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Showing posts with label Peter Baker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Baker. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Regulate This You Fraud !!! Trump On a Rampage & Goes Haywire After He Gets His Hands Slapped !! Too Bad You Asshole Trump. UPDATE 05/28: New York Times Covers Trump's Latest Power Move...Yep The Cretan Did It - Signs Draft Executive Order Against Twitter, Facebook, Google etal

The "normal" blog with the death count is coming up I am once again running behind, but first this:


 ~ From CNN:

Trump Threatens To 'Regulate' Social Media Platforms. His Options May Be Limited 
by, Brian Fung

" President Donald Trump threatened to "regulate" or even "close" down social media platforms in a series of tweets over the last day after Twitter added a fact-check label to some of his posts. But Trump's options for cracking down on Twitter and other platforms over how they moderate their platforms are somewhat limited, legal experts say.

The options at Trump's disposal could range from pushing for new legislation to pressuring US regulators to sue the companies, none of which are guaranteed to accomplish what the president is threatening to do.

The most "obvious" course of action would be for Trump to seek changes to the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech platforms from legal liability for a wide range of online content, according to Andrew Schwartzman, senior counselor at the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society.

There has been an ongoing push, led by the Justice Department and Republicans in Congress, to do just that. But changing the law would require building broad consensus in a deadlocked Congress. The Trump administration could not go it alone. And a new law that specifies how tech companies must police their platforms could raise questions about the law's constitutionality.

"This is just another example of Trump thinking that the Constitution makes him a king, but it doesn't," said David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former senior Federal Trade Commission official.

Trump could pressure agencies such as the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission to take action against social media companies. But the agencies have previously resisted efforts by the White House to transform them into arbiters of political speech, with officials privately voicing opposition to a draft executive order that experts at the time said tested the limits of agency jurisdiction.

The FCC regulates phone and broadband infrastructure, said Schwartzman, and lacks much jurisdiction over Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) in the first place.

" I do think although [FCC Chairman Ajit] Pai has a good relationship with the president, and they have partnered on some things, I think he is still maintaining his independence," added one telecom industry official, speaking from his experience interacting regularly with the agency.

Schwartzman said one way Trump could seek to "harass" social media companies would be to pressure the FCC to deny those companies licenses for unrelated experiments involving satellite internet or wireless spectrum. (Google and Facebook have both tinkered with beaming high-speed internet to consumers from drones, balloons or even from space.) But those types of actions would not substantially affect the companies' core businesses.

Meanwhile, the FTC is already scrutinizing the tech industry over antitrust concerns. Last year, Facebook disclosed that it is under active antitrust investigation by agency officials. But antitrust cases hinge on highly technical economic analyses, are subject to judicial review and take years to play out.

Trump could try to appoint allies to the FTC who might be willing to launch still more probes, experts said, but the laws governing independent bodies such as the FTC make them harder to politicize than a cabinet agency such as the Justice Department. The FTC is composed of five commissioners who serve staggered terms, and their decisions are also subject to judicial review.

Unlike the FTC, the Justice Department is led by one person, Attorney General William Barr, making it the most likely tool for going after the social media platforms, several experts said. The Justice Department is currently conducting a wide-ranging review of the tech industry, as well as a specific antitrust investigation of Google. The agency is widely expected to wrap up its tech review this summer.

Barr has alluded to complaints of anti-conservative bias on several occasions. In December, he told an audience of state attorneys general that the Communications Decency Act "has enabled platforms to absolve themselves completely of responsibility for policing their platforms, while blocking or removing third-party speech -- including political speech -- selectively, and with impunity."

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump has considered establishing a White House commission to study allegations of conservative bias. But that only underscores the limits of Trump's direct influence on the matter.


Despite the limitations, growing tensions with the White House could still be perceived as a threat to the companies. Twitter and Facebook saw their shares dip on Wednesday on a day when the overall market was up."

~~~~~
Then, there is this:


 ~ From Politico:
By, Josh Gerstein 

"A ruling that emerged from a powerful federal appeals court in Washington on Wednesday morning is strong evidence that the courts are unlikely to be receptive to President Donald Trump’s claims that he and his political supporters are being silenced by social media platforms like Twitter.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit resoundingly rejected a lawsuit the conservative legal organization Freedom Watch and right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer filed in 2018 against four major technology companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple.

Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have banned Loomer, citing anti-Muslim statements.

The unanimous court decision from a three-judge panel runs to only four pages, but is dismissive of a wide range of legal claims some conservatives and liberals have leveled at social media firms in recent months.

The appeals court judges said that, despite the companies’ power, they cannot violate the First Amendment because it regulates only governments, not the private sector. 

“Freedom Watch’s First Amendment claim fails because it does not adequately allege that the Platforms can violate the First Amendment. In general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech,'” the court said.

“Freedom Watch contends that, because the Platforms provide an important forum for speech, they are engaged in state action. But … ‘a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.’ ... Freedom Watch fails to point to additional facts indicating that these Platforms are engaged in state action and thus fails to state a viable First Amendment claim,” the judges added.

The court decision was released as Trump mounted an intense flurry of attacks against Twitter, after the social-media messaging firm took the unprecedented step of attaching fact-checks to some of his tweets about potential fraud in vote-by-mail programs being rolled out to address the coronavirus pandemic.

“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect,” Trump complained Tuesday on that very platform.

He added in a tweet Wednesday: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

Trump’s aides have been vague about his plans, but one option reportedly under consideration is a blue-ribbon panel to examine alleged unfair treatment of conservatives by social media platforms. 

The Justice Department is also conducting an investigation into whether social-media companies’ policies raise antitrust issues. The new D.C. Circuit ruling rejected antitrust claims raised by Freedom Watch and Loomer, but doesn’t seem to preclude others bringing similar claims with different facts.

 While the appeals court designated its new decision as an unpublished “judgment” rather than the customary full opinion, it nonetheless grappled with some thorny issues, including whether a local District of Columbia anti-discrimination law applies to online businesses based elsewhere. One provision in the law prohibits "public accommodations" from discriminating on the basis of political affiliation.

The district court judge who handled the suit, Trump appointee Trevor McFadden, held that law didn’t cover the companies’ virtual, digital platforms. The notion of excluding online businesses from anti-discrimination protections so worried the District government that D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine weighed in with a friend-of-the-court brief asking the D.C. Circuit to reject that position.

But the appeals court judges — Clinton appointee Judith Rogers, George W. Bush appointee Thomas Griffith, and George H.W. Bush appointee Raymond Randolph — said a 1981 decision from another court limited the law to businesses operating in a “particular place” somewhere in Washington.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals has interpreted this statute and at minimum, its interpretation is a reasonable one. We have no basis to believe it would reach a different conclusion on reconsideration,” the D.C. Circuit judges wrote.

Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman called the decision “outrageous” and vowed to press on with the case.
“We’re going to obviously move for en banc reconsideration and go to the Supremes, if we have to,” he said.

Klayman said the timing of the decision seemed spurred by Trump lashing out against Twitter in recent days. “Obviously, it’s a very political issue. … None of those judges particularly care for Trump. It looked like they rushed the decision off their desk to make a point.”

The longtime legal gadfly blasted as “outrageous” the court’s ruling that online ventures are beyond the reach of the D.C. Human Rights Act. “D.C. law can’t just apply if you’re standing in Farragut Square,” he said.

Racine’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the appeals court decision."

~~~~~

UPDATE/edit 05/28:

Trump is so desperate, his lies are increasing and his behaviour is more repulsive than ever before. He is like a wounded wild animal just scrambling in an attempt to salvage  the end of his reign of terror. He will go down in the history books as the ultimate worst and most despised holder of the office of President of the United States .  

 ~ From the New York Times (via MSN):

Trump's Proposed Order On Social Media Could GHarm One Person In Particular: Trump 
By, Peter Baker & Daisuke Wakabayashi 

"WASHINGTON — President Trump, who built his political career on the power of a flame-throwing Twitter account, has now gone to war with Twitter, angered that it would presume to fact-check his messages. But the punishment he is threatening could force social media companies to crack down even more on customers just like Mr. Trump. 

 The draft executive order that Mr. Trump signed on Thursday seeks to strip liability protection in certain cases for companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook for the content on their sites, meaning they could face legal jeopardy if they allowed false and defamatory posts. Without a liability shield, they presumably would have to be more aggressive about policing messages that press the boundaries — like the president’s.

That, of course, is not the outcome Mr. Trump wants. What he wants is to have the freedom to post anything he likes without the companies applying any judgment to his messages, as Twitter did this week when it began appending “get the facts” warnings to some of his false posts on voter fraud. Furious at what he called “censorship” — even though his messages were not in fact deleted — Mr. Trump is wielding the proposed executive order like a club to compel the company to back down.

It may not work even as intended. Plenty of lawyers quickly said on Thursday that he was claiming power to do something he does not have by essentially revising the interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the main law passed by Congress in 1996 to lay out the rules of the road for online media. Legal experts predicted such a move would be challenged and possibly struck down by the courts.

But the logic of Mr. Trump’s order is intriguing because it attacks the very legal provision that has allowed him such latitude to publish with impunity a whole host of inflammatory, factually distorted messages that a media provider might feel compelled to take down if it was forced into the legal role of a publisher that faced the risk of legal liability rather than a distributor that does not.

“Ironically, Donald Trump is a big beneficiary of Section 230,” said Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which instantly objected to the proposed order. “If platforms were not immune under the law, then they would not risk the legal liability that could come with hosting Donald Trump’s lies, defamation and threats.”

Mr. Trump has long posted false and disparaging messages to his 80 million followers on Twitter, disregarding complaints about their accuracy or fairness. In recent weeks, he has repeatedly issued tweets that essentially falsely accused Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host, of murdering a staff member in 2001 when he was a congressman. Mr. Scarborough was 800 miles away at the time and the police found no signs of foul play. The aide’s widower asked Twitter to delete the messages, but it refused.

Mr. Trump and his allies argue that social media companies have shown bias against conservatives and need to be reined in. While they are private firms rather than the government, the president and his allies argue that they have in effect become the public square envisioned by the founders when they crafted the First Amendment and therefore should not be weighing in on one side or the other.

As a legal matter, Mr. Trump and his allies would be on stronger ground if Congress were to rewrite the law, as some Republicans like Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida are vowing to do.

“If @Twitter wants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers,” Mr. Hawley said this week on, yes, Twitter. “Fair is fair.”

 The order that Mr. Trump is considering was not finished on Thursday morning and may yet be revised before he signs it, aides cautioned. A draft version said that an online provider that “restricts access to content” in certain cases “forfeits any protection from being deemed a ‘publisher or speaker’” under the law.

The Federal Trade Commission would be directed to consider taking action against providers that “restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.”

Mr. Trump on Thursday framed his goal as combating bias. “This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” he wrote, also on Twitter.

But even some government officials said his plan was unenforceable. “This does not work,” Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission who was first appointed under President Barack Obama, said in a statement. “Social media can be frustrating. But an executive order that would turn the Federal Communications Commission into the president’s speech police is not the answer. It’s time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment. History won’t be kind to silence.”

The Communications Decency Act was passed during the dawn of the modern information age, intended at first to make it easier for online sites run by early pioneer companies like Prodigy and AOL to block pornography without running afoul of legal challenges.

By terming such sites as distributors rather than publishers, Section 230 gave them important immunity from lawsuits. Over time, the law became the guarantor of a rollicking, almost no-holds-barred internet by letting sites set rules for what is and is not allowed without being liable for everything posted by visitors, as opposed to a newspaper, which is responsible for whatever it publishes.

Since Section 230 was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the courts have repeatedly shot down challenges to get around it, invoking a broad interpretation of immunity. In recent years, the court system has been flooded with litigants claiming that social media companies blocked them or their content.

As a result, Mr. Trump may face an uphill road with his draft executive order. Daphne Keller, who teaches at Stanford Law School and has written extensively on internet law and regulation, said the order appeared to be “95 percent political rhetoric and theater that doesn’t have legal effect and is inconsistent with what the courts have said.”

However, Ms. Keller, who worked as an associate general counsel at Google for 10 years, said that even if the order did not carry legal weight, it may still be challenged because it was potentially an abuse of power that could violate the First Amendment rights of the companies.

Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School and co-director of the High Tech Law Institute there, said that the order “doesn’t stand a chance in court” but that it could do some damage until a legal challenge reached the judicial system. “Section 230 is a magnet for controversy, and this order pours fuel on the fire,” he said.

While the courts have sided with the internet companies, Congress is a different matter. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken issue with the protections afforded to social media companies, even though they disagree on why.

Republicans have accused the companies of censoring conservative voices and violating the spirit of the law that the internet should be a forum for a diversity of political discourse. Democrats have argued that the companies have not done enough to remove problematic content or police harassment.

 Jeff Kosseff, a cybersecurity law professor at the United States Naval Academy and the author of a book about the law, “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet,” said he believed that Section 230 would be repealed by Congress in the next few years. He believes that the internet of 1996, when the law was written to protect start-ups, is different now and that many of the tech firms protected under the statute are among the most valuable companies in the world.

Without Section 230, courts would be forced to apply the protections of the First Amendment to the modern internet. “We haven’t had a test of that yet,” Mr. Kosseff said, “because there was always Section 230.”

In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s proposed order may still have an impact. “I think what the order is trying to do is say a company like Twitter holds itself out to be a neutral platform, and when it is biased against conservatives, it is acting deceptively,” said Jeffrey Westling, a technology and innovation policy fellow at the R Street Institute, a public policy research organization.

Mr. Westling said the legal theory would probably be difficult to pursue. “The issue I have and I think a lot of people are starting to realize is the executive order doesn’t need to be legally enforceable to still be a threat to these companies,” he said. “The companies will likely win any challenge, but no one wants to go through litigation. It becomes a cost-benefit analysis of, ‘Is it worth it to put a fact check the next time the president puts a false tweet out there?’”

 Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Daisuke Wakabayashi from Oakland, Calif. Kate Conger contributed reporting from Oakland, and Maggie Haberman from New York."

~~~~~

Wrong guys - Trump loves lawsuits, he thrives on them. Lawsuits drive the maniac. Money is no option for him, nor are his crooked, foul and demonic attorneys.  And yes, it is worth it to"... put up a fact check the next time the president puts a false tweet out there. " In fact, Twitter should have been putting up these fact checks from the get go. Thanks, Maggie.


end edit.


~~~~~



Reminder y'all  to pay attention to Juan Gonzalez & I'm not suggesting by the video of U2 to eliminate masks or social distancing, but dang I wish I could have been there and so does Paris...sorry for the delay once again in the local updates. Isn't Trump a complete piece of shit ?


 ~ From Democracy Now! (link hit title) - BTW, hoping Juan Gonzalez is okay, we haven't heard anything; both his Mom and his wife had the virus.

Juan González: “Make No Mistake: This Country Is Edging Closer to Neo-Fascist Authoritarianism”

 ~~~~~  

1987  Wow:



Monday, June 10, 2019

Who Do You Believe - Trump Or the New York Times .....Or, Who Do You Love...? - UPDATE|EDIT 06/11: More Trump Lies So What's New? And More Videos Including A LMFAO One of Donald Trump But It's At The Very End

Just for the time being, it is all smiles from the Morena-AMLO Camp as millions of people on both sides of the border breathed a deep gasping sigh of relief with the news that the Trump threats to impose trade tariffs on Mexico failed. Presidente AMLO is being viewed as the hero of the hour, with a knock 'em out appearance here in Tijuana where tens of thousands of Mexican Nationals swooned and cheered him on for standing up to Trump and saving the dignity of Mexico. Despite the fact that many are viewing the "deal" as  capitulation to Trump's racist standards and Mexico being a willing partner to building Trump's Wall on her southern Border, as The Guardian reported,“[AMLO] doesn’t pay a political price for repressing migrants. And he may gain something of a bonus here and there,” said Federico Estévez, political science professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. “They fundamentally do not enjoy support in Mexico.” 

But wait hold on to your horses: according to The New York Times, there wasn't a "deal" - the "deal" had already been made months ago; apparently there was plenty of previous knuckling under to the Orange Madman:

 - From The New York Times:

 Mexico Agreed To Take Border Actions Months Before Trump Announced Tariff Deal
 by, Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman - 06/08/19


"WASHINGTON — The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations.

Friday’s joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the “deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.” But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said.

The centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. But that arrangement was reached in December in a pair of painstakingly negotiated diplomatic notes that the two countries exchanged. Ms. Nielsen announced the Migrant Protection Protocols during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee five days before Christmas.

And over the past week, negotiators failed to persuade Mexico to accept a “safe third country” treaty that would have given the United States the legal ability to reject asylum seekers if they had not sought refuge in Mexico first.

Mr. Trump hailed the agreement anyway on Saturday, writing on Twitter: “Everyone very excited about the new deal with Mexico!” He thanked the president of Mexico for “working so long and hard” on a plan to reduce the surge of migration into the United States.

It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new and broader concessions, or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs on Mexico, which he began threatening less than two weeks ago.

Having threatened Mexico with an escalating series of tariffs — starting at 5 percent and growing to 25 percent — the president faced enormous criticism from global leaders, business executives, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and members of his own staff that he risked disrupting a critical marketplace.

After nine days of uncertainty, Mr. Trump backed down and accepted Mexico’s promises.

Officials involved with talks said they began in earnest last Sunday, when Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, met over dinner with Mexico’s foreign minister. One senior government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the closed-door negotiations that took place over several days, insisted that the Mexicans agreed to move faster and more aggressively to deter migrants than they ever have before.

Their promise to deploy up to 6,000 national guard troops was larger than their previous pledge. And the Mexican agreement to accelerate the Migrant Protection Protocols could help reduce what Mr. Trump calls “catch and release” of migrants in the United States by giving the country a greater ability to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico.

 

But there remains deep skepticism among some American officials — and even Mr. Trump himself — about whether the Mexicans have agreed to do enough, whether they will follow through on their promises, and whether, even if they do, that will reduce the flow of migrants at the southwestern border.

 

In addition, the Migrant Protection Protocols already face legal challenges by immigrant rights groups who say they violate the migrants’ right to lawyers. A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from implementing the plan, but an appeals court later said it could move forward while the legal challenge proceeds.

 

During a phone call Friday evening when he was briefed on the agreement, Mr. Trump quizzed his lawyers, diplomats and immigration officials about whether they thought the deal would work. His aides said yes, but admitted that they were also realistic that the surge of immigration might continue.

 

“We’ll see if it works,” the president told them, approving the deal before sending out his tweet announcing it.

 

On Saturday, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, said the government looked forward to reducing illegal immigration and making the border “strong and secure” by working with Mexico to fulfill the agreement.

 

Mr. Trump’s decision to use trade as a bludgeon against Mexico was driven in part by his obsession with stopping what he falsely calls an invasion of the country and in part by a desire to satisfy his core supporters, many of who have grown angry at his inability to build his promised border wall.

 

Many of his top advisers, including those who oversee his political and economic agendas, were opposed to the tariff threat. But the president’s ire is regularly stoked by the daily reports he receives on how many migrants have crossed the border in the previous 24 hours.

 

Mr. Trump’s top immigration officials had repeatedly warned the president that results from their work to curb the flow of migrants might not be evident until July, and urged patience.

 

But that effort became more difficult in May, when the numbers spiked to the highest levels of his presidency. During the week of May 24, 5,800 migrants — the highest ever for one day — crossed on a single day. That was quickly followed by a group of 1,036 migrants who were caught on surveillance cameras crossing the border en masse.

 

Mr. Trump later tweeted out the video, and the tariff threat soon followed.

 

Throughout the week’s negotiations, officials on both sides worried about what Mr. Trump would be willing to accept in exchange for pulling back on his tariff threat. That question hung over the talks, which were led one day by Vice President Mike Pence and included Mr. Pompeo and Mr. McAleenan.

 

Mexican officials opened the negotiations with the offer to deploy their new national guard troops against migrants, using a PowerPoint presentation to show their American counterparts that doing so would be a breakthrough in their ability to stop migrants from flowing north through Mexico, often in buses.

In fact, Mexican officials had already made the same promise months earlier when Ms Nielsen met in Miami with Ms. Sanchez and aides to Marcelo Ebrard, the Mexican foreign minister. The purpose of the meeting, according to people familiar with it, was to press the Mexicans to act faster.

Ms. Sanchez also told Ms. Nielsen that the Mexican government’s new national guard, which had been created just a month earlier to combat drugs and crime, would be redirected to the border with Guatemala, the entry point for most of the Central American migrants.

At the time, Ms. Nielsen and the other American negotiators referred to the Mexican promise as the “third border” plan because the Mexicans proposed creating a line of troops around the southern part of their country to keep migrants from moving north.

Mexicans had begun to follow the plan, but not quickly enough for the Trump administration, which said that only about 1,000 Mexican national guard troops were in place by May.

Friday’s agreement with Mexico states that the two countries “will immediately expand” the Migrant Protection Protocols across the entire southern border. To date, migrants have been returned at only three of the busiest ports of entry.

But officials familiar with the program said Saturday that the arrangement struck by the two countries last December always envisioned that it would expand along the entire border. What kept that from happening, they said, was the commitment of resources by both countries.

In the United States, migrants must see immigration judges before they can be sent to wait in Mexico, and a shortage of judges slowed the process. The Mexican government also dragged its feet on providing the shelter, health care, job benefits and basic care that would allow the United States to send the migrants over.


The new deal reiterates that Mexico will provide the “jobs, health care and education” needed to allow the program to expand. But the speed with which the United States can send more migrants to wait in Mexico will still depend on how quickly the government follows through on that promise.


Perhaps the clearest indication that both sides recognize that the deal might prove insufficient is contained in a section of Friday’s agreement titled “Further Action.”

One official familiar with the negotiations said the section was intended to be a serious warning to the Mexican government that Mr. Trump would be paying close attention to the daily reports he received about the number of migrants crossing the border. The official said that if the numbers failed to change — quickly — the president’s anger would bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

“The tariff threat is not gone,” the official said. “It’s suspended.”


~~~~~ 

Thank You, New York Times.  Since that report, Trump has blasted the NYTimes as "fake news"....but wait, there's even more...check it out:

 - From The New York Times:

by, Peter Baker - 06/09/19 

 "WASHINGTON — President Trump asserted on Sunday that there were secret, undisclosed elements to his new immigration agreement with Mexico as he sought to deflect criticism that he achieved less than he had claimed with his threat to impose punitive tariffs.

Mr. Trump insisted that Mexico had agreed to take significant actions to stem the flow of migrants at the border with the United States that it had not previously taken and that some of them had yet to be revealed. But he vowed to revive his plan to place tariffs on imports if Mexico does not follow through.

“We have been trying to get some of these Border Actions for a long time, as have other administrations, but were not able to get them, or get them in full, until our signed agreement with Mexico,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Importantly, some things not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon. That will be announced at the appropriate time.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets came as he assailed The New York Times over a report that the deal that he announced with such fanfare on Friday night consisted largely of actions that Mexico had previously agreed to take in prior discussions. “Another false report in the Failing @nytimes,” Mr. Trump wrote.

The Times issued a statement standing by its article. “We are confident in our reporting, and as with so many other occasions, our stories stand up over time and the president’s denials of them do not,” the statement said.

The idea that the agreement included secret provisions could once again roil relations between the two countries, which have been fraught since Mr. Trump took office. Angry that the number of apprehensions at the border has soared to the highest level in 13 years, Mr. Trump threatened at the end of May to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports starting on Monday and escalating up to 25 percent. He called off the tariffs on Friday night after securing the agreement by Mexico to do more to stop the flow.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico was already under pressure at home not to cave in to what critics called the bullying tactics of a bombastic American leader. As it was, some critics were accusing him of building Mr. Trump’s border wall but on Mexico’s own southern border with its own troops. The suggestion that Mr. López Obrador made additional concessions that have not been disclosed could increase domestic pressure on his government.

Mr. Trump did not elaborate on what secret provisions he was referring to, and the White House did not respond to requests for clarification on Sunday. He may have been hinting at a “safe third country” treaty that the administration has long sought but failed to secure with Mexico.

Under such a treaty, migrants entering Mexico would have to apply for asylum there. The United States would then have the legal ability to reject asylum seekers who tried to enter the country if they had not sought refuge in Mexico first.

But officials from both countries said the two sides reached no commitment on such a treaty, and they said the provisions that were included in the deal were essentially reaffirmations of actions Mexico had already agreed to in previous discussions. American officials argued privately that the value of the agreement may be greater dedication by Mexico to actually follow through on such commitments to avoid another threat of tariffs by Mr. Trump.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said the agreement did advance Mexico’s commitment to fighting border crossings beyond previous discussions, citing in particular a promise to deploy a newly formed national guard to its own southern border as well as elsewhere in the country.

“All of it is new,” Mr. McAleenan said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I mean, we’ve heard commitments before from Mexico to do more on their southern border. The last time they deployed down there is about four or five hundred officers. This is more than a tenfold commitment to increase their security in Chiapas. That’s where people are entering from Guatemala and southern Mexico.”

Mr. McAleenan did not explain Mr. Trump’s tweets except to say that the two countries would continue to talk about what they could do to combat illegal immigration. “There are going to be further actions, further dialogue with Mexico in immigration, on how to manage the asylum flow in the region,” he said.

While critics questioned the value of the deal after Mr. Trump called off the new tariffs, Mr. McAleenan said the threat made a difference. “People can disagree with the tactics,” he said. “Mexico came to the table with real proposals.”

But the two sides offered divergent descriptions of what would count as success. Mr. McAleenan said Mexico’s actions had to result in “a vast reduction in those numbers” of people crossing the border, which reached a 13-year high in May. But Mexico’s ambassador said the goal was to have the numbers “go down like to previous levels that we had maybe last year or in 2018.”

Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui said Mexico had already been deploying its national guard but would increase it starting on Monday. She described the agreement as less concrete and more of a start to a more precise accord.


“It’s a joint declaration of principles, which is the base that gives us the base for the road map that we have to follow in the incoming months on immigration and cooperation on asylum issues and development in Central America,” she said on “Face the Nation” on CBS.





She suggested there could be elements that had yet to be publicly disclosed. “I think there are a lot of the details that we discussed during the negotiations and during the conversations that we didn’t put in the declaration because this is different — different paths that we are to follow,” she said.

The president’s opposition said Mr. Trump had little credibility in claiming a great victory. “In February, @realDonaldTrump declared a bogus emergency to build a wall he said will ‘solve’ immigration,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, wrote on Twitter. “Then he made a bogus tariff threat even GOP in Congress rejected Now he claims a bogus ‘deal’ Mexico volunteered to do months ago Common thread? All bogus.”


In his own tweets on Sunday, Mr. Trump threatened to turn to tariffs again if Mexico did not live up to the agreement and reduce the flow of migrants at the border. He also attacked The Times and CNN for their reporting on the agreement. “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail!” he wrote. “They are truly The Enemy of the People!”
In its statement, The Times responded that “calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”

Undaunted, Mr. Trump repeated his claim in another tweet on Sunday evening: “The Failing @nytimes story on Mexico and Illegal Immigration through our Southern Border has now been proven shockingly false and untrue, bad reporting, and the paper is embarrassed by it. The only problem is that they knew it was Fake News before it went out. Corrupt Media!”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied stories in The Times that were later confirmed as true. Just last week, he assailed The Times and CNN for reporting that he called Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, “nasty” despite a recording where he was clearly heard using the word.

 Last year, he posted on Twitter a distorted version of a meeting he had with A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times.

Most notably, he tried to get his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, to draft a memo falsely denying a Times report that the president had told him to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, according to the report by Mr. Mueller.

Follow Peter Baker on Twitter: @peterbakernyt.


~~~~~~~~

Thank You uno mas tiempo New York Times.  So, last night I asked Mike, "Who do you believe, Trump or the New York Times? "  He answered: "Anyone who believes Trump is a fucking idiot." It is fair to say and being the nasty woman that I am, we're going with the Times. (;

 - Update/Edit 06/11:  More Trump Lies - so what's new?  Oh, guess what no secret Immigration Deal Exists ! No special BS Agriculture deal exists !!

- From MSN/The New York Times

No Secret Immigration Deal Exists With U.S., Mexico's Foreign Minister Says 
by, Micheal D. Shear and Maggie Haberman

" WASHINGTON — The Mexican foreign minister said Monday that no secret immigration deal existed between his country and the United States, directly contradicting President Trump’s claim on Twitter that a “fully signed and documented” agreement would soon be revealed.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s top diplomat, said at a news conference in Mexico City that there was an understanding that both sides would evaluate the flow of migrants in the coming months. If the number of migrants crossing the United States border is not significantly reduced, he said, both sides have agreed to renew discussions about more aggressive changes to regional asylum rules that could have a bigger effect.

“Let’s have a deadline to see if what we have works, and if not, then we will sit down and look at the measures you propose and those that we propose,” Mr. Ebrard said, describing the understanding reached by negotiators last week.

The public statement served as an official response to several days of tweeting by Mr. Trump, who has reacted angrily to the suggestion that he withdrew his threat of tariffs on all Mexican goods in exchange for a weak deal on immigration.

Mr. Trump has insisted that the agreement reached with Mexico on Friday evening is a strong one, rejecting criticism that it largely called upon the Mexicans to take actions to reduce the flow of immigration that they had already agreed to months earlier.

In a Twitter post on Monday morning, he said, “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!”

American officials said Monday that what Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to was the agreement in principle to revisit the migration situation, and they said it gave the United States strong leverage over Mexico to live up to its promises. The numbers will be reviewed in 45 days and again in 90 days, officials said.

The “U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration” that Mr. Trump announced with fanfare on Friday did include a mention of possible “further action.” It said the two countries agreed to “continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.”

One idea that Washington has proposed for years is a “safe third country” arrangement in which migrants who flee persecution in Central American countries would first have to apply for asylum in Mexico. Those who do not could be turned away if they seek refuge in the United States. Mexico has long opposed the idea.

 But there appeared to be a significant disagreement on Monday between the Mexican government and American officials about what the negotiators actually agreed to regarding further action and the possibility of implementing a “safe third country” arrangement.

Administration officials characterized the Mexicans as having all but agreed to asylum changes that would effectively mimic the benefits of “safe third country” as long as it was done regionally, including countries like Guatemala.

Mr. Trump did not specifically mention the idea, but said Monday that “we have an agreement on something they will announce very soon. It’s all done.”

But that was not the understanding described by Mr. Ebrard at his Monday news conference. He told reporters only that Mexican officials would discuss changing asylum rules if the flow of migrants was not substantially reduced in the next several months.

“They will propose safe third country,” Mr. Ebrard said, describing what he expects would be the United States position in any future discussions. “We said it will have to be with the U.N.H.C.R., it will have to be regional,” he said, referring to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Ebrard said Mexico preferred a regional asylum agreement that would review the flow of migrants across Mexico and Central America, with a number of countries, including Panama and Brazil.

But Mr. Ebrard said any agreement on the asylum changes would have to be negotiated and then approved by the Mexican Senate before it could go into effect. He said the agreement announced Friday effectively delayed that discussion, giving Mexico time to prove to Mr. Trump that it would help reduce the flow of immigration that has so infuriated him since the beginning of his presidency.

Mr. Ebrard also denied that there was an agreement reached on Mexico purchasing additional agricultural goods from the United States, rejecting a claim Mr. Trump made twice on Twitter.

The deal Mr. Trump announced on Friday included two main provisions that he said would slash the number of immigrants flowing into the United States.

One of those was a promise by the Mexicans to deploy their newly constituted national guard to the border with Guatemala. Mexico had agreed to do that in March, but officials said the Mexican government agreed to send more troops more quickly last week.

The other provision in Friday’s agreement was an expansion of a plan to allow the United States to force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal case proceeds. The declaration said that “this means that those crossing the U.S. southern border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico, where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims.”

A person close to Mr. Trump said Monday that the new agreement was broader than a deal called the Migrant Protection Protocols, which the United States reached with Mexico in December, arguing that the older deal was merely a pilot program at three ports of entry.

But that is not the way Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary at the time, described that deal when she announced it at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Dec. 20.

“Today, I am announcing historic measures to bring the situation under control,” Ms. Nielsen said, telling lawmakers that under the agreement, the United States had the authority to send asylum seekers to Mexico to wait while their cases are processed.

“I cannot overstate the significance of these developments. We are taking lawful, unilateral action to stop illegal entry now,” Ms. Nielsen said at the hearing. “Our two countries have committed to a major regional plan to solve this crisis.”

In a four-page “ACTION” memo to her top deputies on Jan. 25, Ms. Nielsen directed the Border Patrol and other agencies to implement the agreement. She did not describe it as a pilot program and made no mention of any limitations on where asylum seekers could be made to wait in Mexico.

[Read Kirstjen Nielsen’s January memo.]

That same month, Mexican officials said publicly that they had agreed to begin taking some asylum seekers at the Tijuana crossing from the United States, leaving it ambiguous about how quickly the program would expand to other parts of the border.

The program’s speed soon became a source of tension between the two countries, with American officials demanding to move more quickly and the Mexican government arguing that it was not ready for such an acceleration. 

A federal judge in the United States briefly made the disagreement moot when he suspended the program after it briefly went into effect. But after an appeals court reversed that order at the beginning of May, the United States began quickly forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. 

There are about 10,000 migrants waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases to be processed. But with 144,000 migrants crossing the southern border illegally or without documentation in May alone, the program has been overwhelmed.

In a brief news conference on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that the new agreement with Mexico was more substantial than the one Ms. Nielsen negotiated. 

“The scale, the effort, the commitment here is very different from what we were able to achieve back in December,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters. “It’s a fundamentally different commitment about doing this across the entire border at scale.”

Asked about whether there were any other agreements with Mexico that had not been revealed, Mr. Pompeo said: “There were a number of commitments made. I can’t go into them in detail here.”

Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Edward Wong contributed reporting from Washington, and Elisabeth Malkin and Kirk Semple from Mexico City.
 
~~~~~


Finally stay tuned to The Intercept's coverage of.....

The War On Immigrants

Of course...

Democracy Now !


 ~ Added bonus to the Update/Edit, more videos !  So one of my neighbors told me he had a really cool video of Bo Diddley and one of Trump which should put a smile on your face I hope... won't be back for a few days.....let's face it, if I blogged all the Trump lies I would be down here forever and really not have a life, so I'll probably miss some (I mean a lot) but will return with the local drug war events as promised.

end edit


Bonus Videos From One Of My Neighbors ! ~~~~~ LMFAO !!