The Week on Planet Trump: Outrage at Inhumane Detention Camps and Child Separations

Monday: Republican Backlash at Separations

President Trump and two members of his cabinet mounted an aggressive defense on Monday of his policy of separating children from their parents at the border in response to a growing outcry from members of both parties.

“They could be murderers and thieves and so much else,” Mr. Trump said of the people crossing the border. “We want a safe country, and it starts with the borders, and that’s the way it is.”

After Mr. Trump’s latest comments on Monday, a growing number of Republican lawmakers — including Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, who leads the House Republicans’ campaign arm — joined the chorus of criticism. Mr. Stivers warned that if the policy is not changed, he would support “means to stop unnecessary separation of children from their parents.”

Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, called it an “ugly and inhumane practice,” and called for an immediate end to it, as did other Republican lawmakers, including Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, who called the practice “totally unacceptable.” And Representative Mia Love, Republican of Utah, whose parents emigrated from Haiti, issued a statement condemning what she called the administration’s “horrible” separation policy.

Katie Rogers and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

Tuesday: Trade War Threatens Recession

Stocks fell on Tuesday after President Donald Trump's latest threat to China increased fears of an impending trade war between the world's largest economies.

Trump asked the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs, at a rate of 10 percent. If China "refuses to change its practices" and insists on continuing with the new tariffs it recently declared, then the additional levies would be imposed on Beijing, Trump said Monday night.

Soon after, the Chinese Commerce Ministry issued a response, stating that the latest threat of more tariffs violates previous negotiations and consensus reached between both the U.S. and China. "The United States has initiated a trade war that violates market laws and is not in accordance with current global development trends," the ministry said.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, said in a note that "we estimate tariffs on goods both ways would likely shave off a few tenths of a percentage point off each country's GDP. While a seemingly minimal impact, as the domestic economy continues to struggle to maintain a near 2% growth rate, a loss of even a few tenths is an unwelcome impact.

"Additionally, the fear from here is a continued back and forth, escalating trade penalties on both sides with a further negative impact on growth," she said.

Fred Imbert and Alexandra Gibbs, CNBC

Wednesday: POTUS Orders Mass Detentions

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his controversial policy that has resulted in thousands of family separations and brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want," Trump said Wednesday morning, when he announced that he would sign the order.

It also directs Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to find housing for these families and to build facilities if necessary.

Democrats, however, indicated they were not satisfied with the action.

"This Executive Order doesn't fix the crisis," said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Twitter. "Indefinitely detaining children with their families in camps is inhumane and will not make us safe.”

Miles Parks, Scott Detrow and Kelsey Snell, NPR

Thursday: Congress Fails at Compromise

The House on Thursday rejected a hard-line immigration bill — introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) — after leadership postponed a second vote on a compromise measure written with centrists.

The 193-231 vote came a day after President Trump signed an executive order ending the controversial practice of separating children from parents who cross the border illegally.

The compromise measure would provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million "Dreamers," provide $25 billion for Trump's border wall and other security measures, and prevent families from being separated at the border.

The hardline measure faced sharp pushback from both Democrats and moderates, who took issue with a number of provisions including its cuts to legal immigration.

Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

Friday: Tax Cuts Widen Inequality

Americans born into poverty are more likely than ever before to stay that way, according to a United Nations report on poverty and inequality in the US.

"The United States, one of the world's richest nations and the "land of opportunity," is fast becoming a champion of inequality," the report concluded.

The Trump administration has slammed the UN report, arguing the organization should instead focus on poverty in the third world.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, "It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America."

The report, presented Thursday in Geneva, comes two days after Haley announced the US would withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council.

Haley's comment was in response to a letter from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 18 other politicians calling on the US to "take action to reduce shameful levels of poverty across the country."

They agreed with the report's conclusion that the Trump administration's $1.5 trillion in tax cuts "overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality."

Lynda Kinkade, CNN

Saturday: Praise for Kim at Tax Meeting

President Trump spent his Saturday in Las Vegas, meeting with supporters, addressing the Nevada Republican Party Convention and hosting a roundtable discussion on tax cuts.

Mr. Trump, in a roundtable that is supposed to be focused on tax reform, praised the qualities of North Korean leader Kim Jong un.

The president called Kim a "smart, tough guy" and a "great negotiator."

North Korean's human rights record is considered one of the worst, if not the worst, in the world by human rights organizations. But Mr. Trump has downplayed those concerns since meeting with Kim last week.

"The bottom line is, America is open for business," the president said, after praising key takeaways from the GOP tax bill.

After talking up taxes, Mr. Trump said the steel industry is coming back -- and the U.S. needs it to come back. He mentioned the tariffs on steel and aluminum he recently imposed.

Kathryn Watson, CBS News

Sunday: Democrats Draw Dividing Line

In the space of just a few hours, Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump provided a glimpse of what the 2020 presidential campaign might look like in a battleground state.

It won’t be pretty.

Here, in front of a raucous crowd Saturday at the Nevada Democratic Party’s state convention, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts unloaded on a president she said stands for “hatefulness, ugliness and cruelty.”

Andres Ramirez, a Nevada-based Democratic strategist and former vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Hispanic Caucus, said Trump has done more for Latino turnout in Nevada that Democrats could ever have hoped to accomplish on their own.

The border controversy, Ramirez said, “helped jump-start the Latino community.” Now, he said, they are “on the attack mode.”

At the Democratic state convention, Warren, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, seized on that impulse, urging Democrats to “fight back” with her against Trump.

“He has called immigrants animals. He has complained about people coming here from ‘shithole’ countries,” she said. "And now Trump wants to create new family detention camps to lock up more people, triggering a whole new crisis.”

The crowd roared when Warren said, “I’m heading to McAllen, Texas, tomorrow, and I will take the message straight from Nevada: We will fight for the soul of our nation.”

David Siders, Politico

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