The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump creates new firestorm with 'go back' remarks

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Firestorm over Trump's 'go back' comments | Trump says remarks 'not at all racist' | Pelosi plans resolution to condemn comments | Republicans join in criticism of Trump | Trump to end asylum protections for most Central Americans | This week in Congress: Vote to hold officials in contempt over citizenship question | Amazon warehouse workers to strike on Prime Day | Top deals | Best moments from NYC blackout



Most Central American migrants will no longer be eligible for asylum:

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced this morning that the Trump administration is ending asylum protections for most Central American immigrants.

The new rule: Migrants who pass through another country before entering the United States will not be eligible to seek asylum when they reach the U.S. border.

Exceptions to the rule: "Under the rule, those who have been the victims of trafficking are granted exceptions. The rule also allows exceptions for migrants passing through countries that have not signed major international refugee treaties and for migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through."


Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeds charge five in international ID theft ring targeting military members, veterans The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Correctional officers subpoenaed in Epstein investigation: report MORE explains the move: "The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border," Barr said in a statement. 


It's Monday -- can you believe July is already half over? I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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This is what we in the business call "stirring the pot":

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE started a firestorm over the weekend when he tweeted that a group of Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to the countries they came from. Read Trump's original tweets:

Who the tweet was likely directed toward: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration Students retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMichigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.).

The ironic part: Three of the four were born in the United States -- Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Tlaib was born in Detroit and Pressley was born in Cincinnati. Omar was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a refugee when she was 12 years old.



Later in the day, President Trump doubled down on his comments about the four Democratic congresswomen. Trump tweeted: "So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion. Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Is there internet life after thirty? Pelosi says Dems 'have to be ready to throw a punch — for the children' in 2020 MORE, 'RACIST.'" Read Trump's full reaction:

^ Then he *tripled down* this morning: Trump asked when the congresswomen would apologize to the U.S. Trump tweeted: "When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" 

JUST NOW — Trump said his tweets are not racist: Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, “On the South Lawn, President Trump claims his tweets are not racist. ‘Not at all,’ he told me. ‘If somebody has a problem with our country, if somebody doesn’t want to be in our country, they should leave.’ He didn’t respond when reporters noted the lawmakers are from the U.S.”



BREAKING -- PELOSI ANNOUNCES A RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN TRUMP'S COMMENTS: Via Politico's Heather Caygle, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just announced a resolution to officially condemn President Trump's comments towards the group of Democratic congresswomen. From Pelosi: "Please join us in supporting a forthcoming resolution sponsored by Congressman Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiDemocrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE, who was born abroad, and Congressman Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Pelosi, allies seek to keep gun debate focused on McConnell Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch MORE, along with other Democratic Members."

From AOC: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused Trump of using "language of white supremacists." She also tweeted: "Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans."

Vice President Pence's chief of staff defended Trump: "I don't think that our president's intent in any way is racist," Marc Short said.

From a foreign-born member of Congress: Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (D-Conn.) posted on Instagram: "Unlike the Democratic Congresswomen the President targeted today, I actually am a foreign-born Member of Congress. I was born in Lima, Peru. This picture is of me in 2nd grade in Colombia. But I'm a white male of European descent. He's not going to tell me to 'go back to my county'. His tantrum has nothing to do with birthplace. This country is stronger because of our diversity." Photo of Himes in second grade:

From GOP Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisConservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump creates new firestorm with 'go back' remarks MORE (Md.): "No they're not, they're obviously not racist," Harris told WBAL's Bryan Nehman about Trump's tweets.

From Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro: "It's disgusting, it's racist ... everybody knows that the President acts like a white supremacist," Castro told CNN's "New Day." Watch Castro's full reaction:

Republicans on Monday also joined in the criticism. From Rep. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonTexas faces turbulent political moment Another Texas congressman planning to retire Hurd retirement leaves GOP gloomy on 2020 MORE (R-Texas): "The Tweet President Trump posted over the weekend about fellow Members of Congress are not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people in Texas 22. We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments."

From Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellIowa GOP chair calls Steve King's rape, incest comments 'outrageous' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Republicans offer support for Steve King challenger MORE (R-Mich.): "[President Trump,] we must be better than comments like these. I share the political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders."

Here’s a roundup of more reactions from Republicans:

Some context from The New York Times's Peter Baker: "When it comes to race, Mr. Trump plays with fire like no other president in a century. While others who occupied the White House at times skirted close to or even over the line, finding ways to appeal to the resentments of white Americans with subtle and not-so-subtle appeals, none of them in modern times fanned the flames as overtly, relentlessly and even eagerly as Mr. Trump."

The New York Times also noted: Trump's tweets "left his own advisers unable or unwilling to defend him. None of six spokespeople for the White House or his campaign initially responded to requests for comment."



Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just announced a “forthcoming” resolution to condemn President Trump’s comments towards a group of Democratic congresswomen.

From Pelosi’s letter to Democrats: "The House cannot allow the President’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets.” 

Who is sponsoring the bill:“Reps. Tom Malinowski(D-N.J.), who was born in Poland, Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and other Democratic members who were born abroad.” 



The classic cram-everything-in-before-vacation mode:

The citizenship census question fight: House Democrats are voting to hold administration officials in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas related to the citizenship question on the 2020 census. 

Minimum wage: The House is working on a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Keep in mind: The bill would face a tough time in the Republican-controlled Senate.

A 'come to Jesus' meeting: House Democrats have their weekly caucus meeting for the first time since the feud with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and progressive House members. 

Debt ceiling and budget caps: Pelosi is speaking with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? White House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE to continue negotiating budget caps and raising the debt ceiling before Congress leaves for the August recess. 

Trump's arms deal with Saudi Arabia: On Wednesday, the House is voting to block President Trump's arms deal with Saudi Arabia. What to expect: A veto fight with the White House.

ObamaCare tax: The House is voting to repeal the "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans.

Immigration: "Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan will testify Wednesday before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on the separation of immigrant families." 

Context and details for each, via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke




Black Friday in July:

Today is Amazon Prime Day!

Here's a list of the best Prime Day deals: Via Tom's Guide:

Other retailers have joined in on the fun: Target, Macy's, Walmart and Best Buy have added competing sales today.

List of competitors' deals:


What a day to picket:

Via The Daily Beast's Blake Montgomery, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota are striking today to protest their work conditions.

From Amazon: "In a statement, a company spokesperson said Amazon did not expect any disruptions in its operations due to the strike. The warehouse in question employs roughly 1,500 people full-time, according to the statement. 'The fact is Amazon offers already what this outside organization is asking for,' the statement read." 


Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE IS SUPPORTIVE:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted, "I fully support Amazon workers' Prime Day strike. Their fight for safe and reliable jobs is another reminder that we must come together to hold big corporations accountable."



*coughs on sip of coffee* -- oh, good morning!:


Wow, the sound is incredible:

Power has been restored after a major blackout in New York City over the weekend.



Trending -- I've never seen New Yorkers patiently listen so well before:

A man started directing traffic during the blackout. This video has 1.6 million views so far.




10:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence attended the 3rd Annual Made in America Product Showcase on the South Lawn of the White House. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a trade roundtable with CEOs. 

Noon: The House meets. The House's full schedule today:

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate's full schedule today

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to proceed on a nomination.

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the House. 

July 24: Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Keep in mind: Mueller was scheduled to testify on Wednesday, but that was delayed.



11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump attended the Made in America Product Showcase at the White House. Livestream:

4 p.m. EDT: The House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on the alleged Hatch Act violations by White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China The White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos George Conway: 'I hereby order White House staff' to admit Trump to 'Walter Reed' MORELivestream:

6 a.m. EDT Tuesday: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden evokes 1968, asks voters to imagine if Obama had been assassinated Biden blasts Trump's 'embarrassing' actions heading into G-7 summit Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates MORE will appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 



Today is National Tapioca Pudding Day.


And to brighten your Monday afternoon, here's a puppy and a baby who are the best of friends: