Jun 18, 2018

With Merkel under pressure on immigration, Trump piles on

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel bought herself two weeks to reach a deal with other European countries on immigration, after demands from Interior Minister Horst Seehofer that migrants who have been registered as asylum-seekers in other countries be turned away had her coalition on the brink of collapse.

Across the pond: President Trump tweeted, "The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition... Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"

Trump faces his own migrant crisis. The blowback to policies that have resulted in the separation of migrant families has been enormous. Trump seems to be suggesting with these tweets that the alternative to strict border enforcement is chaos.

  • Merkel's open door policy toward refugees, which she has since backed off somewhat, won plaudits abroad but also contributed to the rise of the far right and piled pressure on the center-right ruling parties.
  • The Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, has taken an increasingly hard line on immigration to fend off a challenge from the far-right Alternative for Germany party ahead of Bavaria's elections this October, according to the AP.
  • By the numbers: Germany's Office of Migrants and Refugees (BAMF) registered 186,644 asylum seekers in 2017, down from 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015 — when the migrant crisis was at its peak.

Be smart: Trump's approval ratings in Germany are around 11%, so don't expect his criticism to be damaging to Merkel.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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