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August 8, 2019

It was inevitable, wasn't it?

Even as two weekend mass shootings left 31 people dead in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump has had no reservations about politicizing the event on Twitter. But his attacks on the areas' Democratic politicians seemed mostly reserved to the internet or the White House grounds — until this video of Trump's El Paso hospital visit popped up and proved otherwise.

Before Trump's Wednesday visits Dayton and El Paso, he used a few tweets to deride 2020 Democrat and former El Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke. And on Wednesday, he went even further, bringing up his and O'Rourke's competing rallies in February and falsely claiming O'Rourke had "like 400 people in a parking lot" at his. Oh, and he did it within seconds of shaking hands with doctors in an El Paso hospital.

The move just after Trump claimed he would "stay out of the political fray" while making visits to the two cities — and after he tweeted some issues with Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Dayton's Democratic Mayor Nan Whaley. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 31, 2019

Just who was President Trump's tariff redux supposed to impress?

On Thursday night, Trump tweeted his intention to impose a five percent tariff on all imports from Mexico starting June 10. And almost immediately, everyone but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lined up to tear holes in it.

The tariffs would increase by five percent every month until peaking at 25 percent in September, and will remain "until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory," a White House statement clarified. Stock markets took the news hard, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all sliding about a percent when they opened Friday morning. Economists also pointed out how the tariffs could push prices on cars, avocados and other American essentials through the roof.

Lawmakers cited all those reasons when voicing their tariff opposition on Friday, with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) specifically suggesting the tariffs could jeopardize the USMCA trade deal Trump has spent months trying to pass. Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued perhaps the harshest blow, reminding Trump that "trade policy and border security are separate issues" in a statement and calling the tariffs "a misuse of presidential tariff authority." Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn't quite say Trump was on the right track.

But Graham? Well, he's on Trump's side yet again. Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn Krawczyk

March 8, 2019

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining 10,000 more people than it's allowed to.

Yet again, the law enforcement agency reports it has detained a record number of people with no signs of slowing down. ICE is holding 50,049 people in detention as of Wednesday, up 2,000 people from Jan. 30 and up 6,000 from November, figures supplied to The Daily Beast reveal.

ICE detentions have been growing since President Trump took office, with the agency's total number of detainees surpassing the record set under former President Barack Obama in 2016 and only skyrocketing since. Congress limited the number of detainees to 40,520 in its most recent ICE budget, yet the agency continues to expand detentions without explaining how it's paying for the additional beds. ICE now wants Congress to fund 52,000 detainee beds.

Detainees are kept not only in dedicated ICE facilities, but for-profit private jails and even hotels as a last resort. Conditions are reportedly so bad at a Texas detention center that 12 infants recently released were sick and underfed, advocates said. Still, ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence insisted to The Daily Beast that the agency "really" needs another 8,000 beds "to get the [job] done."

As detention totals grow, so does the backlog of cases bogging down America's immigration court system. Read more about what this new record total means at The Daily Beast. Kathryn Krawczyk

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