President Trump suggested Tuesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat who is one of two Muslim women elected to Congress last year, should resign over the “terrible” things she said about the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
He did not offer to resign himself over a mocking reference to Native American genocide, or call out his son, Donald Jr., for applauding that remark.
“Congressman Omar, it’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” said Trump at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Omar apologized Monday for two tweets about the role money plays in U.S. support for Israel that were denounced by many of her House colleagues from both parties, as well as Jewish-American groups including the Anti-Defamation League.
„What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology, that’s what it was, it was lame and she didn’t mean a word of it, was just not appropriate,” said Trump. „I think she should resign from Congress frankly, but at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees, certainly that committee.”
Trump showed less concern for the feelings of minorities on Saturday after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., officially launched her presidential candidacy. He posted, “Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Emphasizing “TRAIL” in all capitals was taken by many commenters as an intentional, mocking reference to the Trail of Tears, a series of forced removals of Native Americans from the Southeastern states to the Plains that resulted in thousands of deaths. The episode, which native Americans regard as an example of ethnic cleansing, if not outright genocide, was carried out under the president Trump most admires, Andrew Jackson. Fox News anchor Brit Hume defended Trump on the basis that he is too ignorant to know what he was talking about.
Trump has frequently mocked Warren with the sobriquet “Pocahontas” for claiming partial Native American ancestry on the basis of family legend, a claim for which she has apologized. When Warren launched her exploratory committee in January, the president made a glib reference to Wounded Knee, a massacre of hundreds of Lakota Tribe members by the U.S. Army in 1890.
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, his son removed any doubt about what he meant by posting an Instagram of a tweet by the author Michael Malice, proclaiming “The Native American genocide continues with another murder by the president.” Trump, Jr. captioned the post with “Savage!!! Love my President.” The group United to End Genocide estimates that the population of about 10 million Native Americans in the 15th century living on what is now the United States had dwindled to 300,000 by 1900. A recent study found that European colonization killed so many indigenous people in North, Central and South America — both intentionally and as a result of the introduction of diseases from Europe — that the resulting reversion of cropland and pasture to forest soaked up enough carbon to precipitate a reverse global-warming effect, known as the “Little Ice Age.”
Trump Jr. is not just the eldest son of the president, with an affinity for posting on social media, but a key player for Republicans. He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and was a leading fundraiser and surrogate in the lead-up to November’s midterm elections. Trump Jr. stumped for Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, campaigned for six House candidates in a single day and was designated by the New York Times as one of the party’s “most visible headliners.”
Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, told CNN Tuesday “it was evident to me” that Trump was mocking the Trail of Tears in his tweet.
„At this point, he needs to be ignored because he’s not learning anything. It would be nice if he picked up a book and decided to read about Indian history,” Haaland said.
The Republican National Committee did not respond to a request for comment on Trump Jr.’s remarks.
Trump’s opposition to anti-Semitism did not extend to denouncing Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a strong supporter of the president’s immigration policies, who made remarks last fall that the ADL said reflected “anti-Semitism and hate.”
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump slammed a tentative border security agreement reached by congressional negotiators looking to avert another government shutdown, but he did not say whether he would sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
Speaking to reporters during a White House cabinet meeting, Trump said Tuesday he was dissatisfied with the deal, which was announced late Monday by a bipartisan group of budget negotiators.
“Am I happy? The answer is no, I’m not,” he said. „I’m not happy.”
While Trump said he is “thrilled” with the direction negotiations are going, the tentative deal is “not doing the trick.”
Still, Trump expressed hope that another government shutdown would be avoided.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown,” he said.
On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate could vote “in short order” on the tentative proposal.
McConnell, R-Ky., said during a speech on the Senate floor that negotiations “were able to move forward productively” after Democrats moved off their position that Congress shouldn’t spend “one dollar” on new border barriers and dropped their demand for a hard cap on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the agreement represents “a path forward for our country” and would help avoid “another round of fraught negotiations” as lawmakers rush to beat a fast-approaching deadline.
To avoid another government shutdown, Congress must pass the deal and Trump must sign it by midnight Friday, when existing funding will expire.
Trump, in his remarks at the White House, said he would be „adding things” to the agreement, but it wasn’t clear whether the bipartisan group of lawmakers that negotiated the deal would agree to any changes.
The deal, announced late Monday as Trump was about to take the stage at a political rally in El Paso, Texas, includes $1.375 billion for a structure along the southern border – well below the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for the wall that he made a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Democrats sought to limit the number of detention slots, or „beds,” that ICE could have at its disposal to detain immigrants in the country illegally who were apprehended within the nation’s interior. Democrats had originally hoped to cap that number at 16,500. The White House rejected that proposal and Trump repeatedly slammed it publicly.
Instead, Democrats have agreed to no cap on detention slots for immigrants captured within the country. The deal would include enough funding to cover 40,520 beds overall, a number that includes detentions for interior arrests as well as immigrants who are caught at the border. If Democrats had capped interior slots at 16,500, the overall number of beds available to ICE would have been about 35,000.
But both sides acknowledged that the agency has routinely exceeded limits imposed by Congress, and would likely continue to do so.
The agreement already is under fire from conservatives, who have been urging Trump not to abandon his push for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter blasted the tentative deal on Twitter, writing that Trump “talks a good game on the border wall but it’s increasingly clear he’s afraid to fight for it.” Opposition from Coulter and other high-profile conservatives was widely viewed as influencing Trump to reject another bipartisan agreement late last year, a move that led to the last government shutdown.
Contributing: John Fritze and Alan Gomez
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Government shutdown: President Donald Trump says ‘not happy’ about border security agreement
WASHINGTON – The House will vote Thursday on a border security bill designed to prevent another government shutdown as President Donald Trump sent signals he is willing to sign the deal while seeking other sources of money for his border wall.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., announced the timing of the vote during a press conference on Wednesday.
“The overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus will support this legislation,” Jeffries said.
At the White House, hours after saying he was not „thrilled” with the new proposal, Trump struck a more positive tone on Tuesday about the anti-shutdown plan even though it includes much less wall funding that he has demanded.
Saying he discussed the issues with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Trump said the new congressional plan would be „hooked up with lots of money from other sources.” Trump claimed he could get up to $23 billion for his wall, but did not specify where that money might come from.
In another post, Trump congratulated congressional Republicans who worked on a border security committee created by a budget deal last month that ended the 35-day partial government shutdown.
„I want to thank all Republicans for the work you have done in dealing with the Radical Left on Border Security,” Trump said. „Not an easy task, but the Wall is being built and will be a great achievement and contributor toward life and safety within our Country!”
White House officials said Wednesday Trump will wait to see the precise bill before making a final decision.
„We want to see what the final piece of legislation looks like,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. „It’s hard to say definitively whether or not the president is going to sign it until we know everything that’s in it.”
On Monday, Congressional negotiators announced an agreement „in principle” that includes $1.375 billion for a border barrier, much less than the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded throughout the year.
While meeting Tuesday with his Cabinet, Trump said „I’m not happy” with the congressional agreement. He then appeared to reference an idea floated by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and other officials: moving existing money from other accounts to fund walls, fences, or other sorts of barriers.
„We’re supplementing things and moving things around,” Trump said, adding that his team is „taking from far less – really, from far less important areas.”
The president also said he wants to avoid another partial government shutdown: „I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown. I wouldn’t want to go to it, no.”
Trump also retains the option of declaring some sort of a „national emergency,” allowing him in theory to use defense money for wall construction – but also inviting legal challenges from opponents who say the president lacks the legal authority to declare an emergency in this case.
Democrats have vowed to sue or otherwise prevent Trump over any effort to use other money for his wall. They said Congress must specifically appropriate funds for that purpose. Democrats argue the proposed wall is expensive and unnecessary, yet Trump seems willing to divert money from such projects as flood control and drug interdiction.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., has proposed a bill designed to block Trump from using disaster recovery funds to build his border wall.
“Taking recovery funds from disaster victims as ransom for a border wall would be a new low, even for this president,” Garamendi said. “$14 billion in disaster-recovery funds are at risk of being gutted, including $2.5 billion each from civil works projects in California and Puerto Rico.”
Late last year, Trump indicated he would sign a spending plan designed to fund the government past a Dec. 21 deadline. After a torrent of criticism from conservatives who accused him of selling out on the wall, Trump wound up opposing the plan, triggering the shutdown that lasted a record 35 days.
Some of those came conservatives are attacking the current deal, and Trump’s consideration of it.
„Trump talks a good game on the border wall but it’s increasingly clear he’s afraid to fight for it,” conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted. „Call this his ‘Yellow New Deal.'”
But in a positive sign for the proposal’s prospects, one of Trump’s conservative allies signaled that his base would support him if he signed the deal, just as long as it was part of a broader approach to border security.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who had blasted the proposal on Twitter as „hardly a serious attempt to secure our border,” said Wednesday that if the deal’s framework is supported by legislation, „then there is a strong case to be made that the few incremental advances in this bill are better than a continuing resolution to keep the government open.”
„No one will criticize the President for signing it as long as it is part of a multi-step approach to make our communities safer,” Meadows, the chairman of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, told USA TODAY in a text message.
Meadows said he still planned to vote against the bill.
In ending the most recent shutdown last month, Trump and the Congress agreed to a three-week spending plan that expires Friday. Parts of the government will shut down again if that plan is not renewed.
As part of that agreement, lawmakers appointed a special committee to develop the new border security package it rolled out this week.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate could vote “in short order” on the tentative proposal and urged Trump to sign it. He did not say when the Senate vote would occur.
Though the agreement doesn’t have everything Trump wants, „I think he’s got a pretty good deal here,” McConnell said. „I hope he’ll decide to sign it.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the agreement represents “a path forward for our country” and would help avoid “another round of fraught negotiations” as lawmakers rush to beat Friday’s fast-approaching deadline.
„Please, Mr. President,” Schumer said. „Sign it, and don’t cause a shutdown.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House to vote Thursday on border security plan as Trump signals he’s willing to sign the deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional border security negotiations and President Donald Trump (all times local):
U.S. active-duty troops from dozens of units around the country are flowing to the southern border, as part of the latest plan to send 3,750 new forces to beef up surveillance and install more wire barriers.
As of this week, the military had installed about 105 miles of wire barriers along the border, and plans to put in another 140 miles of concertina wire. The bulk of that will be in California and Arizona, in locations between ports of entry that are identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as vulnerable.
Many of the troops who have been serving on the border mission are going home. As of Monday, there were a bit more than 2,000 active-duty forces there. That number is expected to go up to more than 4,300.
President Donald Trump says the wall he envisions in some places along the southern border would be harder to scale than Mount Everest.
Even by Trump standards of exaggeration, that’s a huge leap.
The estimated height for some proposed barriers runs as high as 30 feet. Mount Everest stands nearly 30,000 feet high.
Trump made the claim during a speech Wednesday to a conference of the Major County Sheriffs and Major Cities Chiefs Association.
He says the wall is „very, very on its way” and says people will have to be in extremely good physical shape to scale it. He says migrants trying to cross illegally „would be able to climb Mount Everest a lot easier.”
President Donald Trump says he and his aides will be „looking for land mines” when they review the final text of a border security agreement. The deal would keep the government open, but provide just a fraction of the money Trump has been demanding for his border wall.
Asked by reporters whether he planned to back the deal, Trump said Wednesday he would be taking „a very serious look,” but declined to tip his hand.
He says, „we’re going to look at the legislation when it comes and I’ll make a determination.”
Still, Trump reiterated his desire to avoid another government shutdown, following the 35-day partial closure that left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without paychecks, saying another closure „would be a terrible thing.”
Trump is also insisting that, no matter what, „We’re going to have a great wall.”
President Donald Trump says he’s not expecting the government to shut down again, a signal that he’s leaning toward accepting a budget deal that denies him most of the money he’s sought for a southern border wall.
Trump says he isn’t happy with the compromise and has yet to say he will sign the tentative deal if it passes Congress as expected. A budget bill must be signed into law by midnight Friday to avoid a second shutdown this year.
Lawmakers from both parties have reached a deal that would provide nearly $1.4 billion for border barriers. That’s about one-fourth of the money Trump demanded for a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico.
Trump says he’s looking to supplement border wall funding with money from other parts of the government.