Trump Works To Keep His Messaging On Track After A Rough Couple Of Days

Tree Of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh


He’ll Visit Pittsburgh Today, On The Day Most Of The People Killed In The Synagogue Shooting Are To Be Buried


Trump has spoken out strongly against anti-Semitism since the Saturday shooting. The President’s also sent his minions out to emphasize his support of Israel. (Even though the shooting really had nothing to do with Israel). At the same time, Trump on Twitter and through his Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, continues to blame the “Fake News Media” for the “division and hatred” and “anger and outrage” right now in this country, calling “CNN and others in the Fake News Business” the “true enemy of the people“, and “fraudulent”. So none of it’s on him, and his increasingly incendiary rhetoric of late especially at rallies where he really tries to whip his fans into a frenzy. (We know this not because we heard it from CNN: we actually watch them).

Based on his own comments on social media, the Pittsburgh shooter was inspired at least in part by Trump’s characterizing as invaders, a bunch of migrants from Central America who intend to seek asylum in the U.S.

Here’s a clip of Trump referring to them as “an assault on our country”, at a rally in Texas last week:


Trump acts out payoffs to caravan participants: “Does everybody know what this means?….I think the Democrats had something to do with it…”


Even so, Trump’s is sticking with that depiction. And making good on a promise he made at a really last week in Wisconsin to “just wait to see what happens over the next couple of weeks” at the Southern Border.

Because now he’s sending 5,200 U.S. troops (and 150 miles of concertina wire) there. And these are not National Guard. They are active duty soldiers. This move is unprecedented, and according to the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff, the largest deployment of active duty troops to the border since the Mexican Revolution, about 100 years ago. Which means as we’ve said before, and the President himself has said, he still thinks this issue is a “Great Midterm Issue for Republicans!

The migrant caravan is still about 900 miles away from the U.S., according to the Washington Post, and mostly on foot, meaning it’s not likely they’ll reach the border by election day. So a lot if not all of what Trump’s doing between now and then is just for show.


Concertina wire


There are huge legal issues here too. As we mentioned last week, according to current U.S. law:

“Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum….”

Although as we also said, that doesn’t mean they’ll be granted asylum.

But Trump thinks that law is stupid, to the point at which he may try to make a bold move to ignore it (and just threatening it, he hopes, will help Republicans prevail in the midterms). So his characterization of the Central American migrants as “invaders” may be more than just rhetoric: he may need to in order to have any chance of prevailing in court should he take that route. Because the Constitution (Article 1, Section 9) is very firm on the right for people not to be detained without just cause except when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it“. As University of Texas Law Professor Steve Vladeck asks in a Tweet: “How in the heck could ‘public safety’ require eliminating judicial review of immigration detention? Because _review_ is the threat?”

Will these kinds of dramatic maneuvers help Trump reignite the enthusiasm of his supporters and Republicans in general? Or is it hubris pure and simple?