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DeVos Opposes Trump Order That Will Rescind Obama Guidance on Transgender Students, but Caves to Sessions

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DeVos Faced With Decision of Openly Defying President or Resigning

Discussions within the Trump administration over the language of the draft executive order expected to be issued Wednesday by President Trump, which reverses guidance on protections for transgender students, got heated in arguments between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to senior officials in the administration. The executive order would rescind the guidance issued last year by the Obama administration, which directed that transgender students be able to use the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

A senior official confirmed to NCRM that a piece published Wednesday by the New York Times detailing the disagreement between the Education Secretary and the Attorney General was accurate.

The paper reported that three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions in the administration over the executive order said that Secretary DeVos initially resisted signing off on it, telling President Trump that “she was uncomfortable with it.” Sessions, who has a long history of opposing equality rights for the LGBTQI community, fought her on the issue, pressuring her to back down and relent. According to one official, the order needed to come from both executive departments and Sessions was angry as he would be unable to move forward without Ms. DeVos’ approval. 

Trump backed the attorney general and DeVos was faced with a decision of either openly defying the president or resigning. The Justice Department refused to comment as did a spokesperson for the Education Secretary Wednesday morning. Though the order from Trump is expected to be signed and then released later Wednesday, sources are telling the New York Times and NCRM that the two secretaries were still disputing the final language.

According to a draft of the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times, the Trump administration cites ongoing litigation and confusion over the Obama directives as a reason for telling schools to no longer obey the guidance, which was sent to public school districts in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter last year.

“School administrators, parents and students have expressed varying views on the legal issues arising in this setting,” the Trump draft says. “They have also struggled to understand and apply the statements of policy and guidance” in the Obama orders.

The draft also contains language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked be included, one person with direct knowledge of the process said. “Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment,” the letter says.

While on the campaign trail last year the president had signaled that he supported the rights of transgender people saying that they should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” but later flip-flopped to toe the GOP line. In Tuesday’s press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated that the “president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue,” a stance endorsed and advocated for by the conservative Christian right movement.

The issue over transgender rights has also caused conflict on Capitol Hill as well, one congressional source telling NCRM that some prominent Republican lawmakers are actively advocating that the party move away from social issues that “are toxic,” instead focusing on economic and foreign policy issues.

Sessions wants set a firm policy particularly since Thursday the Justice Department will need to lay out its legal stance in a filing deadline in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving a transgender male Virginia high school student, Gavin Grimm.  Grimm had sued the Gloucester County Virginia School Board in 2015 after the school board ruled that he was banned from using the boys’ bathroom and told him he could use a separate bathroom in a converted janitors closet.

The Obama administration had rejected that decision as unacceptable and discriminatory siding with Grimm. The Times also noted that the department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy to avoid confusion in cases moving through the courts.

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at [email protected]

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

 

 

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Trump’s Mental Decline Compared to Reagan’s Hidden Alzheimer’s in Brutal MSNBC Assessment

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On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president’s decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan’s White House hid his Alzheimer’s from the public.

“This is the man last week said he was the second coming, the ‘chosen one,’” Wiley began. “It is very, very difficult to not have a conversation about whether or not he’s competent to serve as president. I say that because there were actually objective measures this week.”

“So there’s the possibility, of course, he is just a president without a platform and, therefore, he’s not going to stick to one position and he’s going to waiver based on whoever is influencing him because he doesn’t stand for anything,” she elaborated. “That’s one narrative. The other possibility is, as we saw with Ronald Reagan, who actually did have Alzheimer’s and it was kept under wraps. I just don’t understand why we not actually ask and have a confrontational conversation about whether or not there’s something more going on here with his health, because there are certain statements and behaviors that simply require some analysis because he is the leader — supposedly the leader of the free world.”

“I just want to say that it’s both those things, I don’t know which one is true,” she cautioned. “I’m not making a statement of fact, but this week was a new chapter in bizarre.”

Watch below:

 

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BAD PRESIDENT

Former Dem Senator Hilariously Nails Perfect Impression of ‘Pouting’ Trump at G7 Because Nobody ‘Likes Him’ There

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During the “Overtime” segment of HBO’s Real Time, former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) made fun of Donald Trump before he arrived at the G7 summit in France, saying he will pout his way through the weekend because the other world leaders loathe him.

With host Bill Maher asking how the Trump will conduct himself, Heitkamp immediately went into a very recognizable arms-crossed pout, which caused the audience to burst into laughter.

After the two posed as Trump and German leader Angela Merkel from the last get together, Heitkamp had a few things to say about the president.

“Pouting, the president will pout,” she smirked. “Because people don’t like him. and he knows they don’t like him. And when people don’t like him, he pouts.”

“It’s embarrassing, it’s not just ridiculous,” she added. “And it’s dangerous, it’s dangerous with everything that is going on.”

Host Maher added, “He shouldn’t even go, he doesn’t even want to be there.”

Watch below:

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

‘A Monumental Fraud and Failure’: Trump Had a Plan to ‘Blow Up’ the G7 and Give the ‘Middle Finger’ to Our Allies: Report

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President Donald Trump’s plan was to bully our G7 allies on a range of issues by touting the strong U.S. economy. As The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote Friday morning, “Trump will proclaim his ‘America First’ agenda a smashing success, and throw that in the faces of our European allies.”

That plan will have to be changed now that his trade war with China just exploded.

China imposed tariffs of $75 billion of U.S. goods on Friday. Trump launched a tweetstorm causing the DOW to drop more than 600 points (at several times during the day more than 700 points.)

The president apparently found wiping out the value of millions of Americans’ 401(k)s amusing:

And just an hour after the markets closed, Trump once again took to Twitter, announcing he is increasing tariffs against China on $250 billion of goods.

“Trump’s appearance [at the G7] will in reality demonstrate that the very nationalist agenda he will be touting is, thus far, a record of deep fraudulence and failure, covered up with lies,” Sargent added. “Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda, particularly the trade war with China, is a key reason the U.S. economy is now at greater risk of tipping into recession.”

“It’s important to appreciate just how heavily Trump’s political mystique relies on the constant middle finger he gives to allies and international leaders. It’s central to the story he told in 2016 and the one he’ll tell in 2020.”

Last year President Trump promised winning trade wars is “easy.”

Read the entire piece at The Washington Post.

 

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