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May 22, 2018
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When President Trump welcomed someone named Melanie Trump home from the hospital this weekend, there was never any doubt that the tweet was composed by the man himself — but maybe there should have been.

Trump is known for firing off tweets at all hours of the day, and they often have misspellings, typos, and other errors. It's been assumed that he crafted most of his more colorful messages, with the rambling sentences and random capitalization a sure sign of authentic authorship, but two White House staffers told The Boston Globe that aides are drafting tweets that are indistinguishable from posts written by Trump.

When someone wants Trump to tweet about a specific issue, they write him a memo and include three or four sample tweets that follow Trump's style down to the excessive exclamation points. Trump chooses the one he likes best, the staffers told the Globe, and while he sometimes will tweak it a bit, he often tweets messages as is. While aides do try to channel their inner Trump when drafting the tweets, they draw the line at misspelling words and names on purpose.

There are other clues, too. The staffers said that if there are photos attached to a tweet or hashtags, assume that an aide tweeted for Trump, and even if the tweet is difficult to decipher, that doesn't mean anything — the staffers are becoming experts at mimicking Trump's distinctive style of tweeting, and think typos and errors appeal to the average American. As Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, noted to the Globe, "Grammatical conventions tend to be elitist and always have been." Catherine Garcia

2:10 p.m. ET
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Genealogy testing is inherently creepy. After spitting into a vial and sending it off, your saliva's final resting place can be a mystery (unless it's accidentally sent to another customer).

That's why lawmakers want to protect your bodily fluids and the data they provide. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter asking four major genetic testing companies to clarify their privacy and security policies, and they shared the letter with Stat.

The four companies that got a letter — 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and National Geographic Geno — haven't been embroiled in any scandals. But the Democrats told Stat they want to uncover potential problems in how data is used and stored before something does go wrong. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) similarly questioned these companies' ethics in November and pressed the FTC to ensure it was clear how customers' DNA would be used.

After all, earlier this month, testing company MyHeritage announced that it had accidentally leaked 92 million customers' email addresses, per Reuters. And McClatchy recently found some skeevy details about what Ancestry has done with the world's largest collection of human saliva. Questioning these companies early will hopefully avert a sticky situation. Read more at Stat. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:08 p.m. ET

Two wrongs don't make a right, but apparently no one told that to the Republican defenders of the Trump administration's policies of child separation and detention. On Thursday, the Republican National Committee tweeted out a video of former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson "admit[ting] to expanding family detention under President Obama" in an attempted gotcha.

Yahoo News' Hunter Walker added: "Just a reminder, Obama isn't president."

The current homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, has also used the "we didn't start it" excuse, claiming that "the Obama administration, the Bush administration all separated families … This is not new." The Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org writes that while "experts say there were some separations under previous administrations," there was "no blanket policy to prosecute parents and, therefore, separate them from their children," like the strategy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this spring.

Besides, "he started it!" is never the best excuse — especially when you're now the only one who can end it. Jeva Lange

1:43 p.m. ET

There are plenty of people who would find it extremely difficult to muster up any pity for Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of the president. Still, the GQ profile of Junior published Thursday makes a pretty compelling case — from his birth through his engagement through the end of his marriage. "Maybe he's not an intellectual, but he tried to be useful for his family," was how one insider gently put it. "I feel bad for him, honestly."

Here are four of the most depressing details in the profile, which you can read in full here. Jeva Lange

His parents dashed off to other engagements as soon as he was born.

That evening he was born, little Don was left by his parents to the care of the hospital's nursery. His father headed home to celebrate New Year's Eve, while Ivana put a boa and a mink over her hospital gown and went to visit a girlfriend recovering from back surgery on another floor of the hospital. [GQ]

His father didn't want to give him his name.

“You can't do that!" Trump is quoted as saying in Ivana's memoir, Raising Trump. "What if he's a loser?" [GQ]

When his parents were getting divorced, they had a spat over who had to raise him.

... [Donald] Trump, looking for some leverage by announcing that he was going to keep Don and raise him alone.

"Okay, keep him," Ivana said she told him. "I have two other kids to raise."

A few minutes later — his bluff out-bluffed — Trump ordered his boy to be taken back upstairs. [GQ]

He had the most unromantic engagement ever to Vanessa Haydon.

Despite his father's hand in their coupling, Don earned a scolding from his dad over the way he proposed — a Trumpian publicity stunt in which he scored a free engagement ring by popping the question in a jewelry store at the Short Hills mall in New Jersey. [GQ]

1:31 p.m. ET
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First lady Melania Trump has touched ground in Texas to check out immigrant detention centers and speak with Border Patrol officials, CNN reported Thursday.

Trump made a last-minute decision to take a trip to McAllen, Texas, the first member of the Trump family to personally visit the immigration facilities where children are being detained separately from their parents as they await prosecution for entering the U.S. without documentation.

Upon arriving in McAllen, the first lady told shelter workers she was "looking forward" to seeing immigrant children. "We all know they're here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your kindness, and your compassion you're giving them in these hard times," she said, per The Hill. She additionally asked how she could "help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible."

Trump's spokesperson said that the first lady wanted to "see what's real," deciding to visit the centers for herself less than 48 hours ago. Read more at CNN. Summer Meza

12:25 p.m. ET
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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen probably shouldn't have gone to a Mexican restaurant while the government was splitting mostly Latino migrant children from their parents at the southern border. But in all fairness, Stephen Miller did it first.

Two days before Nielsen was publicly shamed for the family separation policy, President Trump's senior policy adviser similarly didn't think twice about eating at a Mexican restaurant, the New York Post reports. While protesters didn't flood the restaurant as they did with Nielsen, one customer did jump in.

"Hey look guys, whoever thought we'd be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?” the customer said as Miller walked by, a witness told the Post. Miller didn't respond and stuck around to finish his meal.

After claiming for days that he was powerless to stop the separations, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that seeks to amend a court ruling and thus allow migrant families to be detained together, rather than separate children from their parents at the border. Most of Trump's associates condemned the separation policy early on, but Miller was its fiercest champion and had a big role in crafting the so-called "zero tolerance" immigration policy. He even apparently enjoyed seeing photos of distraught kids torn from their parents, an outside White House adviser told Vanity Fair.

That'll be one order of enchiladas, smothered in irony, please. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:50 a.m. ET
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Anticipation on the Korean peninsula is building, and the real estate industry is benefiting.

Inventive entrepreneurs are flocking to the area along the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, hoping to buy up land so that they have a prime location in the event of the country reunifying with their neighbors to the north, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

For years, people in South Korea have been eyeing the markets every time North Korea seems to ever-so-slightly crack open its door to the outside world. Of course, leader Kim Jong Un has continued to isolate the nation, but his historic summit with President Trump brought new optimism to the region. In March and April, real estate transactions in border city Paju skyrocketed to about three times the average level from the last decade, reports the Times, while other regions remained stagnant.

Real estate agents and developers say the building excitement is tangible, as industrious businesspeople and wealthy investors arrive near the DMZ by the dozens to look at properties, willing to spend millions to get on the ground floor of what they think is a forthcoming change. The area along the DMZ is "like land that's still in a mother's womb, not yet born to the world," said Kim Yoon-sik, a developer. "If it is born, it'll be huge." Summer Meza

11:22 a.m. ET
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NFL players have a problem with the criminal justice system, and a bunch of presidential pardons won't solve it.

Four current and former players representing the Players Coalition advocacy group challenged President Trump to go beyond pardoning unjustly jailed people in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. Instead, Doug Baldwin, Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins, and Benjamin Watson are pushing for complete criminal justice reform.

After the Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited from a Super Bowl victory visit to the White House over the league's national anthem kneeling, Trump tried to make a concession. He asked players to send a list of people they thought were unjustly jailed, and he'd pardon them if he agreed.

Clemency can be valuable, like when Trump commuted Alice Johnson's life sentence for a nonviolent drug charge at Kim Kardashian West's behest, the players acknowledged in their op-ed. They suggested that blanket pardon for drug offenders who've already served long sentences could be a good first step.

But truly fixing the justice system means preventing nonviolent offenders from getting life sentences in the first place, and the players say Trump's executive power can make that happen. And if the president chooses not to wield it, then the players will keep using their power as Americans and professional athletes to insist on change. Read the whole op-ed at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

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