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Ex-GOP chairman says Trump’s base wants to terrorize immigrants: ‘That’s the whole point — they want this’

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The former Republican Party chairman said the Trump administration’s policy separating immigrant families was a cynical ploy to rally their base ahead of the midterm elections — and he’s worried it will work.

White House adviser Stephen Miller has admitted the policy was intended to turn voters against Democrats, and former GOP chairman Michael Steele told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the strategy would likely solidify President Donald Trump’s base.

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“I think it’s more the red meat that they want,” Steele said.

Some administration officials have admitted the controversial policy was intended as a deterrent to would-be immigrants, and Steele said the GOP base wanted them to fear coming to the U.S.

“I was struck by the … interview with the mother who, when asked would you do this if you knew your child would be separated, in that clip was, ‘I wouldn’t have come,'” Steele said. “That’s the whole point. They want that clip. That’s the soundbite that defines this.”

Steele said so far the policy seems to be working as Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions intended.

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“That defines who we are, so as far as the administration is concerned, this is working,” Steele said. “This is exactly right and so for the base, there’s no need to move off of this. But here’s the rub, there’s the rest of the country, and what I’m curious about is how the rest of the country outside of that 35 percent, 42 percent, whatever that number is.”

The Republican Party not that long ago defined itself as the party of family values, and Steele wondered how GOP voters would feel about this abrupt shift.

“Remember how we used to beat people up all the time on this issue about being pro-family and the fact that other policies of other administrations did not respect the family and the rights of the family to keep the family together?” he said. “Now we here in the business of tearing that piece of paper up and writing a new contract that says something very different about the kind of America we are.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump officials abruptly call off Midwest agriculture tour amid rising tensions with farmers

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President Donald Trump's officials were abruptly told to end their agricultural tour in the Midwest this week as tensions among farmers continue to rise.

Bloomberg News reported Trump administration officials were visiting farmers in the Midwest when they received a credible threat that prompted them to end their tour. The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour was taking a look at soybeans and corn with Department of Agriculture staff when they were forced to pull out of the area.

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Anti-LGBT group: Straight man who spied on women’s dressing rooms is proof we need anti-trans bathroom laws

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A Pennsylvania man was arrested last month for drilling holes in the women's dressing rooms of a Target store with the intention of spying, The Mercury reports. Sean Christopher Anderson, 41, was initially charged with criminal mischief and possessing an instrument of crime, but had his charges upgraded this Monday to invasion of privacy and possessing child pornography.

Now, the right-wing Christian group American Family Association is trying to use his case as proof of the urgency of their boycott campaigns targeting Target's gender-neutral bathrooms, but as LGBTQ Nation points out, Anderson is a straight cisgender man.

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