The Republican welfare agenda has been transplanted from legislation to regulation.
The Trump administration announced Monday that it will vastly extend the authority of immigration officers to deport migrants without allowing them to appear before judges, its second major policy shift on immigration in eight days. Starting Tuesday, fast-track deportations can apply to anyone in the country illegally for less than two years. Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security secretary, portrayed the nationwide extension of "expedited removal" authority as another Trump administration effort to address an "ongoing crisis on the southern border" by freeing up beds in detention facilities and reducing a backlog of more than 900,000 cases in immigration courts.
"A rational observer may have brushed off Trump’s tweets as hyperbole, but Mr. Sayoc took them to heart," his attorneys wrote.
President Donald Trump on Monday hailed Pakistan's help in advancing peace talks in Afghanistan, a marked shift in tone as the United States seeks an accord with the Taliban to end almost 18 years of war. Speaking from the Oval Office alongside Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump also warned he could end the conflict in a matter of days through force and "Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth," but preferred dialogue. Pakistan was the Taliban's chief sponsor when it took power in neighboring Afghanistan during the 1990s.
"The Trump administration is facing a fork in the road with respect to its own policy," said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. The US has "deployed an enormous amount of pressure on Iran" and is "well prepared to keep that in place for as long as they deem it necessary," as long as Washington "can avoid escalation and an eruption of a military conflict," Maloney told AFP. Asked Monday if the US was leaning towards negotiation or conflict, Trump did little to reassure those who prefer the former in resolving one of the most explosive international crises of the day.
"No such request has been made" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the U.S. president, said a spokesman for India's government, despite what Trump claimed.
Trump U.N. nominee’s absences included 60 personal days and the equivalent of seven months in places where she had homes, Democrats say.
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyFew congressional hearings in recent memory will match the anticipation of Wednesday’s, when the notoriously laconic Robert Mueller will take questions for the first and likely last time about his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Over the course of roughly five hours, members of two congressional committees will grill the former special counsel about his team’s report. Millions are expected to tune in on television. Bars in Washington will open early so those with an uncontrollable hankering for politics or little else going on can pregame the action. The president says he may watch some of the matter (though those close to Trump expect him to obsessively monitor the proceedings and subsequent coverage) while members of his party anxiously game out the political ramifications. “Impeachment will live and die with this hearing,” said a Republican aide to a Judiciary Committee member who will question Mueller. “The impeachment of President Trump in his first term will live and die based on what happens on Wednesday.”Democrats’ Job Is to Bring Mueller Down From Mount Above-It-AllFor Democrats, the day marks the culmination of a years-long effort to highlight the president’s conduct before and in office. It’s also, they’ve come to acknowledge, a dicey proposition. Behind closed doors, lawmakers fret that the hearing may not live up to the hype, according to half a dozen Democratic aides who spoke to The Daily Beast. “We have people out there — people who haven’t been keeping track of things — who are anticipating that Mueller will reveal new information that they haven’t heard before,” one Democratic staffer said. “So, that’s something the [Democrats] have been trying to manage. They’ve been trying to get the word out that they don’t expect Mueller to say anything revolutionary.”In his only prior public appearance since taking on the special counsel role, Mueller said he would not discuss any matters beyond the purview of his report. He insisted the report spoke for itself—and, on Monday, the Justice Department insisted in a letter to Mueller that his “testimony must remain with the boundaries of your public report.” Still, some Judiciary Committee Democrats who spoke to The Daily Beast say Mueller’s testimony will stun the public simply because of how Trump World has mischaracterized his conclusions. “The enemy is not all the hype and expectation,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a Judiciary Committee member. “Our enemy is the thick fog of propaganda and confusion created by Attorney General Barr and by the Trump administration. The question is, whether we will be able to pierce through it.”“When the Watergate hearings took place, everyone watched more or less the same news on TV,” Raskin added. “My hope is this hearing will allow Mueller to speak for himself without all the deception and diversion.”Mueller Crosses Trump’s ‘Red Line,’ as Aides Pray Trump BehavesFor months, Democrats have pushed the idea that just getting the former special counsel to publicly discuss his report would be a win for the party. Two Democratic aides went as far as to say that the party’s push to gain access to Mueller’s underlying documents was always viewed as a stretch among the upper echelons of the party. That’s because it was Mueller they really wanted, those sources said, adding that their strategy was simply to get the American public to watch the hearing. If the public does tune in, those sources said, then Americans will see the extent of the president’s relationship with the Kremlin and his efforts to undermine the Mueller probe, including his failed attempts to have the special counsel fired.“For people who have read the Mueller report or have followed this issue closely, the hearing will not be surprising,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a member of the Judiciary Committee. “For everyone else, it should be mind-blowing.”Though Mueller has signalled he won’t veer far from his report, Democratic strategists and staffers say some lawmakers are holding out hope that he will go off course—even just once—to talk about whether or not President Trump broke the law. “I think there’s still some things that we don’t know,” one Democratic aide said. “There’s still the possibility he could underscore something we all missed or didn’t put together.” Knowing that the public itself is likely anticipating a Mueller bombshell, advisors working for the committees have tried to dampen down expectations that one will be delivered, telling lawmakers over the last several weeks that Mueller is unlikely to engage in questioning that touches on subjects outside the scope of the report. Each Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee has been through one-on-one sessions with committee staff, Lieu told The Daily Beast. The sessions are designed to keep the party on script so that they can spotlight five specific instances of possible obstruction of justice laid out in Mueller’s report. On Tuesday, Judiciary Democrats are set to stage a mock Mueller hearing behind closed doors to further solidify that game plan. A request for comment as to who was playing the role of Mueller was not returned. “I think this is an opportunity,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a Judiciary Committee member, told The Daily Beast, “and we want to do it in a very organized way so that the story, the narrative, of a president who attempted repeatedly to undermine, stop, prevent the investigation from continuing and committed acts of obstruction of justice, that the American people at the end of the hearing have a full understanding of the very serious findings of the special counsel.”Democratic aides, meanwhile, say they’ve been working with lawyers to study Mueller’s testimony style. He doesn’t speak in long sentences, those aides said, and he rarely expands on his answers. One Democrat put it this way when asked about preparation: “Questioning Mueller is a science. And unless you know your subject, and all the intricacies of how it works, you’re not going to ace the test.”Acing that test, the theory goes, might spark the public to put more pressure on Democratic lawmakers to open an impeachment inquiry into Trump. The timing, at least, lines up well. Just two days after Mueller’s hearing, House members will return home for the five-week August recess, which usually means lots of constituent meetings and town halls. If members get an earful in their districts, said Cicilline, it “may encourage some people to come back and support the notion of beginning an impeachment inquiry.”Currently, 90 House Democrats—almost 40 percent of the conference—openly backs an impeachment inquiry. It’s widely expected on Capitol Hill that Mueller’s testimony will push a number of lawmakers off the fence and swell the ranks of the pro-impeachment caucus.If Mueller’s long-awaited testimony is providing Democrats with a critical chance to shine a light on presidential misconduct, Republicans—including Trump himself—are torn over its significance. House Judiciary Republicans are prepping for the hearing, with GOP staffer saying that members have been comparing notes with each other about their questions and focusing intensively on the hearing. But while some in the party view any oxygen given to Mueller’s report as feeding an anti-Trump narrative, some on Team Trump say the hearing could be a golden opportunity for revenge.“[The Mueller Report was] one of the most dishonest reports ever rendered, and I think the Republicans could take it apart upon examination,” John Dowd, a lawyer who repped Trump for almost a year of the Mueller probe, said in an interview in May. “[Bob Mueller] doesn’t want to go up there. It’s obvious he’s pulled a fast one.” Dowd, who continues to informally advise the president, also said it would be “great to get him up there” so that Republican lawmakers could “take him apart.”For some GOPers, Wednesday’s goals are two-fold: to raise questions about the Russia probe’s origins and to paint Democrats as hysterics. “Success for Republicans is the Democrats exposing the irrational vitriol with which they want to go after this president,” said the Republican Judiciary aide. “That on full display: This unhinged lust for taking down Donald Trump at any cost.” One big question mark is how the president himself will react to the hearing. Trump has told associates he thinks Wednesday’s spectacle will be “boring” and “old news,” according to two people who’ve discussed it with him in the last three weeks. On top of that, the president has privately said that he’s heard from “a lot of people” that Mueller will likely perform poorly and perhaps face humiliation by Republicans, per one of the sources.President Trump’s lawyers, for now, are mostly shrugging—hoping that Mueller will deliver exactly what the Democrats fear: a nothingburger. “I don’t expect any new revelations. He said his report is his testimony. So I expect his testimony to be the report,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal attorneys during the Russia probe, told The Daily Beast. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The former special counsel is preparing for his highly anticipated public testimony on his report before two House committees on Wednesday.
Chief executives from several US tech companies met with President Donald Trump on Monday and expressed "strong support" for policies restricting the use of products from Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Washington accuses Huawei of working directly with the Chinese government and its intelligence services, which it says could pose security risks -- claims the company denies. In May, Trump hit Huawei with an executive order that effectively banned it from trading with any US companies, although a temporary license was issued shortly after.
Chip Somodevilla/GettyTwo days before Robert Mueller testifies before Congress, the Justice Department has sent him a letter warning that he “must remain within the boundaries” of the public report on the Russia investigation.Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer told the former special counsel that he was restricted in what he could say because the probe included matters of executive privilege—which allows the president to keep certain information secret.“These privileges would include discussion about investigative steps or decisions made during your investigation not otherwise described in the public version of your report,” the letter said.Weinsheimer said it was “standard practice” for DOJ witnesses to refuse to answer questions that touched on issues of privilege so the department can later find a way to provide answers to Congress while “protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”Democrats’ Job Is to Bring Mueller Down From Mount Above-It-AllThe letter came in response to a request by Mueller two weeks ago for guidance from the Justice Department on his Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.Mueller has already said that he doesn't intend to stray from his report, which outlined 10 episodes of possible obstruction of justice by President Trump but did not declare whether he had committed a crime or impeachable offense.Democrats on the committees are hoping to pry some new details from the famously tight-lipped former FBI director about Trump’s actions and his view of those actions.The DOJ letter reiterated that the department deems Mueller’s testimony “unnecessary” but acknowledged that the decision to answer questions is his to make—while hammering down on the point that he should not disclose anything that isn’t in the report or Mueller’s May 29 public statement.In that statement, Mueller appeared to contradict Attorney General William Barr by saying that he did not make a determination about whether Trump broke the law because DOJ policy prohibits indictment for a sitting president, and not necessarily because he did not think a crime had occurred.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify Wednesday before two House committees, his first appearance since concluding the Russia probe.
US President Donald Trump said Monday that a "compromise" bipartisan budget agreement has been reached that will boost federal spending by $320 billion and suspend the debt limit beyond the next presidential election. The deal, should it pass Congress as expected, would allow the federal government to borrow more money and avoid a disastrous default in the coming months, while significantly raising budget caps on defense and domestic outlays. Trump tweeted that the deal was struck between the White House and the top Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress "on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills," which could have otherwise derailed the legislation.