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Acting DHS secretary quitting after Kelly berated her for not expelling Honduran refugees: report

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Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke reportedly plans to resign in protest over pressure from White House officials to expel tens of thousands of citizens of Honduras who are staying in the United States under protected status.

The Washington Post reports that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Duke into his office this week to pressure her to expel Hondurans who came to the United States as hurricane refugees.

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“Duke refused to reverse her decision and was angered by what she felt was a politically driven intrusion by Kelly and Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser, who also called her about the matter,” the Post’s sources claim.

The publication’s sources also say that Duke “has informed Kelly she plans to resign” in the wake of this week’s incident.

Duke announced Monday that she was terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaraguan refugees who fled to the United States after Hurricane Mitch. But she made no determination regarding Hondurans, automatically granting them a six month extension.

Although Kelly told Duke that she was responsible for making the final decision on extending the refugees’ residency permits, Duke still felt that it was an inappropriate intrusion into her work.

“They put massive pressure on her,” one administration official, who was familiar with the interactions between Duke and White House officials, told the Post.

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Duke had wanted to proceed carefully with the case, as the Honduran refugees in question have now lived in the United States for two decades now.


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Trump aide told investigators Paul Manafort began spreading Ukraine conspiracy theories as soon as DNC server hack was revealed

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On Friday, a new batch of documents recording the interviews former special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors held with aides to President Donald Trump was released, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News.

One of the revelations in the interviews with Rick Gates, who served as an aide to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was that Manafort began pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine at the same time that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee became publicly known.

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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

Biden was interviewed by Craig Melvin, who noted the protests tearing apart cities and asked where he would start if elected president.

"I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be decent," Biden answered. "Our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice."

"Look, the words of a president matter -- no matter how good or bad that president is," he explained. "A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make it rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter."

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South Carolina Republicans gather for an ‘active rejection’ of social distancing measures: report

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On Friday, The New York Times reported on a gathering of Republicans in Conway, South Carolina that appeared to be an "active rejection" of social distancing measures and other public health guidelines.

"The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio," wrote Astead Herndon. "Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks."

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