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Trump claims he needs money for ‘border security’ crisis — but he already has billions still unspent

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President Donald Trump has spent the past five days of the government shutdown holding federal workers hostage until Democrats meet his $5 billion ransom over a wall. But there’s one major problem with his latest budget showdown.

Trump’s cadre of cable news shills argue that Democrats have already funded his “wall” in previous votes. Conservative Steve Cortes claimed Democrats supported “border security” this year and last year in budget bills. The reason they’re not doing so now, according to Cortes, is that it’s Trump’s wall isn’t President Barack Obama’s idea.

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While the talking point sounds like it was an idea some communications intern thought was “genius,” it puts Trump in an awkward predicament. If Democrats already funded Trump’s “border security” in previous years, why does Trump need more money now?

Closer examination reveals the Democrats supported funding of border security in the previous spending bill and it even included $1.6 billion for a border fence. At that time, Trump was demanding $25 billion for his concrete wall. But the president hasn’t even used the money he got this year.

“We’re absolutely willing to fund border security,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“The American people want us to spend money in a smart way,” he continued. “Five billion dollars is a lot of money … to spend it on a 4th-century strategy rather than on stuff that actually improves border security — it’s something that we’re just not going to do …. Border security all the way. In fact, again, the president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security and he’s not using it.”

Merkley explained that Trump is “sitting on” over $1 billion and he’s only spent six percent of it.

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Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the same observation, suggesting the president use the money he’s got first.

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Meanwhile, 59 percent of Americans don’t want to fund Trump’s wall, a CBS poll found. Trump has claimed until very recently that Americans would not foot the bill for his project.

“Mexico will pay for it, believe me,” Trump told Americans. “It’s so easy. Just rely on me.”

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It begs the question: if the president truly wanted to secure the border, why isn’t he spending the money he has to do it? It could be that Trump and the GOP don’t actually want border security and instead want to stage a fight with the new Democratic Congress to see if they’ll cave.


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‘Hit her! Hit her!’ Indianapolis cops batter black protester with batons and pepper bullets

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Indianapolis police officers are under investigation for beating a black woman with batons and shooting her at close range with pepper balls during protests against police brutality.

In a widely circulated video clip, officers can be seen repeatedly battering the woman with batons and firing less-lethal weapons as she stands still Sunday afternoon at the corner of North Pennsylvania and East Washington streets, reported the Indianapolis Star.

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Cheerleader barred from the University of Tennessee after racist Snapchat post surfaces

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A prospective incoming freshman to the University of Tennessee and member of the cheer-leading team has been informed that she will no longer be allowed to attend the university, thank to racist comments she made on social media, WVLT reports.

"On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending the university this fall," a tweet from the University read.

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Bill Barr has an army of over 132,000 federal law officers at his fingertips to snuff out protests: report

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In a deep dive into how Attorney General Bill Barr took control of policing earlier in the week at Lafayette Park so that Donald Trump could have a photo-op in front of historic St. John’s Church, Politico reports that the Justice Department has a veritable army of civilian law officers at the AG's disposal should he wish to quell any more protests.

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