Good Friday morning.
Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:
- The president delivers remarks at a Make America Great Again Rally in Huntington, WV
- President Trump delivers remarks at a Make America Great Again Rally in Indianapolis, IN
Trump’s immigration presser
You can watch below; it’s worth watching, especially when Trump starts taking questions from the media.
What is interesting about this presser is that two networks cut away from Trump’s speech, or as Politico describes it, Trump’s “fiery remarks.”
The resistance came from at least two networks that have previously been targets of the president’s anti-media rhetoric: CNN and MSNBC. In CNN’s case, the network cut away from the remarks to the customary panel of analysts that dissects a complicated policy change. According to host Jake Tapper, the White House tried to reel networks in by promising a policy change.
Instead, what viewers across the country got was a focused version of the speech Trump has been giving while stumping for candidates across the country ahead of the midterms, warning that Central American immigrants who are hundreds of miles — and weeks — away from reaching the country were “rushing the border.” He also said that law enforcement at the border should treat any rocks thrown at agents as “rifles.”
Tapper’s reaction to the “deception” is precious. “We brought out that speech live because we were told by the White House that the president would be introducing a new proposal, a new policy when it came to asylum. That’s not actually what happened,” Tapper said, shortly after CNN cut away from Trump. “That’s not the first time that this White House has not been honest, but it’s obviously very disappointing when we bring you the news because we were told the president was going to be presenting the policy and he just regurgitates the same speech he gives every night on the campaign trail.”
I watched the speech and I think he did reveal some new information, namely that the U.S. will be housing immigrants in tents until they are processed for asylum and they will not be allowed in the country to wait around until they can be administratively handled. This is basically a change from a “catch and release” policy to a “catch and live in a tent for a long time while our bureaucrat’s process paperwork.” I don’t see this being executed without a lot of screaming advocacy groups, by the way.
Some more virtue signaling here: “They are clearly not policy remarks or policy announcements,” Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times podcast, whose podcast reaches millions of listeners monthly, tweeted. “They are deliberate attempts to inflame the electorate before the midterms. Just happens to be from the White House.”
Guys, don’t flatter yourself. People who read the NYT for news, listen to a NYT podcast, and watch Jake Tapper and/or MSNBC are already long gone and not really who the president is aiming his remarks at. The #resistance media is so full of themselves and so out of touch.
What is going on with Iran?
A group of senators is pushing the president to deliver on his tough talk against Iran.
Led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tex), the lawmakers — who typically cheer Trump’s foreign policy moves — expect that Trump will disappoint them when he rolls out new Iran sanctions Friday. The State Department has scheduled a Friday morning call on the subject. Refusing to be associated with a policy he opposes, Bolton dropped off the call, during which Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will brief reporters, according to two sources familiar with the conversations. An NSC spokesman declined to comment on internal deliberations.
The legislation, which Cruz is expected to introduce in the weeks following the midterm election, and which is likely to be cosponsored by two other leading GOP foreign policy hawks — Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) —will press Trump to cut off several Iranian banks from the global banking network known as SWIFT, an acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which banks worldwide use for international transactions. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) is expected to drop a companion bill in the House.
The real problem, once again, is that Trump has crappy advisors around him who counsel him to wimp out on his promises. Establishment GOP types.
Unfortunately, here’s what happened.
Bolton argued internally that the new sanctions, set to go into effect late Sunday, would only have teeth if they blocked Iranian banks from the SWIFT network. That would make it nearly impossible for those banks to conduct international business.
But Mnuchin resisted Bolton’s efforts, arguing that preserving access for Iranian banks is necessary to keep humanitarian aid flowing into the country and to prevent a number of European nations, which opposed the U.S. exit from the Iranian nuclear deal, from forming an alternative network to SWIFT that could include Iran, Russia, China — and to which the U.S. would have no visibility.
The Politico article has a bunch of quotes from former State Department employees and “experts,” also known as the Iran echo chamber and of course they want Iran to get a new car and an all-expenses-paid vacation.
Keep an eye out today as this develops.
Historical picture of the day:
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!