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Trump defunded $10 million from FEMA ‘response and recovery’ to spend on ICE detentions — just before hurricane season

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Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released a set of documents proving that President Donald Trump has slashed funding to FEMA so that he can do more deportations under the US Customs and Border Protection.

An entire column of funding has been slashed for FEMA, according to Merkley’s documents, totally $10 million.

According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson didn’t dispute the authenticity of the document.

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“Instead, [they] told us that the money didn’t come from any of our disaster response and recovery efforts, but again, it appears that it did come from FEMA,” Maddow reported.

According to the documents, however, the money comes from “response and recovery.”

“It means that just as hurricane season is starting because it generally starts June 1, the administration is working hard to find funds for additional detention camps, and of course this is all part of the child separation policy,” Merkley told Maddow. “And that’s how this information came into my hands, because of my work on this issue of trying to stop the child separations.”

He said that knowing what happened last year, the last thing Trump should be doing is taking money from FEMA.

“Then look what we’ve had since, a hurricane just barely missed Hawaii,” he continued. “A tropical storm that almost became a hurricane hit Mississippi, and now we have this hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas. I find it extraordinary. And by the way, Rachel, the chart you put up is the same chart I have in my hand right here. It says that money came from response and recovery right on it. So I would dispute the statement that this has no bearing on addressing the challenges from hurricanes.”

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“Senator, let me ask you one sort of technical question here, but one that may be important to the future of what happens next now that you have exposed this document,” Maddow said. “Are there potential legal issues here? I know there is some flexibility in budgeting and that’s sort of baked into the way the government runs. But is there a legal problem here of Congress specifically appropriated homeland security funds instructing the administration on how to spend money in this area, and then the administration ignored those instructions and decided to spend this money on something else?”

He said that the administration has the ability fo move this amount of funds, but that they must do a report to Congress about it. If the amount is over $5 million they have to tell the chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee. In this case, it would fall under the Homeland Security Subcommittee and the chair (in this case Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)) must sign off.

Watch the interview with Merkley below:

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Sailors warned against ‘posting negative comments’ after Trump’s acting Navy secretary was trashed online

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On Monday, Military Times reporter Geoff Ziezulewicz obtained a message sent by PR officials to Navy officers on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, instructing them to have sailors take down social media recordings of Navy Secretary Thomas Modly attacking relieved Capt. Brett Crozier as "stupid."

The message warned "posting negative comments" that put "senior leaders" in a bad light is counterproductive, and urges everyone to stay out of the "negative media spotlight."

Read the message below:

NEW: public affairs folks sent this notice out to leadership on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, telling them to tell their sailors they didn’t have permission to record SECNAV Modly and that bashing “Senior Leaders” online won’t help anything. Stay out the “negative media spotlight” pic.twitter.com/xuFlQGK6rF

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Trump’s health officials privately grumbling about his obsession with unproven anti-malaria drug for COVID-19: report

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On Monday, Politico reported that some health officials in the Trump administration are privately "unsettled" by the president's ongoing fascination with hydroxychloroquine, the drug primarily used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis that is now being suggested as a treatment for the novel coronavirus.

The president has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible miracle cure, and has even suggested he might start taking it himself, even though his tests for COVID-19 have been reported as negative and even though there's a lack of data that it is safe or effective for that purpose.

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Wisconsin GOP slammed for making people choose between their health and their vote

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After Republicans nationally and in Wisconsin successfully sued in both state and federal court to block voters from being given extra time and options to cast votes in the middle of a pandemic, commenters on social media reacted with fury.

What just happened re: Wisconsin can seem a bit confusing. The TL;DR: The Supreme Court decided that Republicans winning elections is more important than keeping voters healthy & alive.

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