‘Will Ignore the Kids He Has Locked Up’
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Monday that President Trump will visit the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday. In typical Trump fashion, he is not going to visit the migrants detained in concentration camps, nor is he going to talk with people impacted by his extremist immigration polices.
Except law enforcement agents.
Sanders says the President will “meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.”
In other words, Border Patrol Agents, whom Trump regularly uses to cloak himself as supportive of law enforcement agents.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 7, 2019
But Border Patrol Agents are among the more than 800,000 federal workers who are going without a paycheck. About half of the 800,000 are required to work despite not being paid.
Last month NPR reported the “number of immigrant children being held in government custody has reached almost 15,000.”
On social media, it took only moments for many to mock this latest episode of Trump theater in the shutdown saga.
CNN’s Keith Boykin drew an analogy to Trump’s disastrous visit to Puerto Rico:
Is he going to throw out paper towels? https://t.co/oD085YPGA5
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 7, 2019
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker columnist:
Maybe his staff can supply him accurate facts this time? https://t.co/u0GLcs6TrU
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 7, 2019
Some noted a Thursday visit means no resolution to the shutdown is likely this week:
Pretty much guarantees no resolution of the shutdown before Friday at the earliest since a reopening of the gov’t before then would remove the political purpose of Trump’s trip. https://t.co/loLPYMtKWr
— David Lauter (@DavidLauter) January 7, 2019
Any resolution to the government shutdown seems very unlikely this week 👇👇 https://t.co/5DYb4zkHKi
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) January 7, 2019
Others weighed in, calling the visit a “propaganda tour,” a “media stunt,” and other things:
This is, plain and simple, a propaganda tour intended to drum up fear and demonize communities. https://t.co/rO6BciCt3O
— Nicky Vogt (@nickyvogt) January 7, 2019
The “humanitarian crisis” is Trump’s doing.
But why are you using military language like “front lines” to describe a humanitarian crisis, Sarah? https://t.co/rIC9poyEQB
— Schrödinger’s Trump wants to dance like AOC (@SchrodngrsTrump) January 7, 2019
Reality: he’s going to spread lies, meet with border agents / officials sympathetic to his anti-immigrant cause, and will ignore the kids he has locked up in Tornillo. https://t.co/Y52eL4ee10
— Gabe #DreamActNow Ortíz (@TUSK81) January 7, 2019
Narrator: In fact, there was no crisis. https://t.co/W6kRNxjJn3
— Cheryl Byrne (@cherylbyrne) January 7, 2019
Does this include the kids he’s locked up in camps? Or are those considered more of a rear-area kind of thing? https://t.co/BJhtn5OTlB
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) January 7, 2019
aka trump, who continues to lose on the issue, does the only thing he knows to do: a media stunt. https://t.co/4CqjvJaRlk
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 7, 2019
This was in reporting last week – that Trump was focused on “optics” opportunity for his wall.
Media – hoping you have learned from the disastrous Super Bowl type coverage you gave to his Singapore Summit. And will cover this appropriately – as the charade it is! https://t.co/xcsz8mN4aQ
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) January 7, 2019
You manufactured the national security crisis and it caused an actual humanitarian crisis. https://t.co/unyZkVqrmL
— John Ore (@clarencerosario) January 7, 2019
We know exactly what to expect. Shots of the existing barrier. Trump flanked by soldiers and CBP agents wearing flak jackets, again giving the impression that the border is a war zone. https://t.co/05CeZNXOiQ
— Mario A. Carrillo (@_mariocarrillo_) January 7, 2019
How many families that he ripped apart will he be meeting with? https://t.co/PtPkVGbt1A
— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) January 7, 2019
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
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Trump Presses for Political Rally on Fourth of July
President Trump announced his plans for a Fourth of July rally via Twitter this morning, urging people to “hold the date” of a long-established national holiday.
HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called “A Salute To America” and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
The president’s rally, titled “A Salute To America” seems indistinguishable to most Fourth of July Celebrations, and there is usually a Fourth of July event on the National Mall already in place that sounds akin to what the president is proposing. The only difference would be the President’s appearance. Or, as he put it, “your favorite President, me!”
President Trump is known, in part, for his rallies, which center on him speaking around the country to hyper partisan crowds. This sounds like it would wed his political rallies with the celebration of United States independence from England.
This is not the first time President Trump has discussed such an event, but the first time he has announced it in such clear language. He told reporters during a White House cabinet meeting in February that he intended to see a Fourth of July event in Washington.
“We’re thinking about doing on the Fourth of July or thereabouts a parade, a ‘Salute to America’ parade,” said Trump then. “It’ll be a, really a gathering as opposed to a parade, I guess you’d have to say. Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial, we’re looking at sites, but we’re thinking about doing something which would become perhaps become a tradition, Salute to America, on July 4th or July 4th weekend, somewhere around that area.”
It is unclear what if any concrete moves to host such an event have taken place beyond the President’s initial tweet. The Mayor of Washington, D.C.’s office had not received any details from the White House when asked after the President’s initial mention of the event.
This follows scrapped plans to hold a massive military parade, fashioned after France’s Bastille Day event in Paris, that the president wanted to coincide with Veteran’s Day. Those plans were scrapped after reports surfaced that such a parade of military might would cost roughly $92 million to stage.
The move echoes an eerily-similar move by disgraced President Richard M. Nixon, who administration was behind a Fourth of July rally at the Lincoln Memorial in 1970. In that case, it was ‘Honor America Day.” The event ended with police tear-gassing rowdy anti-war protestors.
President Nixon resigned in 1974.
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