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Losing control by @BloggersRUs

Losing control

by Tom Sullivan


Hundreds amassed on Father's Day outside the federal tent city erected to house immigrants in Tornillo, TX. Image from Facebook live feed by Louis Moncivias.

Control of the narrative shifted away from the sitting president's control over the weekend as the Trump administration, unaccustomed to concerted resistance, found itself outgunned and outflanked. First, it took fire for its policy of separating families at border stations. Second, details in the Department of Justice's Inspector General report emerged that showed pressure from anti-Hillary Clinton agents in the FBI's New York field office influenced then-director James Comey to issue a damaging letter to Congress in the last days of the 2016 presidential campaign. The news erodes Trump's allegations that his winning 2016 campaign was somehow a victim of a "deep state" conspiracy directed against him.

Teams from Congress and thousands of citizens converged on Texas immigrant processing stations along the Texas border and elsewhere to inspect, to protest, and to ask where the girls and toddlers are who were separated from parents at the border. Most of the reporting on detention centers to date has been on facilities holding boys 10 and older.

In Tornillo, TX, protesters held signs reading, "Fight ignorance, not immigrants" and "This is how the Holocaust started." Texas Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, attended along with other Texas Democratic candidates and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA).

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) visited a “processing facility” in Texas known by detainees as the “icebox.” He described it as "nothing short of a prison."

At an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Elizabeth, NJ, Democratic members of Congress met with detainees from the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearly 500 protesters held a rally outside to condemn the detention policy:

“What I saw in there is inhumane. I see the politics of this administration and it turns my stomach, because I know what this country stands for,” said Rep. Albio Sires, D-West New York. “And that’s not what we are in America.”
The Associated Press and other outlets reported on the hundreds of children detained under the separation policy "in a series of cages" constructed in an old warehouse in South Texas. Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kirstjen Nielsen flatly denied any such policy exists, despite the visual evidence, the announcement of the policy in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the publishing of detention/separation guidelines on the DHS website. The Nielsen tweet reflecting the Trump administration's incoherence drew condemnation online. Fordham Law professor Jed Jed Shugerman described Trump policy in a tweet: 1. It is a good policy that the Bible requires; 2. It is a horrible “law” that is somehow the Democrats’ fault. Don’t ask us why; 3. It’s not our policy at all.

From the AP report:

“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions,” Brane said. “If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other 5-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.”

Dr. Colleen Kraft, the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that she visited a small shelter in Texas recently, which she declined to identity. A toddler inside the 60-bed facility caught her eye — she was crying uncontrollably and pounding her little fists on mat.

But perhaps the greatest challenge yet to the policy, former first lady Laura Bush published a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post Sunday night condemning the policy, calling it "cruel" and "immoral." Bush wrote:
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”
As of this writing, the sitting president has not yet taken to Twitter to savage Bush for daring to challenge him. Unless a staffer manages to take a hammer to Trump's cell phone, that is simply a matter of time.

Meanwhile, information in the DOJ Inspector General’s report on the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation revealed "a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton" among members of the FBI's New York Field Office and retired members. Actions suggest that within days of receiving Anthony Weiner’s laptop as part of a separate investigation, personnel from that office leaked its presence to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and the Trump campaign via Rudy Giuliani. Knowing the story might leak to the press put pressure on then-FBI Director James Comey to get ahead of the story by sending a letter to Congress about the matter days ahead of the election. That letter, Nate Silver argues, probably cost Clinton the election. A rumored IG investigation into the New York/Congress/Trump leak could cost Nunes as well.

Josh Marshall assembled a timeline of events that suggest links between the New York FBI office leaks, Nunes, and the Trump campaign.

Finally, some world-class trolling of the Trump administration yesterday by the French embassy in Washington:


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