- It’s been a busy month for Donald Trump, both at home and abroad
- At home, the Trump administration is taking a hardline approach on the southern border, separating parents and children
- Abroad, Trump and Kim Jong Un have broken bread and found common ground
A “zero tolerance” approach to undocumented immigrants, and high praise for a murderous dictator. It’s been an interesting month for the Trump administration!
Donald Trump traveled to Singapore to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a landmark summit, hinting at the prospect of more meetings to come. Meanwhile at home, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as the White House continues to crack down on border crossings.
|A Republican senator supports the Keep Families Together Act||3/1|
Every single Senate Democrat has co-sponsored the Keep Families Together Act, which would prohibit separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. The legislation is a response to the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to illegal immigration, which has involved forcibly separating parents and children at the border.
Several Republican senators have expressed their opposition to the Trump administration’s policy. John McCain called it “an affront to the decency of the American people.” John Kennedy labeled it a “hot mess.” And Lisa Murkowski declared that the “time is now for the White House to end the cruel, tragic separations of families.”
Yet not a single Republican senator is willing to support the bill. As we’ve seen time and time again, Republicans are only willing to break with Trump on a superficial level. When it comes to legislating, they can be trusted to toe the party line.
The administration’s current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded. The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 18, 2018
Trump is currently polling at 90% among Republicans, and so far we’ve seen a handful of Republican representatives lose primaries for not being pro-Trump enough.
To split with Trump on a hot-button issue like immigration is political suicide
To split with Trump on a hot-button issue like immigration is political suicide, so only a Republican who has already decided not to run for re-election would even consider supporting the Keep Families Together Act.
|Trump and Kim Jong Un meet again in 2018||2/1|
|Trump and Kim Jong Un meet at the White House in 2018||10/1|
|Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in North Korea in 2018||20/1|
There’s still unfinished business between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The Singapore Summit was heralded as a success by both world leaders, but the day-long affair resulted in an extremely vague joint declaration that left a few loose ends.
Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to “work towards complete denuclearization,” which was already established in April when the North Korean and South Korean leaders met. We are still a long way away from complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of the Korean Peninsula. And on America’s end, the North Korea sanctions still stand.
Before they met, Trump referred to the North Korean dictator as “Little Rocket Man” while Kim Jong Un called Trump a “dotard”. Now, after the meeting, they’re showering each other with praise. Both Trump and Kim Jong Un are eager to continue talks, and Trump has even entertained the idea of bringing Kim Jong Un to the White House.
It seemed unfathomable just a couple of months ago, but here we are.
|Which Trump Cabinet member will leave next?||Odds|
|Jeff Sessions (Attorney General)||7/3|
|Ryan Zinke (Interior)||4/1|
|Wilbur Ross (Commerce)||17/3|
|Ben Carson (HUD)||9/1|
|Betsy DeVos (Education)||15/1|
The first year of the Trump presidency saw a higher turnover than any previous administration, with 34% of Trump’s staff fired, reassigned, or resigned in 2017. Compare that to Obama’s 9% and Bush’s 6%.
There are quite a few cabinet members on shaky ground at the moment. Jeff Sessions has been a regular Twitter target for Trump since the Attorney General recused himself from the Russia investigation. As the Special Counsel continues to apply pressure on Trump’s former lawyer and campaign manager, Trump may choose to replace Sessions with someone who can shield the President from the investigation.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has landed in hot water after being linked to a real estate deal with the chairman of Halliburton, which is a huge conflict of interest. Of course, he’s not the only cabinet member mired in scandal. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross promised to divest from his company holdings but maintained stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a firm tied to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a bank reportedly involved in the Robert Mueller investigation.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson spent $31,000 of department funds on a dining room set while gutting HUD programs for the homeless and elderly.