Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Fox Business on Wednesday that she's finding it tough to talk politics with foreigners in the 2016 election cycle, especially given the popularity of Donald Trump.
"One of the hard parts about being a diplomat, when you go abroad, you don't want to criticize your country, and so trying to explain what's going on to foreigners is hard, but they are looking at us as if we've lost our minds," said Albright, who backs Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Albright recently visited Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, where she said she fielded one question quite frequently: "What is going on in America?"
Even President Trump has claimed that he "hates" his administration's policy that separates immigrant children from their families at the border, but senior adviser Stephen Miller is apparently a fan.
Miller, a top White House policy adviser, is reportedly quite happy with how things are going, leading one fellow staffer to equate his behavior to that of Nazi war criminals, Vanity Fair reported Wednesday.
"Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border," an outside White House adviser said. "He's a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There's always been a way he's gone about this. He's Waffen-SS."
Waffen-SS, the Nazi Party's armed forces, were considered particularly brutal even among other factions of Hitler's regime. Miller has been a "driving force" behind the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policies, and is glad to finally have the ear of the president to create the political change for which he's yearned for many years, reports The New York Times. As public outcry continues to increase as images and audio recordings of youth immigrant detention facilities circulate the web, Miller is celebrating a job well done. Read more at Vanity Fair. Summer Meza
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has declared that migrant family separation at the border is his next civil rights cause.
The congressman declared he'll "go to the borders" and is even "prepared to go to jail" to end the controversial policy in a news conference Wednesday, reflecting on his many arrests fighting for civil justice over the past 50 years.
"If we fail to do it, history will not be kind to us," Lewis said, before asking Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) to tell him "whatever you want me to do" to reunite children with their families.
Hugging a child, @repjohnlewis vows action to stop practice of family separation.
"Just tell me whatever you want me to do. I will go to the borders. I'd get arrested again. If necessary, I'm prepared to go to jail." pic.twitter.com/YBlkXchGez
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) June 20, 2018
Lewis joined Gutierrez and other House Democrats in a press conference outside the Capitol on Wednesday. The lawmakers then took advantage of a House rule that says each member can bring two children under the age of 12 into the chamber, per the Chicago Sun-Times, bringing children into the building to make a point about the family separations. Democrats continued their speeches inside, where Lewis again pleaded Congress to "stop the madness." The in-House protest ended when Gutierrez called the visiting children onto the floor and spoke beyond the few minutes he was allowed. Kathryn Krawczyk
Holding children in newly built tents costs $775 per person per night, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News. That's far more than the $256 nightly charge in a permanent HHS facility, or $298 per night in a detention center like where the children's parents are staying. Even a luxury hotel — like, say, the Trump International in New York City — costs only about $519 nightly.
Moreover, it costs $5 million more per month to place 400 migrant children in a tent instead of in a permanent building, per NBC News, and kids usually stay for about two months. The price tag stems from a sudden influx of separated children and a rush to build, secure, and air condition the tents, former HHS officials told NBC. Still, HHS is "aggressively looking" for places to put more tent cities, the current official said.
Facilities holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border are already getting crowded, and in Texas they're about to get even worse.
Texas officials have given the green light for 15 shelters to hold up to 50 percent more children, filling up beyond capacity as President Trump's administration continues its zero-tolerance border policy, the Texas Observer reported Wednesday.
Records show that facilities have been approved to hold an additional 722 kids beyond their current max capacities, a 16 percent increase. Some shelters have filled even more rapidly, increasing capacities by 48 percent. The shelters are owned and run by nonprofit organizations that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts to oversee youth detention. About 11,000 children are in ORR shelters, reports the Observer.
"Child welfare is being thrown out of the window because the feds say they don't have enough room," a National Association of Social Workers official said. "The capacity was never meant for this new population [of separated kids], so you're going to run into issues." State officials say they have reviewed the facilities to ensure they will be able to handle the new influx of kids. Read more at the Texas Observer. Summer Meza
Republicans have rolled 'legislation to keep families together' into an immigration vote that likely won't pass the House or Senate
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that "tomorrow the House will vote on legislation to keep families together" in an effort to halt the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of splitting up migrant parents from their children at the border. "The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are," Ryan said.
House Republicans, though, do not appear to have the votes on their immigration compromise bill, which includes "a path to address the family separations," CNN reports. What's more, that legislation has no realistic chance in the Senate.
Paul Ryan says Republicans don’t want families separated at the border, so they’re adjusting their immigration bills — bills that likely won’t pass the House and won’t even get a vote in the Senate — to address that crisis.
Again, unclear how this becomes law.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 20, 2018
Peak House GOP conference — they’re going to try to pass a bill that won’t be able to become law in order to fix family separation, which Trump could end right now. And they won’t say whether they’d consider legislation that actually could pass to fix it.
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 20, 2018
Notably, there is no law mandating the separation of immigrant families at the border, and legislation is not required to stop the policy — only an order from President Trump. Senate Democrats, as a result, have been resistant to legislation targeting the "zero tolerance" policy, demanding the president address it on his own. Jeva Lange
Disney's hounding of 21st Century Fox finally paid off.
Fox accepted Disney's massive $71.3 billion offer in cash and stock to buy the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. The whopping deal, which Disney proposed Wednesday morning, is "superior" to Comcast's $65 billion all-cash offer made earlier this month, Fox said in a statement Wednesday. Disney had previously offered $52.4 billion in stock before being outflanked by Comcast.
The rejection is good news for Comcast's bank account. Buying Fox would've plunged Comcast nearly $170 billion in the hole and made it one of the most indebted companies in the world, CNN reports.
Disney's acquisition includes the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox's American cable channels, and U.K.-based Sky News, says Bloomberg. Some major Fox assets, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and its TV stations, aren't part of the purchase. They'll be spun off into a so-called "New Fox."
The Justice Department still has to okay the deal, and Fox was worried that Comcast's offer posed bigger regulatory concerns, the Journal reports. A judge's recent approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes well for Fox and Disney's union. Kathryn Krawczyk
President Trump is worried about staff holdovers.
Trump is becoming paranoid that officials who also worked for previous administrations are not sufficiently loyal to him, The New York Times reported Tuesday. "The Bushies in the White House are out to get me," he reportedly said of staffers who also worked for former President George W. Bush.
The Trump administration has seen a record-breaking number of departures and an incredibly high turnover rate, reportedly leaving Trump concerned that he can't trust the staffers who are left. Few of Trump's original team members remain, which has pushed the president to become increasingly isolated in the White House, preferring not to communicate much with his aides out of worry that they are secretly hoping for his downfall. Read more at Talking Points Memo. Summer Meza