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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

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.