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Trump ratchets up defense of immigrant ban as outrage mounts




President Mr . trump on Sunday defended his executive order barring refugees and many legal immigrants from entering the United States, as considered one of his top aides walked back perhaps the measure — signaling confusion and fissures inside the 10-day-old administration.

“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will always show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do this while protecting our very own citizens and border,” Trump said in the afternoon statement this cited what he known as precedent set by former The president. “To be clear, it’s not a Muslim ban, when the media is falsely reporting. This isn’t about religion — this really is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

Trump – who also spent the time Sunday to accuse Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham of “looking to start out World War III”- and the aides struggled to remain seated on message as global outrage grew above the executive order. The directive, which Trump has cast as the national security imperative, effectively bars entry to america by people covering anything from Iraqi translators to Syrian refugees towards a British Olympian. What’s more, it have been interpreted to apply to legal U.S. permanent residents and many foreigners with multiple nationalities.

Thousands gathered outside of the White House to demand Trump rescind the order Body associated with a amount of protests nationwide. Prominent Republicans and foreign leaders chided Trump, warning your order could backfire by inspiring terrorists. Democrats lunged for your political opening, vowing legislation to repeal the transaction and hinting at lawsuits filed by state attorneys general. Meanwhile, a string of rulings from judges halted the deportation of travelers caught inside the drama, but will also bewildered U.S. officials unsure ways to enforce your order.

The developments underscore the haphazard approach the Trump administration has taken toward featuring its political power. Trump issued the order Friday with little notice to or input within the Department of Homeland Security, nys Department and also other agencies extremely important to implementing it, reported by multiple sources. The order’s complexity left administration lawyers scrambling to interpret it as advocacy groups filed lawsuits.

Trump wouldn’t appear moved by way of the chaos.

In his statement, he stated that Obama had “banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months” this year. The Obama administration, reacting to intelligence indicating some refugees may have had terrorist ties, had actually instituted additional security checks, severely decreasing the visa issuance process. Trump also noted how the seven countries targeted by his order were also targeted by Obama as potential terror sources.

“We need to do not forget that all of our best allies in the war against Islamic terrorism are Muslims” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

    Early Sunday, Trump tweeted: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what exactly is happening throughout Europe and, indeed, the whole world – a terrible mess!” obama tweeted early Sunday. Later every day, he dispatched another tweet: “Christians while in the Middle-East are executed in large numbers. We can’t allow this horror to continue!”

    A few hours later, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told NBC News the fact that order may not affect U.S. legal permanent residents “moving forward,” which appeared to be a scaling back in reaction to legal threats. Still, Priebus muddied the waters by saying these people would still face extra screening before they are allowed back into the Country as long as they go to certain countries singled out because of the order.

    “President Trump isn’t happy to have this wrong which explains why he really wants to move ahead quickly and protect Americans,” Priebus said.

    But opponents say the executive order has upended the lives of countless innocent people.


    Ibrahim Lutfi with the exceptional relatives of natives of Sudan. Lutfi said his nephew, Ali Nadeeb, can be a diabetic that has visited a coma at Howard University hospital. Ali’s mother planned to fly towards the U.S. from Qatar to check out her son, but she was not capable of board the plane even with bought a proper visitor’s visa, said Lutfi, who added which he was a U.S. citizen eight years back. He joined a huge selection of people protesting the Trump order at Dulles Air-port on Sunday.

    “It’s her only son,” Lutfi said, holding an illustration using a picture of smiling Ali alongside an alternate picture of him inside of a hospital bed.

    Trump’s executive order, issued Friday, has lots of elements, nonetheless its main features feature an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, a pause for all those refugee admissions for the Country, and also the temporary suspension of visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

    In his Sunday afternoon statement, Trump remarked that over 40 Muslim-majority countries cant be found singled out in the order. Vehicles noted the suspension of entries from those countries was temporary before the administration undertook an evalutaion and determined within Ninety days that the security safeguards involved in screening those travelers were sufficiently strong enough enough.

    But Trump didn’t point out that the physical conditions bigger placed in his executive order will not be capable of being met by some or it could be every one of the countries. The president wants, as an example, for your countries to express information using the U.S. that will help it vet travelers. However, some from the countries are far too weakly governed, wrecked by war or don’t have diplomatic ties when using the U . s ., defining it as likely the bans on entry from those countries’ citizens can be indefinite. (U.S. officials have long used other measures to vet those citizens.)

    The White House also initially insisted that U.S. legal permanent residents (so-called green-card holders) who hail from those seven countries must get additional screening if they are okay America from abroad, but it really left the character of this screening unclear. In general, people of dual citizenship can also be barred from entering the country for more within their nationalities is produced by the seven countries.

    The order took immediate effect, as well as result was panic and confusion at airports throughout the country Friday and Saturday as some travelers’ legal status changed mid-flight. Those involved included an Iraqi who bought a special U.S. visa for helping American troops, along with legal U.S. permanent residents returning from trips abroad. Lawyers rushed to airports to assist the stranded on Saturday, while protesters did, too, jamming up streets outside major points such as O’Hare Air port in Chicago and New York’s John F. Kennedy Air port.

    Demonstrations continued nationwide Sunday. Hundreds of people streamed into Lafayette Square beyond the White House, waving flags and signs. “No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!” the crowd shouted. At Dulles, protesters cheered mid-day Sunday as passengers arrived at a plane from Saudi Arabia. A number of the travelers, whose exact nationalities were unclear, were obviously distressed. Because they met their relatives, the group shouted “Welcome!” and “Glad you’re here!”

    On the legal front, U.S. officials tried nail across the implications associated with a flurry of rulings from judges country wide that effectively barred customs and border agents from deporting the detained. The 1st ruling began Judge Ann Donnelly, a federal judge in Brooklyn appointed by Obama, on Saturday.

    But even while the Department of Homeland Security promised may well observe the ruling nationwide, including by in green-card holders, there was clearly reports of border agents saying they could carry on and put people on planes leaving the United States.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday spoke with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who told Schumer that this administration will abide by the legal court order.”

    “All those still in airports supposed to be admitted,” Schumer tweeted. The Democrat also pledged the minority party will propose legislation to overturn Trump’s executive order.

    Separately, 16 state attorneys general, including those from California and Ny, spoke out contrary to the executive order and warned which they will “use many of the tools your offices to address this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.”

    Pressed for comment, a White House official downplayed the judicial impact, pointing towards the Brooklyn ruling particularly. “Saturday’s ruling does not undercut the president’s executive order. All stopped visas will stopped. All halted admissions will continue to be halted. All restricted travel will continue to be prohibited,” operate said. “The order remains into position.”

    “On 1st January in 2010, Her Majesty The Queen helped me a Knight within the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump has recently got me to an alien” — Olympic track champion Mo Farah

    Other Trump aides repeatedly experimented with downplay your situation, arguing that, considering what amount of people regularly go the nation, the numbers affected were relatively small, and thus of little consequence.

    “There’s 325,000 people from foreign countries that traveled into your United states of america yesterday,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told ABC News on Sunday. “There are 109 people who this actually addressed that have can be found in post-entry from seven countries that we’ve identified.”

    Spicer further refuted reports the administration had blindsided its agencies, claiming the White House told the “people that required to know” for the order ahead. Still, he added, the majority of it was actually kept secret to avoid an unexpected rush of people aiming to reach America.

    “What we couldn’t do was telegraph our position early making sure that people flooded in before that happened, before it went into place,” he explained. “If we were treated to telegraphed that upfront, then that may happen to be a tremendous security problem.”

    Spicer insisted how the executive order does not cost you a ban on Muslims as some critics insist because many Muslim-majority countries have no coverage along with it. But Priebus, talking to NBC News, acknowledged how the quantity of Muslim countries covered by the order can be expanded; while it stands, nations such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, whose citizens have already been included in major terrorist attacks from the Country, aren’t targeted by way of the order.

    Numerous Democratic lawmakers have blasted the transaction, and Trump’s fellow Republicans started to splinter. Some, which include Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, issued statements saying the transaction goes past an acceptable limit, particularly when it affects legal permanent residents. McCain (R-Arizona) and Graham (R-S.C.) warned within a joint statement that this executive order could bolster recruitment by terrorists who claim free airline hates Muslims.

    “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound from the deal with terrorism,” McCain and Graham said.

    Trump fought back against McCain and Graham from a list of tweets released surrounding the same time his office issued his statement defending the refugee order.

    “The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong – they are really sadly weak on immigration. The two main…Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security rather than always wanting to start World War III,” Trump wrote of two men that have long disdained him.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attemptedto strike an account balance in a interview with ABC, insisting that although he opposes religious tests if you are entering america, additional vetting is very little bad idea.

    “We really need to do not forget that each of our best allies within the war against Islamic terrorism are Muslims,” the Kentucky Republican added, indicating that those allies include interpreters in war zones overseas. Trump’s order could specially bar many Iraqi interpreters who’ve applied to an exceptional U.S. visa program.

    Still, Trump’s tweet about Christians undercut many of McConnell’s arguments. The chief order creates a point of directing U.S. officials to provide priority to religious minorities in the event the refugee program resumes, and in some cases that implies Christians. Having said that, although Christians are treated viciously in a number from the countries affected by your order, many Muslims have, too, especially when they are from the minority Shiite branch of Islam. Whatever the case, Trump’s executive order de facto bars Christians from Syria and beyond; two Syrian Christian families that landed in Philadelphia were returned to Qatar following a order.

    Also chiming in on the debate in the United States were foreign leaders. Canada’s Justin Trudeau tweeted that his country remained open to refugees, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Pm Theresa Can also reportedly criticized the transaction.

    British residents were particularly upset as word spread of prominent compatriots who could be affected. Olympic track champion Mo Farah, an english citizen of Somali descent who lives and trains in the nation, wrote a Facebook post in which he worried a policy could separate him from his children. As it’s currently interpreted, if Farah would leave america, he would not be allowed last.

    “On 1st January this current year, Her Majesty The Queen taught me to be a Knight from the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump may have made me an alien,” Farah wrote.


    McConnell dances on Bannon's grave





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    \”Taking that counter-argument out of your game here clears the highway for just a very clear-eyed political technique of the season,\” said Scott Jennings, a Republican political strategist and former McConnell aide. \”Bannon will have dramatically complicated that.\”

    Jennings and various McConnell allies the party can consentrate on selling a still-unpopular tax law for the American public and picking up Senate seats in states President Donald Trump won in 2016. Towards the extent Bannon is blasting McConnell with his fantastic cohorts as corporate globalist sellouts, he\’ll be doing so as a much-diminished political force.

    The elation inside McConnell\’s camp weren\’t able to you have to be apparent. When McConnell assembled his leadership team on Wednesday for a new-year huddle, he focused first not on a looming government shutdown as well as recently-passed government tax bill – he celebrated Bannon\’s self-destruction.

    The president had released your firm stand out hours earlier disavowing Bannon, stating his former aide had "not only lost his job, he lost his mind" while he was fired. McConnell gleefully told his colleagues they had spoken together with the president moments earlier and told him: \”I couldn\’t have stated it better myself.\”

    But it\’s unclear how much of an aspect Bannon would\’ve gone through the nation\’s most acceptable Senate races, anyway. Several Republican vs. Republican battles will rage on without him.

    In just four months, a pair of Indiana GOP congressmen will settle their months-long clash inside a May 8 primary. A newly wide-open Republican field inside Ohio Senate race will be dependant in a few hours. Along with fierce primaries loom in Wisconsin, Nevada, West Virginia and elsewhere.

    Bannon\’s fall may deprive primary challengers of some oxygen and money. Nevertheless it doesn\’t change a main environment during which any tie to Washington or McConnell is usually poisonous.

    \”The Republican Congress has replaced Obama because bogeyman for conservative GOP primary voters," Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law wrote after Moore beat then-Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama\’s Republican primary.

    Still, Josh Holmes, a highly regarded McConnell political lieutenant who\’s spent most of the autumn and winter on the warpath against Bannon, said the president\’s decision to toss Bannon aside will freshly unity the party\’s efforts.

    \”It repairs a divide that existed only owing to Steve Bannon,\” he was quoted saying. \”The party has largely been united – House, Senate, administration – and features been executing quite well since Bannon\’s departure from your White House. One exception fot it has long been Bannon\’s activities on the outside of.\”

    A Bannon spokesman didn\’t reply to a request comment.

    The majority leader will expend the weekend with the president and Republican congressional leaders at Camp David. He\’ll almost certainly stress for the group value of party unity, an idea inimical to Bannon\’s project to remake the GOP in their populist-nationalist image.

    McConnell, depending on two sources knowledgeable about his plans, will lie down his look at just what it normally takes for Republicans to reach the 2011 treacherous political atmosphere. Namely, a relentless look at selling tax reform because engine behind the booming economy.

    The hope of McConnell along with his allies at Senate Leadership Fund along with the National Republican Senatorial Committee is that often tax reform, along with the confirmation of conservative judges, can continue a restive GOP base from tossing two incumbents facing strong primary challenges. In Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller began airing ads in November. In Mississippi, Sen. Roger Wicker started airing spots right in front of Christmas. Both men face actual or expected Republican challengers.

    \”It\’s been a large year in Washington,\” Wicker says in the ad, since he sits with his wife before a Christmas tree. \”We\’ve delivered pro-growth tax cuts, confirmed conservative judges – probably the most throughout history – and slashed billions in job-killing regulations.\”

    Heller expires against businessman and perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian, who have won multiple GOP House primaries this decade. Wicker is likely to face state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who narrowly lost to Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014. Mainstream Republicans take both challengers seriously, and Bannon was set to back both Tarkanian and McDaniel.

    They\’ll now sure enough have to carry out without Bannon\’s expansive media presence and whatever funding he would\’ve gotten to generate from donors.

    But simply how much Bannon mattered in both races isn\’t certain. As they was hoping to build a political group, its funding sources and staffing were in the air. While Bannon had wants to run primary opponents against every GOP senator up for reelection except Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the Breitbart chief was can not recruit challengers practically in most states.

    And as the limited public polling available shows Tarkanian giving Heller a race, Wicker provides a substantial lead over McDaniel.

    Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, a Bannon-backed candidate in Arizona, did play a role in chasing Sen. Jeff Flake into retirement. But she will be likely going to face establishment-backed Rep. Martha McSally from a GOP primary, and downplayed Bannon\’s role in their own campaign inside a statement.

    "Steve Bannon is of countless high-profile endorsements Dr. Ward has," Ward spokesman Zachery Henry said soon. "The daily parlor intrigue in Washington, D.C., does not even attempt to strengthen the lives from the hardworking people today of the country."

    But other GOP primaries have had little related to Bannon. In Indiana, Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, along with businessman Mike Braun, were attacking another since the summer. Bannon hadn\’t endorsed any candidate. In Ohio, where Republican Rep. Jim Renacci might enter into the Senate race following Treasurer Josh Mandel\’s decision Friday to decrease out, Bannon never endorsed Mandel or self-funding businessman Mike Gibbons.

    In Wisconsin, Bannon had backed businessman and veteran Kevin Nicholson over state Sen. Leah Vukmir, who may be beloved by grass-roots Republicans within the state. But Nicholson\’s primary backers are Club for Growth and Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein, with the exceptional cash supply won\’t suffer as a consequence of Bannon\’s downfall.

    A similar story is unfolding in Tennessee. While Bannon was supporting Rep. Marsha Blackburn, her backing from Club for Growth means she isn\’t dependent upon him for support. She raised $2 million from the fourth quarter, her campaign said today, compared ith former Rep. Stephen Fincher\’s $1.45 million.

    The only guaranteed loser from Bannon\’s blowup is Bannon himself.

    \”Steve Bannon\’s Fifteen minutes ought to be a case study as to what goes wrong with people once they put themselves through the causes they\’re saying to dedicate yourself to,\” Holmes said.

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    Cummings hospitalized as wife suspends campaign for governor





    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is currently hospitalized after a task to drain an infection, three sources told POLITICO, the most up-to-date setback inside of a string of medical issues which have plagued the longtime lawmaker since a year ago.

    Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a Democratic policy consultant, suspended her gubernatorial bid in Maryland on Friday, shortly before news surfaced that her husband is at the hospital.

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    Soon after POLITICO first reported his hospitalization, Cummings\’ office released an argument saying his health problems were associated with a bacterial infection in the knee.

    "Doctors drained the infection in the minor procedure today. He\’s resting comfortably and expects the full recovery," his office said Friday.

    Cummings was hospitalized and sidelined for a lot of months not too long ago due to heart issues.

    In a press release announcing wants to suspend her campaign, Rockeymoore Cummings cited personal issues but wouldn\’t elaborate.

    \”Making an attractive and direct contribution towards state of Maryland also to our nation was my greatest motivating factor for getting into the public arena. Unfortunately, caused by personal considerations, We\’re suspending my bid for governor of Maryland,\” she said within an email to supporters.

    Multiple sources said Rockeymoore Cummings\’ decision to leave out the race was linked to her husband\’s health concerns. Democratic aides said Cummings was moving slowly ahead of the Christmas break.

    Cummings, 66, was hospitalized last May after what his office described back then as a \”minimally invasive\” heart valve replacement. He was scheduled to revisit work after that but ended up missing many months a result of a post-op infection that kept him clear of Capitol Hill until September.

    Upon his return, Cummings was noticeably slimmer and said he\’d have got to sustain a stricter diet and acquire more sleep. But he brushed aside any notion that he or she wasn\’t competent to fully perform his job.

    Cummings has represented his hometown Baltimore inside your home since 1996. He or she is well-liked and revered among all parties, even while he\’s sparred with Republicans over contentious issues for the reason that top Democrat over the House Oversight Committee.

    Rockeymoore Cummings was one among nine Democrats vying to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. She was endorsed by EMILY\’s List after she jumped within the race in October. But Rep. Cummings was the gubernatorial candidate\’s biggest single surrogate both publicly plus regards to fundraising. The congressman was listed as being a headliner a great upcoming fundraiser for Rockeymoore Cummings on Sunday.

    Despite the support with the prominent Democratic congressman, Rockeymoore Cummings wasn\’t the irrefutable front-runner however. At the beginning of polling of your Democratic primary, she trailed candidates including former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George\’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

    Despite a considerable primary as well as general Democratic lean of Maryland, Democrats aren\’t as optimistic about unseating Hogan as they are about beating incumbent Republicans in states like Illinois, Boise state broncos, or Maine. That\’s largely because Hogan is popular: An October poll by Morning Consult listed him for the reason that governor while using the second-highest approval near your vicinity, behind only Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

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    GOP senators recommend FBI probe of Trump 'dossier' author Steele





    Two Republican senators have recommended which the FBI pursue a criminal investigation against Christopher Steele – this writer of the disputed Trump-Russia dossier – for the purpose they described as evidence that they made false statements to federal investigators.

    "I cannot take lightly generating a referral for criminal investigation. But, because would with any credible proof a criminal offense unearthed while in our investigations, I\’m obliged to secure that information along on the Justice Department for appropriate review,\” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in the joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

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    The senators did not provide public evidence to substantiate their request, nevertheless they noted they sent a "classified memorandum" to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray containing the foundation within their request.

    The request isn\’t going to measure the validity of your Steele dossier, nor can it constitute a criminal allegation. "The referral is made for further investigation only," according to the statement.

    Even so, Democrats quickly responded in anger.

    "I wasn\’t consulted concerning this referral nor were all of my Democratic colleagues," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the highest Democrat on Grassley\’s committee. "I do believe this referral is unfortunate since it\’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what medicine committee\’s main concern: determining whether there is collusion regarding the Trump campaign and Russia to steer the election and whether there were subsequent obstruction of justice."

    One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the choice by Grassley and Graham to mention Steele towards Justice Department raises an obvious anomaly.

    "These are speaking about DOJ a justice based upon documents DOJ gave them and according to witness testimony into the DOJ," the aide said.

    Steele, an old British intelligence officer, was commissioned in 2016 by research firm Fusion GPS to research President Donald Trump\’s ties to Russia. The dossier he produced, which Trump has derided as fiction, describes a lot of illicit connections between Trump, his business and also the Kremlin.

    Republicans have persistently questioned how the FBI handled the dossier after receiving it in the 2016 campaign, including whether or not it formed the foundation of your surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign associate and whether the FBI independently verified any kind of Steele\’s information.

    Republicans in addition sounded the alarm over reports that Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign for Steele\’s research, suggesting that Steele\’s work was the merchandise of your partisan smear effort.

    The two senators claim in their letter to obtain seen proof "potential violations" by Steele on the law prohibiting false statements to government officials. These potential violations, they assert, occurred "regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier."

    Their letter was copied to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the highest Democrat to the Judiciary Committee, and Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the most notable lawmakers for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top part lawmakers on the House Intelligence ommittee.

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