynn and Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager) may have lied to investigators; four (also counting Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos) may have been charged with felonies, but at least, the president’s apologists argue, there is no evidence of collusion!
Back in March, I wondered if anybody in Donald Trump’s inner circle wasn’t in touch with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The answer, we know now, is no. The Russians were all over Trump’s team.
Whether this was collusion or a case of collective and massive misjudgment is something Robert Mueller, the special counsel, must find out, but clearly the Russians were trying to influence the outcome of the election.
The fact that none of Trump’s underlings disclosed their Russian contacts, and when first asked about them lied, suggests they knew they were doing something wrong. Read more
Allies Wary of Sharing Intelligence Since Trump Betrayed Israeli Source
Allies have become wary of sharing intelligence with the United States since President Donald Trump gave sensitive information about an Israeli covert operation to the Russians in May, reports Howard Blum for Vanity Fair.
The president boasted to Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the time that the United States had learned of an Islamic State plot to hide airplane bombs in laptops from a source deep inside the caliphate’s territory.
That spy turned out to be Israeli, raising concerns in the Jewish state that information shared with the Americans could, via Russia, find its way to their nemesis, Iran.
Michael Morell, a former acting director of the CIA, has publicly worried, “Third countries who provide the United States with intelligence information will now have pause.”
A senior Israeli military official was less circumspect, telling Blum, “Trump betrayed us.” Read more