Apr 28, 2019

Trump tells Wisconsin rally: We're sending migrants to sanctuary cities

President Trump at the Green Bay, Wisconsin, rally Saturday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told a Green Bay, Wisconsin, rally Saturday that his administration is sending undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities.

"Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities ... and public resources, like nobody has ever seen before. Now we're sending many of them to sanctuary cities, thank you very much. They ain't too happy about it. I'm proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea."

The state of play: The Department of Homeland Security has yet to announce the sanctuary cities plan. Senior White House officials and immigration lawyers have told Axios U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement wouldn't have enough funds for it and there'd be major liabilities if anyone got hurt during transfers.

  • The Democratic National Committee said on Twitter that Trump's migrant remarks were "disgusting."

The big picture: Trump covered a range of issues at the rally in Wisconsin — a key battleground state — held the same night as the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Key topics included:

  • The U.S. economy's strength: The Commerce Department said Friday gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Condemnation for "the evil of anti-Semitism and hate" and condolences for the California synagogue shooting victims.
  • Defense of deals with Saudi Arabia: "You had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia," Trump told the crowd. "They bought $450 billion. I don’t want to lose them.”
  • Democrats' efforts to pursue his administration in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation findings — which Trump called the "collusion delusion."
  • Personal attacks on potential Democratic presidential rivals, including front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
  • Former FBI and Justice Department officials, whom he called "scum."

Go deeper

Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health