About the Shithole Meeting, and Other News

Here’s what happened, which is a lot worse than the “shithole” comment, per the Washington Post:

When President Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard J. Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, he expressed pleasure with Durbin’s outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat’s efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.

The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his onetime foe turned ally, was on board, which Durbin affirmed. Trump invited the lawmakers to visit with him at noon, the people familiar with the call said.

But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of the meeting.

Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “shithole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.

What seems to have happened is that the anti-immigration hardliners got wind of the bipartisan deal and swarmed to the White House to head it off, which they did.

Josh Marshall comments,

If we’re getting at least a relatively accurate version of what happened in this meeting it paints a picture of Trump as someone who is easily manipulated and tends to agree with the last person he talked to. Both are facilitated by the fact that he has little real grasp of the issues involved beyond impulsive and racialized knee-jerk reactions. Another key issue in the background is that John Kelly appears to be a pretty hard immigration hardliner all on his own and he’s let Stephen Miller, the alt-righter Trump got from Jeff Sessions, basically run things on the immigration front.

In other news, also in WaPo, the Trump Maladministration plans to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal district court injunction that is standing in the way of dismantling DACA.

In other other news, the secretary of Homeland Security revealed today that she doesn’t know DACA from doughnuts.

The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security revealed during an oversight hearing Tuesday that she didn’t know that thousands of DACA recipients had already lost their status as a result of President Donald Trump ending the program on Sept. 5. 

“No one has lost their status,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, incorrectly. “No one will lose their status until March 5 or later.” …

Estimates vary as to how many DACA recipients have so far been left out in the cold: The Hill reported on Jan. 10 that 15,000 people had lost their status since Sept. 5, citing unnamed immigration activists. Sen. Dianne Feinstein used the same number last week. According to the Center for American Progress’ running estimate, 16,166 have lost DACA status between Sept. 5 and Tuesday.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) explained the situation to Nielsen, who had earlier claimed incorrectly that only DACA recipients who had been convicted of crimes had lost their status.

See also Here’s exactly how Dick Durbin destroyed Kirstjen Nielsen’s ‘shithole’ explanation at CNN.

In more other news, Steve Bannon testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee today and didn’t say anything. He told the committee that he would not answer questions about anything that happened in the Trump campaign, transition team or White House, because the White House told him not to speak about those things.  He appears to be trying to get back into Trump’s good graces. Members of the panel issued subpoenas to compel Bannon’s testimony, the news story says.

However, the big news is that Bannon has been subpoenaed by Bob Mueller. I’m betting Mueller cracks him like an egg.

6 thoughts on “About the Shithole Meeting, and Other News

  1. Bannon?

    Crack like an egg?

    He won't crack.   He wants to talk!  Ask him what time it is, and he'll tell you (his biased, possibly uninformed opinion) of the history of timepieces.

    As for the Republicans, they may be so used to their politicians using terms like "shithole" when referring to predominantly black/brown countries, that they don't even notice when the most obviously bigoted POTUS in recent history, uses that terminology.

    And so, here our once great country, is getting "assholier" by the day.

    FSM, help us!



  2. How much is Bannon getting paid to keep quiet?  Since that is what T does every time he needs silence. 

  3. Well, on the bright side… Things are heating up and the walls are closing in for that big bag of rooster dookey in the oval office. I think Mueller's attitude toward Bannon operating under Trump's assertion of executive privilege can best be described in a famous quote by Homey the clown.

  4. The "shithole" comment was offensive, but what's significant is the Norway end of the remark.That shows the racist intent. Lots of people are racist to some degree, but Trump wants to convert his racism to policy. That's a world away from distrusting someone because they have a dark complexion. IMO, the big problem Trump has discovered with obvious racism is that it's evidence in determining religious and racial intent – and the courts are striking down the legality of some of Trump's edicts because intent is known and can be proven.

    The incident has been a gift to democrats who now have an excuse to do nothing more on immigration and shut down the government on Friday if republicans ask for anything more than Durbin offered in the deal he struck with Graham. If the GOP doesn't like that, they can do a CR without the democrats if they hang together. They won't because the Freedom Caucus is defecting.

    Polls at this time indicate voters will blame Trump and the GOP for the shutdown. Let it happen. Very simply, show how Trump promised he'd sign a deal in a very public charade and then went back on his word a day later. Democrats did negotiate in good faith with republicans and Trump went back on his word. If Trump will do what he said, the government can be funded the same day. 

    The Durbin/Graham deal IS the deal. Vote on it in Congress and put it on the President's desk or let any member who votes against it face his district in November. There's concessions in the deal I don't like, but I want dreamers protected. All-or-nothing politics has to be rejected by both sides. If we get a majority in 2018 in Congress and the presidency in 2020. we can roll back the BS. The voters will punish democrats if they won't negotiate while they are in the minority.

  5. Per Huff Post this morning, looks like Bannon plans to sing like a bird to Mueller.  I can understand why he didn't talk to Congress, since he'd basically be talking to Trump allies who already helped to toss him under the bus, and would have been more than happy to take the opportunity of him testifying before them to do it again, this time backing up over him.

    With Mueller he can sing with the "excuse" of being compelled, and let it all hang out.  And why not, since it looks as if the bridges back to the graces of the far right have been blown up by Trump and his sycophants. 

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