Emily Zanotti


Former Vice President Joe Biden may be pushing on to South Carolina and Nevada, but the big money donors bankrolling his presidential campaign are reportedly considering closing their checkbooks, according to the New York Post.

“Joe Biden’s disastrous results in Iowa and New Hampshire have spooked Democratic donors who are preparing to jump ship and throw their money behind someone else — even as his campaign vowed Wednesday that the best is yet to come,” the outlet reported Thursday. “New York heavyweight donors raising money for Biden are alarmed by the former vice president’s fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and are privately wondering whether he can make it to Super Tuesday on March 3.”

Biden was never expected to win either Iowa or New Hampshire; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) did well in both states in 2016 and was expected to duke it out with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), not Biden, for those delegates. But Biden was not supposed to finish fourth in either contest, putting him at a severe disadvantage going into Nevada, South Carolina, and the Super Tuesday states (where a full third of all Democratic National Convention delegates are up for grabs).

At this point, Biden is hanging on to a narrow, one-point lead in Nevada, and beating Sanders handily in South Carolina, but he’s losing to the Vermont socialist in nearly half of the Super Tuesday contests, leaving him struggling to justify why he remains in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — even to those donors who were once solidly behind the former Delaware Senator.

“There’s a great deal of concern,” a Biden bundler in New York told the Post. “It wasn’t expected that he would perform great in Iowa or New Hampshire. But we did not anticipate that he would fare this poorly. It was a significant decline.”

A major donor told CNBC on Wednesday that Biden still has time to prove himself, but it’s running out,“[e]ven if we stay active for the next two races after another big loss, I suspect the remaining air will leak out of the balloon before Super Tuesday.”

Biden tried to curb the disappointment in a speech on Wednesday in New Hampshire, but Politico reports that even his staff is getting scared that the campaign is now too far down the road toward failure.

“This is horrendous. We’re all scared,” a Biden adviser told the Washington, D.C. based outlet, per the NY Post. “I think we’re going to make it to South Carolina. I know we’re supposed to say we’re going to and we’re going to win. But I just don’t know.”

In addition to his losing record, Biden now faces the looming threat of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg who has become a significant factor in the race for the Democratic nomination, thanks to his $300 million-plus ad buy. In a shock poll released last week, Bloomberg was even with Biden nationally, and that’s attracting the attention of Democratic donors: “Even before this setback, Biden has struggled to raise money this election cycle. It’s hard to see how he raises the money to propel him forward. I know a lot of people who are with Bloomberg.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Report: Major Donors Are About To Bail On Biden

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) appears to be scaling back further on her advertising after placing a disappointing fourth in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, calling the future of her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination into question.

Warren needed a win in the Granite State to maintain any kind of momentum in her floundering presidential campaign and, by all accounts, failed miserably, netting an abysmal 9%, nearly 20 points off winner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and ten points off upstart Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who has recently overtaken Warren as the Democratic Party’s best hope for a female nominee.

With only Nevada and South Carolina to look forward to before Super Tuesday, Warren appears to be staring at the end of her effort to secure the White House, and her campaign is making desperate moves to raise her profile in the west before things get really dire.

According to Medium Buying, Warren is pulling ads from South Carolina and focusing that money on Nevada, in the hopes that she can stay alive through one more caucus.

The campaign will, instead, focus on radio and print ads in South Carolina, reaching a much smaller audience, but at a lower cost to the candidate, who is now outspending her fundraising, according to Bloomberg News. The Warren campaign is also looking to purchase ads in Maine, a Super Tuesday state, in the hopes that she can come out of the contest with at least some delegates, keeping her in the competition for just a little bit longer.

The outlook isn’t great: in South Carolina, Warren is polling in a distant fourth at 11%, per FiveThirtyEight, and in Nevada, she’s in third with 11%. Both of those polls, though, were taken before New Hampshire’s results and, more importantly, before Amy Klobuchar’s blockbuster debate performance last Friday. Klobuchar barely registers in either polls.

“After New Hampshire tonight, 98% of pledged delegates will still be up for grabs,” Warren’s campaign manager wrote in a sorrowful email to supporters Tuesday night, trying to look on the bright side of the New Hampshire loss. “And as the race consolidates after Super Tuesday, we expect the results to show that Elizabeth Warren is the consensus choice of the widest coalition of Democrats in every corner of the country.”

The campaign, HuffPost says, “asserts that its internal data shows Warren hitting or exceeding the 15% vote threshold necessary to receive delegates in more than two-thirds of the districts that will cast ballots on Super Tuesday, compared to 98% for Sanders and 96% for Biden.”

At best, though, that makes Warren a potential player in a brokered convention, not a “consensus” candidate. Her path to victory, even per her campaign manager, is convoluted.

“If the early states deliver mixed results for the field, and no seismic event shakes up the top three, the remaining viable candidates for the Democratic nomination as of Super Tuesday will be Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren,” he wrote. “In that three-way race, Elizabeth Warren is the candidate with the highest potential ceiling of support and the one best positioned to unite the party and lead the Democratic ticket to defeat Donald Trump.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Elizabeth Warren Scales Back Advertising AGAIN As Campaign Flounders In New Hampshire

Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx responded to news that an special prosecutor issued new charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who allegeldy faked a hate crime back in January of 2019, by blaming “politics” and the “era of Donald Trump” for her office’s woes.

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb issued the indictment against Smollett late Tuesday, charging the actor with six “low-level felonies” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, after investigators, rehashing the evidence against Smollett, determined that he likely faked being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack early in the morning of January 19, outside of his apartment in Chicago’s tony Streeterville neighborhood.

Webb’s harshest words, though, weren’t for Smollett, but for Foxx’s office, which he feels gave Smollett special treatment despite the wealth of evidence linking Smollett to a series of crimes. The Cook County State’s Attorney allowed Smollett to walk free without standing trial, inking an unofficial “plea deal” with the actor that absolved him of the charges in return for sixteen hours of community service and $10,000, which Smollett had already submitted to the city as part of his bond.

The States Attorney’s office claimed the “deal” did not exonerate Smollett, but the actor treated it as evidence of his innocence.

But instead of taking responsibility for the mishap, Foxx lashed out at the prosecutor, accusing him of “James Comey-like” tactics, and suggesting that the new indictiment was the responsibility of her political rivals.

“The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office charged Jussie Smollett with multiple counts, and today the Special Prosecutor did the same,” Foxx’s spokewsoman claimed in a statement.

“What’s questionable here is the James Comey-like timing of that charging decision, just 35 days before an election, which can only be interpreted as the further politicization of the justice system, something voters in the era of Donald Trump should consider offensive,” Foxx said, referencing Comey’s eleventh hour decision to resuscitate an investigation into Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of classified information.

Foxx has made her opposition to Trump a hallmark of her re-election campaign, airing commercials touting her success in “standing up” to the administration on the issue of immigration. But, Webb pointed out in his report, her troubles go far beyond a difficult campaign to keep her office.

“In his letter, Webb said his investigators said the state’s attorney’s office was unable to show ‘documentary evidence’ that Smollett’s case was handled like similar low-level felony cases involving non-celebrity defendants, despite public statements from the office that the case was typical,” according to the Sun-Times. “Webb found that the case against Smollett was strong, and that the state’s attorney’s office provided no documentation that the evidence against Smollett had somehow eroded between his arrest and when the charges were dropped.”

And it’s possible Webb isn’t done with Foxx. According to the special prosecutor’s report, his team hasn’t finished investigating what, exactly, happened with Smollett’s case, and they have reached “no conclusions” on whether there was further wrongdoing on the part of Foxx’s office.

Last year, in a series of FOIA results obtained by various Chicago news outlets, Foxx herself was shown dicussing the Smollett’s case over text with a former aide to President Barack Obama, who was communicating with and on behalf of members of Smollett’s family, and that communication could come into play when the special prosecutor’s full report is released.

Smollett, meanwhile, will have to appear in court in Chicago on February 24th. He’s also due to make an appearance, soon, in a separate case related to his alleged hoax hate crime: the city of Chicago is suing Smollett to recover around $130,000 the Chicago Police Department paid out in overtime investigating Smollett’s case.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Chicago Prosecutor Responds To New Jussie Smollett Charges, Blames Donald Trump

The head of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency is out of a job Sunday after residents of Ponce, one of cities hardest hit by the earthquakes that ravaged the island late last month, discovered a locked warehouse stuffed to the brim with emergency supplies delivered to help those affected by Hurricane Maria more than two years ago.

One resident of Ponce posted a video of the discovery to Facebook, showing a massive warehouse full of pallets upon pallets of bottled water, non-perishable food, diapers, baby formula, and emergency supplies, according to CNN. The video is now private, after the man who recorded it was threatened with repercussions from law enforcement, but the news network says the warehouse contained much-needed supplies that are still useful (and valuable) particularly now that Ponce is suffering from a second natural disaster.

The supplies were apparently delivered as part of a Hurricane Maria relief effort, back in June of 2018, and never distributed, though the (now former) head of Puerto Rico’s emergency management office says he was never instructed to give out the supplies, and then insisted, to media, that residents had full access to all items.

The governor of Puerto Rico, apparently, did not believe him.

“Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, was dismissed Saturday,” CNN says. “The governor appointed Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him.”

“There are thousands of people who made sacrifices to bring aid to the south and it’s unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse,” the governor added in a statement acknowledging Acevedo’s forced departure.

The Trump White House was criticized back in 2018 for its slow and ineffective response to Hurricane Maria, despite administration claims that thousands of workers and tens of thousands of pounds of supplies were airlifted to Puerto Rico as soon as it was safe.

The supplies never reached those in need and Puerto Ricans suffered for weeks, if not months. Recovery efforts only began in certain parts of the island in September of 2019, according to the Miami Herald — more than a year after Hurricane Maria (and just months before the island would again suffer a devastating natural disaster).

The problem seems to be poor management, at least in part. “After Hurricanes Irma and Maria pounded Puerto Rico, the federal government allocated more than $43 billion dollars for the recover,” the Miami Herald adds. “Of that money, only $21 billion has been “obligated” or earmarked for specific tasks, and only $14 billion has been disbursed — or less than 33 percent.”

Recovery efforts were further hampered by corruption. The FBI is now investigating whether a pay-to-play scheme existed across the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria, with local governors who paid bribes to government officials receiving the earliest and best aid (and, in some cases, allegedly keeping supplies for themselves). Officials even tried to bribe Federal Emergency Management Agency workers for plum contracts to repair the failing electrical grid and water systems (in some cases, it seems, they may have been successful).

To control corruption, the U.S. government placed severe restrictions on how aid money could be spent, further slowing down recovery efforts. And then there’s instances like the one that took place Saturday — sometimes, the aid just didn’t get anywhere.

The supplies in Ponce are being distributed to those in need, the government says.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Warehouse Filled With Hurricane Maria Supplies Discovered Years Later In Puerto Rico

Newsweek has fired the reporter who wrote a blindingly inaccurate story about President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving plans, according to the Washington Examiner, but the outlet is refusing to admit it committed its own mistakes in greenlighting and posting the faulty piece.

On Thanksgiving, Newsweek reporter Jessica Kwong, who covers the Trump family for the magazine, wrote a story then-titled, “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more.” The “more” included a secret visit overseas to serve a Thanksgiving dinner to Americans serving in Afghanistan, but Kwong’s original piece didn’t include the trip, even though, by the time the story hit both the internet and social media, photos and narrative from Trump’s mission abroad were readily available, at least

“Hours after the president’s trip was announced, Newsweek edited Kwong’s story and added a note at the bottom of it. The beginning of the story now focuses on the president’s trip and his speech to the troops, while the new headline reads, ‘How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan,’” the Examiner reports.

The note at the end of the story reads, ‘This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 p.m. EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley.” There is no mention of Kwong’s very serious mistake.

Kwong also corrected her story on social media, Tweeting, “Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving… Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot.”

The President was quick to pounce on the “fake news” story, tweeting that he believed Newsweek had gone out of business.

Newsweek told the Examiner that they terminated Kwong: “The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated…We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”

“The next day, [writer Jessica] Kwong reached out to the editor on duty and relayed the president’s latest actions, after which the story was published,” the Examiner reported. “When the president’s trip to Afghanistan was announced, that editor then decided to assign another reporter to write a new story about it but neglected to update Kwong’s original piece in a timely manner.”

Kwong said on Twitter that she’d been assigned the story on Wednesday and filed it early Thursday. She says she had no control over when it posted, and appeared to blame her editors at Newsweek for both accepting the story and making it public without checking on its validity.

Donald Trump, Jr., the President’s son, was unconvinced that it was merely a comedy of errors on Newsweek’s part, even if both Kwong and the paper say the whole ordeal was an “honest mistake.”

‘It wasn’t an ‘honest mistake’ you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist. Notice how there’s never been a story that broke in Trump’s favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren’t mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern,” he tweeted.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Newsweek Fired Reporter Who Wrote Inaccurate Story About President Trump’s Thanksgiving Plans

Top Republicans — and even some Democrats and members of the media — now believe Democrats may pull back on officially impeaching the president, particularly as polls haven’t borne out a clear advantage for Democratic candidates.

After two weeks of impeachment hearings, which yielded little in the way of evidence that the president most definitely offered Ukraine a “quid pro quo” agreement trading an increase in foreign aid for an investigation into “corruption” involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is left with a choice: call off the impeachment and look weak or keep going and risk failure at the ballot box.

Multiple polls taken last week reveal that the impeachment hearings are having their most marked effect on independents, who are supporting the impeachment in ever-declining numbers, leaving moderate Democrats at risk of losing their seats and Democratic presidential contenders at a loss going into 2020.

The Hill reports Sunday that “public opposition to impeachment has some Republicans … voicing skepticism that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will go through with a vote on impeachment.”

Even President Donald Trump expressed skepticism, telling Fox News late last week that he doesn’t expect to face any true impeachment trial.

“I think it’s very hard for them to impeach you when they have absolutely nothing,” he said.

Pelosi hasn’t guaranteed a vote, but not taking one will put her in hot water with progressives and activist voters, who have been waiting since January 20 of 2017 to impeach Trump. She also runs the risk of handing Trump a major victory in his battles against a “witch hunt” right before he hits the campaign trail.

But polls show voters aren’t enthusiastic about impeachment, and a subsequent multi-state media push from Republicans ripping vulnerable Democrats for supporting Pelosi’s crusade has those same moderate Democrats reportedly begging the Speaker to halt the process.

Worse still, the media is now fretting that the impeachment hearings weren’t the slam dunk Democrats are saying they were and it will cost them support.

The New York Times reports that the hearings lacked the damning evidence Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) promised, partly because the White House pushed back on Schiff’s claims and released primary sources to refuse Schiff’s version of events, and partly because, the Times says, the hearings featured no witnesses with first-hand accounts of the president’s malfeasance.

Lawmakers haven’t interviewed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, even though he emerged as a key figure in inking any supposed deal with Ukrainian legislators. They haven’t interviewed Vice President Mike Pence or former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom were mentioned in testimony. They haven’t interviewed former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney or even former senior White House official John Bolton.

They also haven’t interviewed the whistleblower.

“Democrats have opted for expeditious over comprehensive,” the Times says, sadly, “electing to complete their investigation even without filling in major gaps in the story.”

The Dems’ strategy in clipping testimony is, of course, carefully crafted to prevent the White House from mounting any kind of defense and to keep Republicans from cross-examining important witnesses.

If impeachment goes forward, the White House will be able to put on any witnesses they choose in a Senate trial, and that defense will be well-timed for the president, who will be on the campaign trail just as the trial is kicking off.

For now, Dems are staying the course, the Hill says.

“The hearings were nearly flawless and extremely damning for the president,” one Democrat aide told the Hill. “While no decision has been made to proceed with impeachment, the key facts are uncontested and not proceeding at this stage will be called a ‘total exoneration’ by the president.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Will She Do It? Insiders Predict Pelosi May Not Go Through With Impeachment After Hearings

Around 100 students walked out of West Linn High School in Oregon last week in protest of the school’s decision to allow a Chick-fil-A food truck to sell chicken sandwiches during one of the school’s football games, among other microaggressions they said were making LGBT students feel “unsafe.”

“West Linn High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance organized the walkout and says the current culture at the school is not safe for LGBTQ+ students. They posted to Instagram saying students are being harassed in sports games and in classrooms,” local news station KATU reported.

The Chick-fil-A food truck was, apparently, the most egregious example of harassment, but a transgender student’s car was also vandalized with the word, “queer.”

“We walked out to show our student pride,” Billie Henderson, the student whose car was targeted, told the local public ration station. “To show that despite everything we’ve been through, we are still proud of who we are, and we won’t back down and we won’t make exceptions for anyone.”

“A group of counterprotesters also walked out of classes wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and waving American flags and Chick-fil-A bags,” the Washington Times reported.

The school’s public information officer, Andrew Kilstrom, could not confirm any specific incidents of harassment but said that there have been issues in the past, and the school continues to work to promote a culture of inclusion.

“The West Linn-Wilsonville School District takes all matters of school safety seriously, and diligently investigates and addresses all potential safety concerns,” he added. “That includes bullying or cyberbullying.”

West Linn High School noted that they did not approve of the walkout, though they do encourage students to speak their minds.

It’s not clear what prompted the Oregon school to invite Chick-fil-A to sell food on campus during sporting events, but the chicken sandwich chain has drawn protests from LGBTQ rights activsts across the country since 2012, when LGBTQ rights groups discovered that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is opposed to same-sex marriage and has donated to socially conservative organizations. Activists have staged protests against Chick-fil-A in a number of states, often to no avail. New store openings are typically marked by long lines and extended waits for the famous sandwich.

In some rare cases, activists have been able to prevent new Chick-fil-A locations from opening, typically in airports.

West Linn High School football boosters typically invite a number of vendors to sell food at football games over the course of the season, and the sports program receives a cut of the proceeds, the Washington Times reports. “The school said the Chick-fil-A food truck will remain at the football games throughout the season, but it will reconsider its vetting process moving forward.”

District staff, additionally, are working with the affected students to address their concerns.

The students do appear to have gotten at least temporary results with their walkout. The same local news organization, KATU, reported earlier this week that the Chick-fil-A food truck and and the company’s food cart were conspicuously absent from last friday’s sporting event.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Chick-Fil-A Food Truck Triggers Oregon Students, Sparks Walkout

Former Obama Administration official Julian Castro is laying off his campaign staff in both New Hampshire and South Carolina and shifting the focus of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to Iowa and Nevada, according to a new report from Politico.

Castro reporteldy can no longer afford a significant presence in early primary states and notified his New Hampshire and South Carolina teams that they would no longer be needed Tuesday morning.

Politico’s source told the Washington, D.C.-based outlet that “the campaign will continue focusing on Iowa and Nevada with a $50,000 television ad buy in Iowa beginning Tuesday morning. The moves amount to a long-shot attempt to remain in the presidential contest in the hopes of catching fire before the first contests begin next February.”

It’s not a very likely scenario. Although Castro has been “instrumental” in shaping the policy debate among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, according to Politico, he’s failed to capture the imagination of Democratic voters and, according to the pollsters at FiveThirtyEight, has never been able to clear 1% in any meaningful national poll.

Castro wasn’t even registering in New Hampshire polls and was at 1% in South Carolina, according to the most recent polling data. He’s at 1% in Iowa and at 1% in Nevada, where he’s hoping to capitalize on the high percentage of Hispanic voters (former vice president Joe Biden has a commanding eight-point lead over the next highest Democrat, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Nevada).

Castro is now well behind even upstart campaigns, like businessman Andrew Yang’s, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s, and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson’s.

News of the Castro campaign’s demise has been long in coming, though. As recently as last week, the campaign was sending out desperate fundraising emails, begging supporters to help him raise $800,000 in ten days so that he could continue to purchase ad time in key states, according to USA Today.

“I’m asking you to fight for me like never before,” read Castro’s email plea. “If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running. I’m counting on your $5 in this critical moment.”

“This isn’t a fundraising gimmick — it’s the transparency and honesty I have promised you since I entered this race,” the letter continued. “The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people. If I can’t make the next debate stage, we cannot sustain a campaign that can make it to Iowa in February.”

Iowa is now fewer than 100 days away, but the next 100 days will be critical to any candidate who wishes to stay in contention for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination beyond the first week of February.

Castro is hardly the first contender to scale back his campaign. Former Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke called it quits on his campaign over the weekend. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand ended her bid in late summer. California Senator Kamala Harris has reportedly pulled back operations in early primary states to focus on Iowa, and is consolidating her Iowa staff in areas where she has the best chance to pick up potential caucus-goers.

Even some of the bigger names — Biden and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders — have cleared their calendars, though for Sanders, the problem isn’t financial, it’s physical. He had a heart attack last month.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Next? Julian Castro Lays Off Staff In Primary States Amid Campaign Struggles

A private group called “We Build the Wall” says they’ve finished construction on a segment of border wall in New Mexico, closing a gap in the existing border wall themselves rather than waiting for Congress and the President to come to an agreement over how to fund the massive construction project along the United States’ southern border.

The Washington Times reports that We Build the Wall unveiled their half-mile section over the weekend.

“The 18-foot steel bollard wall is similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, sealing off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing,” the Times says. The gap runs from the Texas border, where it ends at the Rio Grand, up through southern New Mexico along the “lower elevations” or Mount Cristo Rey.

We Build the Wall claims the half-mile section of steel wall is the first privately constructed part of the border wall, and that their project moved faster and, at $8 million, required less funding than a similar project headed up by the federal government. The group, led by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, also says they’ve got the blessing of President Donald Trump and United States Border Customs and Protection, who were grateful for the help.

“We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” Kobach told reporters.

The half-mile segment of border wall, the group says, closes a gap frequently used to smuggle both people and drugs. Kobach added that on a “typical night” around 100 migrants and $100,000 worth of illegal narcotics passed through the half-mile hole.

The Trump Administration was working on a plan to construct around 234 miles of steel fencing, effectively sealing off the southern border with a “border wall,” but attempts to secure funding for the project have stalled. Congress refused to agree to any funding for the border wall beyond the $1.6 billion promised in the 2018 budget, and President Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration — which would have detoured funding to the border wall from other Army Corps of Engineers projects — was halted by a judge pending ongoing litigation.

Funding for the border wall has also taken a backseat to a more urgent need: funding for border processing. More than 100,000 migrants are presenting themselves at the United States’ southern border per month now, and, forced by law to process anyone who requests asylum, the CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are now overwhelmed with detained immigrants.

Although the Trump administration officially ended the “catch and release” policies of the Obama administration, the federal government has reportedly — according to Politico — been shipping migrants who declare asylum to cities in Texas and California, far from the southern border, in order to relieve the stress on border patrol facilities.

“The Trump administration is flying migrants to San Diego and Del Rio, Texas, and busing them to El Centro, Calif., and Laredo, Texas, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official familiar with the plan,” Politico says. “There, they are being processed — which includes photographs, health screenings, fingerprints and background checks — before they are often released and told to return for a court hearing at a later date.”

The administration is also reportedly considering sending migrants to less populated areas in Florida and in the American southwest, in the hopes that, by personally relocating them, they’re better able to track asylum seekers while they await their day in court.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Fed Up Waiting For The Feds, Private Groups Are Building A Border Wall In New Mexico

President Donald Trump tweeted early Wednesday that he intends to send armed troops to the country’s southern border in response to an incident that occurred late last week, where Mexican officials detained two U.S. Army soldiers on the American side of the border and disarmed one of them.

The Daily Wire’s James Barrett reported on the incident Friday, which involved armed Mexican military personnel who pulled aside two U.S. Army soldiers, forcing one to hand over his sidearm. The American soldiers complied, hoping to “de-escalate” the situation. The Mexican military eventually let the two American soldiers go, and later claimed that they were “confused” over whether they were in American or Mexican territory since the incident took place south of the border wall, but not south of the actual border.

Trump explained Wednesday that he believes the incident was no accident, but rather a “diversionary tactic” meant to take focus off of drug-running activities, and accused Mexican authorities not just of ignoring the rising smuggling problem, but of actively facilitating “coyotes and cartels” conducting illegal border-jumping operations.

In response, the president says, armed National Guard troops will be deployed to the border.

“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” Trump tweeted.

He’s not messing around.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was “concilatory,” reports Bloomberg, and promised, in response to the President Trump’s concern, that the incident will be fully investigated.

“We are going to review the case, take into account what he is pointing out and assure him that we will always have a responsible attitude and respect for the government and people of the United States,” Lopez Obrador said during a press conference on Wednesday.

American troops are already at the border, deployed to assist United States Customs and Border Protection in apprehending and processing illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who turn up along the U.S.-Mexico border. They’re also handling much of the border infrastructure work, maintaining sections of the border wall and handling day-to-day administrative tasks for CBP so that CBP can focus on interdiction.

The presence of members of the military along the border has caused some consternation among left-leaning politicos, and several, including California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, have pulled their National Guard troops from service, refusing to allow members of his state’s National Guard to help enforce immigration laws.

Trump also said Wednesday that he’s considering renewing his threat to close the border with Mexico to trade — a threat that got results just weeks ago, and forced Mexico to step up interdiction efforts and scale back on the number of migrant visas they issue to members of so-called “migrant caravans.” Mexico has also reportedly stepped up arrests and deportations — just not enough to satisfy President Trump.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Dailywire: Trump: We’re Sending Armed Soldiers To The Border After National Guard Incident

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