Trump Wants to Rally GOP Base Over Immigration

“As Republicans try to keep their midterm election strategy focused on the economy, tax cuts and falling unemployment, President Trump sent his clearest signal yet on Monday that he intends to make divisive, racially charged issues like immigration central going into the campaign season,” the New York Times reports.

“Facing bipartisan criticism over his administration’s family separation practice on the border, Mr. Trump renewed the sort of bald and demagogic attacks on undocumented immigrants that worked well for him politically in his 2016 presidential campaign.”

Some Migrant Family Separations Are Permanent

Jon Sandweg, the former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told NBC News that migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated.

“While a parent can quickly move from detention to deportation, a child’s case for asylum or deportation may not be heard by a judge for several years because deporting a child is a lower priority for the courts, Sandweg explained.”

“As a result, parents may find themselves back in their home countries struggling to find their children. Many do not have access to legal counsel or understand the U.S. immigration or judicial systems.”

Trump Administration Lying About Separation Policy

Washington Post: “Our analysis finds the doublespeak coming from President Trump and top administration officials on this issue is breathtaking, not only because of the sheer audacity of these claims but also because they keep being repeated without evidence.”

“Immigrant families are being separated at the border not because of Democrats and not because some law forces this result, as Trump insists. They’re being separated because the Trump administration, under its zero-tolerance policy, is choosing to prosecute border-crossing adults for any offenses.”

Trump Loses Temper Over Border Wall Funding

Politico: “In a private meeting regarding the wall Monday, Trump fumed to senators and his own staff about the $1.6 billion the Senate is planning to send him this fall, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Trump wants the full $25 billion upfront and doesn’t understand why Congress is going to supply him funds in a piecemeal fashion — even though that’s how the spending process typically works.”

”The president said at the meeting that if Congress doesn’t give him the resources he needs for border security, he will shut down the government in September, according to one of the people familiar with the meeting. He did not give a specific number, but has been fixated on getting the $25 billion in a lump sum.”

Trump Jr. Pulls Out of Bush Fundraiser

Two sources close to Donald Trump Jr. tell Axios that he has decided to pull out of a fundraiser for George P. Bush due to the Bush family’s opposition to his father.

Most recently, Jeb Bush tweeted that “children shouldn’t be used as a negotiating tool” and that President Trump should end his “heartless policy” of family separation.

Democrats Outspending GOP in Key Senate Races

NBC News: “Less than five months until Election Day, Democrats are outspending Republicans over the TV and radio airwaves in the most competitive Senate contests, according to ad-spending data from Advertising Analytics.”

“The one exception, however, is in Florida, where Republicans and Rick Scott have outspent Democrats and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., by nearly a 5-to-1 ratio, $17.2 million to $3.1 million. (But that’s down from the GOP’s nearly 50-to-1 advantage a month ago.)”

Russians Paid $109M in Cash for Trump Properties

McClatchy: “Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.“

”There’s nothing illegal about accepting cash for real estate. But transactions that do not involve mortgages — which account for one in four residential purchases in the country — raise red flags for law enforcement officials as it could be a way to commit fraud or launder money.”

Trump Isn’t Making It Easier for European Allies

New York Times: “With a rift over migrants bringing German politics to a boil, the country’s feuding leaders scraped together a truce Monday on an issue that threatens to topple the fragile government. Then President Trump stepped in. ‘The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,’ Mr. Trump said on Twitter, before falsely claiming that crime in Germany had risen because of immigration.”

“The migrant issue is a political wildfire in Europe. It has breathed new life into populist movements from Hungary to Austria to Italy. In Italy, the newly formed government coalition rose to power in part by drawing on anger about migration. It introduced its immigration policy last week by turning away a boat carrying more than 600 migrants from Africa. These forces are making it harder for European centrists to hold onto power — and as his comments made clear Monday, Mr. Trump is not making it any easier for the United States’ longtime partners.”

What Scripture Really Says About Dividing Families

The Economist: “American commentators both religious and secular have been digging deep into the Bible over the past week. They have been searching for answers to the claim by Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, that a new practice of separating parents and children at the Mexican border is founded in holy writ.”

“People who really want to raise the stakes in this scriptural to-and-fro might consider turning to a verse in Matthew’s Gospel which warns of the dire consequences that may befall anybody who does spiritual harm to children.”

If anyone causes one of these little ones…to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

The Political Fringe Is Now In Power

“Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller spent years on the political fringe in the nation’s capital as high-decibel immigration hard-liners, always warning about the dangers of open borders but rarely in a position to affect law or policy,” the New York Times reports.

“Now, Mr. Sessions, the attorney general and former senator from Alabama, and Mr. Miller, the president’s top policy adviser and former Senate aide to Mr. Sessions, have moved from the edges of the immigration debate to its red-hot center. Powerful like never before, the two are the driving force behind President Trump’s policy that has led thousands of children to be separated from their parents at the nation’s southern border.”

Judge Strikes Down Kansas Voter Law

“A federal judge has struck down a Kansas voter citizenship law that Secretary of State Kris Kobach had personally defended,” the Wichita Eagle reports.

“Judge Julie Robinson also ordered Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, to take more hours of continuing legal education after he was found in contempt and was frequently chided during the trial over missteps.”

“In an 118-page ruling Monday, Robinson ordered a halt to the state’s requirement that people provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision holds the potential to make registration easier as the August and November elections approach.”

Kim Makes Another Visit to China

“North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, arrived in China on Tuesday to begin a two-day visit, his third such trip since March,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Kim’s trip comes one week after his landmark summit meeting in Singapore with President Trump.”

“Mr. Kim’s visit comes as a trade war between the United States and China is intensifying, giving him an opening to play one power against the other — a tactic he appears to be using as the United States presses him to destroy his nuclear arsenal.”

Using Children for Political Leverage Is Un-American

Financial Times: “Might some immigrants, desperate to cross the border, bring children with them as — to speak figuratively — ‘human shields’, hoping that the presence of minors will protect them from arrest? This is conceivable. But even then the innocence of the children would remain a stubborn fact. Either it is acceptable for the US government to use children as leverage to further its policy goals, or it is not.”

“Mr Trump and his inner circle have suggested that the separation of families at the border might be stopped if Congress acted on new immigration laws. But neither of the bills currently before Congress address the issue directly. And even if they did, the moral proposition would be the same: Mr Trump is using children for political leverage.”

Trump Approval Ties His Personal Best

A new Gallup poll finds President Trump’s job approval rating at 45%, tying his personal high. His previous 45% rating occurred in the first week after he was inaugurated as president.

Chris Cillizza: “Now. That’s one poll. In a new CNN poll, Trump’s approval is at 39%, down from 41% last month. And it remains to be seen how the White House’s botched handling of the family separation crisis at the border will affect Trump’s numbers going forward — although it’s hard to imagine it won’t have an impact.”