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January 12, 2018

On Friday, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp went on Fox News to offer a tenuous defense of President Trump's reported characterization of Haiti and several African states as "shithole countries." Schlapp, the former political director for former President George W. Bush, chose to back the president by ... disparaging the quality of Haiti's beaches.

Schlapp began by noting that Trump denied making the vulgar remarks entirely, before pivoting to his creative defense of the president's alleged comments. "Here are the facts. The facts are: I don't know anybody who has spent two weeks on the beach in Haiti."

Schlapp then moved on to blame the Democrats who were in the meeting — a bipartisan summit on immigration reform — for stirring up the controversy. "The president learned a lesson," Schlapp declared: "When the Democrats and their staff are in the Oval Office, they're gonna say and leak anything to harm you politically, and they did that."

Fox News' Sandra Smith pointed out in response that the Democrats were not lying about what the president said. "To be clear, Matt, Fox News has confirmed his choice of words in that meeting," she said.

For the record: Here are some pictures of Haiti's beaches. Kelly O'Meara Morales

Editor's note: This post originally mischaracterized Schlapp's relationship to Fox News. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

2:36 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security received hundreds of complaints about civil rights violations last year that it did not investigate, Motherboard reported Tuesday.

Official records show that there were thousands of reports of detainees, prisoners, and suspects who suffered civil rights abuses in 2017, but because of "limited investigative resources," several hundred were left untouched. The complaints across all DHS agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Coast Guard, alleged sexual and physical abuse as well as discrimination and general mistreatment.

"The number of complaints that apparently went uninvestigated is quite surprising and it demands a closer look," Steven Aftergood from the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told Motherboard.

The DHS's watchdog office marked hundreds of cases as "closed not converted," which means that they were not fully investigated before being considered a closed case. In other cases, allegations against DHS employees were called "unsubstantiated." A DHS representative told Motherboard that the agency focuses much of its investigative efforts on cases that allege "corruption or criminal misconduct on the part of DHS employees or contractors, misconduct by high-level DHS employees, [or] use of force by DHS law enforcement officers," so it is "unable to investigate" many of the civil rights-related cases. Read more at Motherboard. Summer Meza

2:27 p.m. ET

President Trump oh-by-the-wayed Canada on Tuesday, switching gears while addressing the National Federation of Independent Businesses from ranting about the U.S.-Mexico border to bashing America's northern neighbors over their love of footwear. "By the way, Canada? They like to talk," Trump said. "They're our great neighbor, they fought World War II with us, we appreciate it. They fought World War I with us, we appreciate it."

But it is no longer 1945, Trump noted, going on to describe "people living in Canada coming into the United States and smuggling things back into Canada because the tariffs are so massive." Canadians, Trump said "buy shoes and they wear them. They scuff them up, they make them sound old or look old. No — we're cheated horribly."

It is not clear what Trump is referring to — as many have pointed out, it isn't illegal to buy shoes in the United States — but he has made one thing certain: These shoe-loving Canadians must be stopped. Watch his remarks below. Jeva Lange

1:06 p.m. ET

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Tuesday that he would refuse to deploy any National Guard members to aid in border control efforts until President Trump's administration ends its practice of separating immigrant children from their parents.

"I ordered our four crewmembers and helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico," said Hogan on Twitter. The federal government called for an increased National Guard presence in April to assist in Customs and Border Protection efforts, requesting around 4,000 troops to be sent to border states.

Hogan joined Massachusets Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who also said Monday that his state would no longer send troops to aid the federal effort. Protesting "the inhumane treatment of children," Baker rescinded his offer of equipment and personnel.

Democratic governors have also vowed not to help the Trump administration, reports The Washington Post. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said that she hadn't received a request for troops, but she promised that she would certainly refuse any future request. "Children should be with their families, not trapped in cages, sobbing and calling out for their parents," said Raimondo. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the same. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) banned the state from sending any troops, equipment, or money that would help enforce the policy of separating immigrant families, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) denounced the administration while pledging not to use military efforts to condone the "inhumane practice." Summer Meza

12:59 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant parents from their children at the border has been widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, but several Fox News hosts have doubled down on defending the practice.

Speaking Tuesday morning on Fox News, Fox Business Network host Trish Regan said that the government "[needs] to create the right kind of incentives. Right now the incentive is sure, come here." Regan claimed that "if [immigrants] know they run the risk of being separated from their child for an indefinite amount of time, maybe they rethink that." She described it as "maybe a kind of tough love environment, where the U.S. government is saying, you know what? You do something illegally and you're not going to be rewarded for it."

The separation policy has been condemned as "child abuse" by the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Watch Regan's defense below. Jeva Lange

11:59 a.m. ET
KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization's international list of diseases is getting an update.

In its revised International Classification of Diseases released Monday, the WHO removed transgender identity as a mental health disorder and added gaming disorder to the list. Recategorizing transgender as a sexual health condition is aimed at cutting stigma and improving quality of care, says the WHO.

The WHO first considered declassifying "gender incongruence" in July 2016, The New York Times reports, but didn't make the change officially until the Monday release of the ICD-11, the WHO's first revision to its list of diseases in 28 years. Over the past few decades, transgender identity has hopped from a "sexual deviation" to "gender dysphoria" in the DSM mental disorder handbook used by psychologists. Now, it's only considered a disorder, per 2013's DSM-5, if a transgender person experiences distress or dysfunction.

Gaming disorder, characterized as an addiction to gaming, also made the WHO's new list. A version called internet gaming disorder first appeared in the DSM-5.

The ICD-11 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, so health professionals can use the next few years to get ready for the switch. But the world isn't required to and probably won't adopt the new classifications immediately, says the WHO. Some countries are still stuck on the eighth and ninth editions of the ICD, and the U.S. didn't switch to the ICD-10 until 2015. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:00 a.m. ET

A majority of Americans (52 percent) are satisfied with the outcome of President Trump's recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, CNN poll results published Tuesday show, though assessments are split along predictably partisan lines. While 85 percent of Republicans think the meeting went well, just 52 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

On the subject of which negotiator got the better deal, poll respondents were similarly divided, with a plurality saying Kim did better for his country than Trump did:


(CNN)

Nevertheless, his handling of North Korea is one of Trump's most popular issues with the public with 48 percent approval, second only to the economy, which nets him 49 percent support. Post-summit, Americans are markedly less likely to say North Korea poses an immediate threat to the U.S., though, as other surveys have found, skepticism remains as to whether Kim will really denuclearize. Bonnie Kristian

10:58 a.m. ET

Amid the growing outcry surrounding the separation of immigrant families, President Trump threw out several different defensive tweets Tuesday morning in the hopes that something would stick.

The first thing on Trump's mind was the "rigged witch hunt" Russia investigation, but he quickly moved on to instead criticize an American ally. "Crime in Germany is up 10 percent plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted," said Trump, citing no evidence. Official data from Germany shows that crime actually dropped 10 percent last year. "Be smart America!" Trump nevertheless warned.

Trump also defended his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which has led to the separation of children and parents at the border. But his defense was contradictory: First, the president declared that strong borders are essential, but then he once again falsely blamed Democrats for harsh border policies and for allowing immigrants to "infest" the U.S.

But then Trump appeared to return to the argument that family separations are actually necessary. "We must always arrest people coming into our country illegally," he wrote. He then claimed without evidence that the vast majority of children who are being detained in cages didn't actually arrive with their parents, so there were no parents from whom they could be separated.

Trump wrapped it all up by putting the blame for the supposedly very necessary separations on Congress, calling to "change the laws." Summer Meza

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