cabinet

Democrats Blast Nielsen’s Family Separation ‘Lie’ as Outrage Intensifies
DHS secretary says ‘we do not have a policy of separating families at the border’

U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of Central American asylum-seekers into custody last week near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Democrats in Congress accused Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of lying amid intensifying outrage over a Trump administration policy requiring border agents to separate migrant children from their parents.

Several members of Congress called Nielsen out after she tweeted Sunday evening “we do not have a policy of separating families at the border.”

Trump Warns U.S. Could Follow Path of Germany on Immigration
President wants to meet with members of both parties on matter, spokesman says

President Donald Trump on Monday used Germany's immigration problems to defend his own hardline policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:05 a.m. President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to defend his administration’s policy of separating migrant families by warning that Germany’s and Europe’s immigration issues could be replicated here.

He used several tweets Monday morning to blast not only German and European immigration laws, but also Democratic lawmakers. The GOP president claimed anew that the opposition party is withholding the votes needed to pass a sweeping immigration overhaul measure that would address a list of unresolved matters.

Vague Pact Signed, Trump Sees ‘Arduous’ Process Ahead With North Korea
Trump shifts view of Kim, calling him ‘worthy negotiator’ and ‘very talented’

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talk during their signing ceremony during their meeting in Singapore on Tuesday. (Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a nuclear agreement Tuesday that is as sweeping as it is vague, with the U.S. commander in chief saying it merely kicks off an “arduous” process to potentially disarm the North.

Trump bemoaned the notion that he and U.S. officials gave up a raft of concessions to Kim even before the two leaders shook hands around 9 a.m. local time in Singapore. But he announced that part of the accord includes the United States ending its joint military exercises with South Korea, which Trump called too “provocative.”

Justice Department Raises Burden of Proof for Asylum Seekers
DOJ has struggled to reduce backlog of more than 700,000 cases

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, here on the Hill in April, says the United States cannot make individual asylum judgments based on unsafe conditions in a given country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced new limits on an individual’s ability to seek asylum in the United States, a decision likely to affect thousands of Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in the hopes of gaining refuge.

The decision by Sessions comes after months of deliberation over whether victims of domestic violence and other private criminal activity — as opposed to state-sponsored crime — qualify to receive asylum. Thousands of asylum-seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have made such claims in recent years as they arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Analysis: Trump Wanted a Fight. He Found One — With His Allies
Lawmakers are split over president’s tough-love approach for Europe, Canada

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron had a warm state visit in April. But since, relations have soured after Trump slapped  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was looking for a brawl with some of America’s closest allies Thursday morning. By evening, he had found — no, provoked — one. And lawmakers are split on his tough-love approach.

“Fight.”

White House Would Seek Congressional Approval Of N. Korea Deal
Trump has been preparing for ‘months and months,’ Pompeo says

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has “personally” assured him he intends to give up his nuclear weapons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trump administration officials intend to ask Congress to approve any nuclear deal President Donald Trump might strike with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says has vowed to give up his nuclear arsenal.

Pompeo told reporters at the White House Thursday the administration would submit a “document” to Congress for their review and possible approval. The idea is to give Kim confidence that a possible nuclear accord would be honored when the next U.S. administration takes over in 2021 or 2025.

Trump Heads to G-7 Isolated by Tariffs, Estranged From Allies
‘There is a growing frustration,’ Ways and Means Chairman Brady says

One analyst says this weekend’s G7 summit will be more like a “G6+1,” with President Donald Trump isolated from other leaders, angry over his steel and aluminum tariffs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will arrive Friday at a G-7 meeting in Canada, with no specific goals for the summit and under fire from Republican lawmakers and the very world leaders with whom he will spend the weekend.

The U.S. leader’s steel and aluminum tariffs have upset other heads of state and caused many to retaliate with their own proposed fees on U.S. goods such as bourbon and cheese. Among the agitated leaders are those from G-7 countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. But before the president hears new pleas from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May to drop the tariffs, he is getting an earful from members of his own party.

Conway: Trump to Target Red-State Dems Like Donnelly, Tester
White House counselor acknowledges president's ‘friends’ influence his decisions

White House counseor Kellyanne Conway speaks during a breakfast event with reporters Wednesday morning. (Photo provided by The Monitor)

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday said Donald Trump plans to target vulnerable red-state Democrats as the midterm election campaign heats up and denied the president is “serially untruthful.”

She also disagreed with former Speaker John A. Boehner’s stance that the Republican Party is “taking a nap” that allowed Trump to take control of it, predicted more West Wing staff upheaval and offered a window into efforts to plug a series of leaks during a breakfast event with reporters. Conway insisted the president is busily preparing for his summit with his North Korean counterpart, but struggled to provide specifics on that preparation.

CMS Launches New System to Measure State Medicaid Performance
Scorecards will initially focus heavily on metrics that states already voluntarily report

CMS Administrator Seema Verma, here at her February 2017 confirmation hearing, says existing data collection and reporting efforts for states “have been inconsistent at best.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal health officials on Monday unveiled a new system to measure how effectively states are running their Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid systems.

The scorecards will initially focus heavily on metrics that states already voluntarily report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, such as well-child visits and chronic health conditions, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said during a press briefing. While many measures already existed, this marks the first time they are all being compiled together, Verma said.

Trump Claims ‘Absolute Right’ to Pardon Himself
Democratic Rep. Beyer: President believes he is ‘above the law. He isn’t’

President Donald Trump contends he has the legal power to pardon himself. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, echoing his legal team, on Monday asserted that his office gives him the “absolute right” to pardon himself.

The president made the claim, which is a matter of dispute among former Justice Department officials and legal experts, in a tweet that also stated he ultimately will not have to because he is innocent of any crimes.