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Jacob Heilbrunn Liberty Politics US Politics

Trump is still on the ‘offenseive’ over immigration

As the President consolidates his hold on the GOP and defies his detractors, he is relying on women as a kind of protective force field.

June 20, 2018

6:36 PM

20 June 2018

6:36 PM

An invader is in the Washington, DC area. It’s almost impossible to eradicate and large. It’s also quite noxious. “Now that there’s a confirmed sighting,” one local official told the Washington Post, “we need to be on the lookout.”

The furor centers over the emergence of a giant hogweed from southwest Asia that emits toxic substances, but it also sums up the way NeverTrumpers view the Donald. Now that he’s locking ‘em up on the southern border, the internal opposition to Trump as a dangerous national security threat to America is reaching new heights. A case in point is Steve Schmidt, who helped direct the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain. Today he announced on Twitter in no uncertain terms that he’s abandoning the GOP: “This Independent voter will be aligned with the only party left in America that stands for what is right and decent and remains fidelitous to our Republic, objective truth, the rule of law and our Allies. That party is the Democratic Party.”

As Trump consolidates his hold on the GOP and defies his detractors, he is relying, more often than not, on women as a kind of protective force field, whether it is Ivanka, Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders (though Melania, more often than not, tends to go AWOL). It was Ivanka who pleaded with Daddy to bomb Syria in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons on children and it is Ivanka whom he invoked last night before House Republicans to call for some kind of immigration bill. Ivanka allows him to show display a kinder, gentler side. But the women who actually work for Trump play a different role. They have to go into combat. Now it’s Kirstjen Nielsen’s turn.

Only a week ago Nielsen, who heads the Department of Homeland Security, was in danger of being sacked by the old boy. Now, as the New York Times reports, she has become the It girl of the Trump administration. Trump deemed her Monday evening press conference staring down the media as “fabulous” in a tweet. So fabulous that Nielsen is discovering that there is zero tolerance for her. When she went out for dinner last night to a Mexican restaurant, of all places, a group of left-wing agitators entered the establishment and proceeded to shout, among other things, “shame” at her for about 10 minutes until she left. It’s hardly the capstone to her career that Nielsen, who graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service three decades ago, can have been thinking of when she began to ride the escalator of success in what was then known as the capital of the free world. Yesterday, her former classmate Arick Wierson wrote a column for CNN in which he called upon Nielsen to resign and reminded her of the school’s motto: “SFS undergraduates enter a prestigious program with a legacy of academic excellence combined with a devotion to humanitarian service.”

If Nielsen has shored up her bona fides with Trump, White House chief of staff John Kelly seems to be on his way out. Word is that he spends late mornings at the working out at the Eisenhower gym and is openly speculating about whether the impeachment of Trump would at least put an end to the theatre of the absurd that he’s creating in Washington. It was notable that Kelly did not accompany Trump to his meeting with House Republicans last night, where he was met with some boos for mocking Mark Sanford, the South Carolina congressman who lost his primary to his pro-Trump challenger Katie Arrington, and where Trump apparently delivered a rambling speech that failed to provide much, if any guidance, about what measures the GOP should adopt to end the forcible separation of children from their parents at the southern border.

It seems unlikely that after decades of futility the GOP will pass any kind of immigration bill. For Trump, who is listening to his senior adviser Stephen Miller, an inveterate foe of immigration, legal and illegal, it’s Miller time, as the beer commercial used to have it.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who ridiculed a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother on Fox last night by declaring “womp, womp” about her plight, is claiming that he is the true victim. In a tweet today, he announced, “Lots of Fake News today. I mocked a liberal who attempted to politicize children as opposed to discussing the real issue which is fixing a broken immigration system. It’s offenseive that the MSM doesn’t want to talk about the fact these policies were started under Obama.”

As always, Trump and his associates want to stay, as Lewandowski spells it, on the offenseive, no matter how offensive they may be. But this time they can’t escape the blowback. Womp, womp.


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