U.S. Customs and Border Protection is accusing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) of violating both American and Mexican immigration laws during a trip to the border last month, The Associated Press reports. De Blasio joined 20 other mayors near El Paso, Texas, on June 21 to get a firsthand look at how President Trump's "zero tolerance" family separation policy was being carried out. The mayor's efforts were frustrated when he was denied entry to a migrant child holding facility.
Not to be discouraged, de Blasio then crossed into Mexico on foot, and crossed back to the U.S., to get a view of the facility and take pictures. CBP claims that a Border Patrol agent spotted the mayor's group and asked if anyone from the agency was with them to authorize their presence; the de Blasio group answered in the negative. Asked how they had gotten to their location, the group motioned to Mexico.
De Blasio and Co. were then informed that they had illegally crossed the border, CBP claims. They were told to wait while the agent went to get his supervisor to take them back for an inspection, per federal law, but in the meantime the miscreant mayor and his crew allegedly ignored the agent, got in their car, and drove back to Mexico.
Hizzoner says he did nothing wrong. Spokesman Eric Phillips told The Associated Press that the group had "direct approval" to be where they were and that "any suggestion otherwise is a flat-out lie and an obvious attempt by someone to attack the mayor because of his advocacy for families being ripped apart at the border by the Trump administration." Jeva Lange
When Michael Cohen wired $130,000 to a former adult film actress in October 2016, the point was that everyone would stay quiet.
Instead, the transfer has blown up in his face, as President Trump's personal attorney has found himself in the center of a sordid scandal that has played out in television shows, front pages, and FBI raids. The actress, Stormy Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — had spoken publicly in 2011 about an affair she says she had with Trump, but Cohen's acknowledgement in February that he paid her to keep quiet just weeks before the election sparked a tabloid firestorm.
Daniels says the affair occurred in 2006, just one year after Trump married his third wife, Melania, and just a few months after the birth of their son, Barron. Trump has denied the relationship. In a somewhat somber picture of Cohen's place in the Trump orbit, The New York Times on Friday said that Cohen at one point even tried to make amends to the first lady for making the Daniels story national news:
In a Fox News interview last year, Mr. Cohen declared: "I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump." He told Vanity Fair in September that "I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president," adding, "I'd never walk away."
At a Republican fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Mr. Cohen went so far as to approach the first lady, Melania Trump, to try to apologize for the pain he caused her with the payment to [Daniels], the adult film actress who has claimed to have had the sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. [The New York Times]
The Times goes on to list many indignities reportedly suffered by Cohen at Trump's hands. As longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone told the paper: "Donald goes out of his way to treat [Cohen] like garbage." Read more at The New York Times. Kimberly Alters