President Donald Trump believed that ripping apart immigrant families and jailing babies would be a winning political issue for him, but instead the horrific policy blew up in his face.
Jonathan Lemire, the White House correspondent for the Associated Press, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump enacted the policy — which he later blamed on Democrats — to intentionally ignite another political firestorm.
“In our reporting, he was telling people around him that he thought this would be a good cultural war, kind of victory here, akin to the NFL players kneeling for the national anthem,” Lemire said.
The president and attorney general Jeff Sessions admitted they hoped the detained children would force Democrats to agree to fund a border wall, along with other Trump immigration priorities, but instead he signed an executive order to end the separations.
“We had days of the president saying this couldn’t be done this way, that he would say, incorrectly, that it couldn’t be done by executive order, that it had to by Congress,” Lemire said. “It seemed like the White House was trying to pressure Capitol Hill so they would come up with some sort of solution so the president was not seen as having to reverse himself on this.”
“Eventually he did cave to public pressure, and as much as the White House is trying to spin this as, this is sort of a benevolent act that Trump is ending what Obama started, and of course that’s incorrect,” he added. “This is something they changed.”
Trump continued stoking anti-immigrant fervor during a campaign rally hours after signing the order, which he basically ignored.
“I think it’s very striking last night at that rally in Minnesota how he makes barely a mention of this executive order which reverses the policy,” Lemire said, “and instead spends so much of that rally really hammering home his very tough, hardline immigration stances, as if he sort of proving that his bona fides on that issue, the issue that he thinks got him the White House, the issue why he was willing to have this fight in the first place.”
Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight
A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."
It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.
The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.
The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.
Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank
Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.
The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.
Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.
Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.
Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns
Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.
In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.
The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.
"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."