There were a lot of things wrong with what The Associated Press called President Trump's "rambling, campaign-style speech" Thursday to float "two legally dubious proposals": creating massive tent camps to indefinitely house asylum seekers and barring illegal border-crossers from requesting asylum. CNN's Chris Cuomo walked viewers through the big problems with Trump's speech, starting with Trump's presumption he can change asylum laws by executive fiat.
Trump also "said something that would likely never come to pass, but it reminds us how dark the president's motives are where migrants are concerned," Cuomo said. "Here's what he said: American troops will have permission to open fire on unarmed migrants if they throw rocks," because they are part of an "invasion." "Don't be a sucker," Cuomo said. This is not an "invasion," rocks are not, as Trump said, the same as rifles, and America shouldn't strive to be "more brutal than Mexico."
Cuomo's closing argument was a sermon. Trump doesn't want to fix the immigration system, he wants "votes and popularity with a minority of the country," he said. "And he has found a well-worn way to do it: Fear and loathing with a common enemy. His methods are vulgar, his objectives are obvious and ugly, but he is not the key to the movement — you are. ... If you think that hate is empowering, you're wrong, and if you think love will simply overwhelm, you're missing a major step. Both situations were explained in perfect detail by the famed Thomas Merton."
The excerpt of Merton's Disputed Questions Cuomo read makes "a better case than I ever could for what each of you needs to decide right now," he said. "This is not about Trump, it's certainly not about safety, nor any trumped-up 'invasion.' It is what each of you decides about yourself and what you want to be about." Watch below. Peter Weber