I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Monday, April 15, 2019. 294 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 568 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at email@example.com.
Weekend Review: Immigration, Omar, Buttigieg
What you may have missed this weekend...
Trump immigration crackdown to continue: President Donald Trump and his top aides are "weighing rules designed to clamp down on countries whose nationals overstay short-term visitor visas as part of a broader push for new ways to curb immigration," the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The WSJ also reported that the White House is "seeking to push through other rules that would tighten student and investor visas," and pursuing ways to "[prevent] immigrants from coming or becoming citizens if they are likely to use publicly funded benefits."
Meanwhile, President Trump confirmed on Friday that he was "giving strong considerations" to a plan that would relocate undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities, localities that largely decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. When the Washington Post first reported on the plan on Thursday, the White House denied that it was still being discussed, but after the president contradicted his aides, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on "Fox News Sunday" that the idea was undergoing a "complete and thorough review."
--- Also new this weekend: CNN reported that President Trump promised Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief a pardon if he "were sent to jail for having border agents block asylum seekers from entering the U.S. in defiance of U.S. law." Trump denied the report in a Friday night tweet, calling it a "fake story."
--- A tweet from President Trump this morning, as Congress starts a weeklong recess: "Congress should come back to D.C. now and FIX THE IMMIGRATION LAWS!"
--- "Trump Sees an Obstacle to Getting His Way on Immigration: His Own Officials" (New York Times)
Trump vs. Omar: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has come under criticism by conservatives for comments seen as minimizing the 9/11 attacks, which she described in a speech last month with the phrase "some people did something." President Trump joined in on Friday, tweeting a video that used footage of the twin towers falling alongside Omar's comments, with the message "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!"
Trump's video led to condemnation from top Democratic figures, including several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who quickly came to Omar's defense. In a statement on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she had ordered a Capitol Police "security assessment to safeguard Congresswomnar Omar, her family, and her staff," after the Minnesota Democrat reported receiving a surge in death threats following the president's tweet.
"Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country's Commander-in-Chief," Omar said in a statement on Sunday night. "We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop."
Omar, one of the most visible of a group of high-profile House freshman Democrats and one of the two first Muslim women to serve in Congress, has previously provoked controversy for her comments criticizing U.S. support for Israel.
2020 Central: After experiencing a meteoric rise in fundraising, polling, and name ID since launching an exploratory committee in January, Mayor Pete Buttigieg formally kicked off his Democratic presidential campaign on Sunday in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana.
Buttigieg's campaign is a historic one: if elected, he would be the youngest president in history (at age 37) as well as the first to be openly gay. "I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor," Buttigieg said in his launch speech. "But the moment we live in compels us to act... It calls for a new generation of leadership in this country."
--- "How About Pete?" (New York Magazine cover story about the South Bend mayor, who has catapulted from being a near-unknown to the upper echelon of the unwieldy Democratic presidential field)
--- Fundraising news: Today is the deadline for presidential candidates to file their first-quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Per the Associated Press, President Trump's re-election campaign is set to report that it raised more than $30 million in the first three months of 2019, a haul that dwarfs most of his would-be Democratic competitors.
Coming soon: the Mueller report
Reminder: Attorney General William Barr has signaled that special counsel Robert Mueller's 400-page report (with redactions) will be released this week.
--- "Emboldened by His Attorney General, Trump Confronts Mueller Report Head-On" (New York Times)
White House schedule
POTUS: President Trump travels to Burnsville, Minnesota (near Minneapolis) today. At 2 p.m., he participates in a roundtable discussion on the economy and tax reform at Nuss Truck and Equipment in Burnsville. According to the Star Tribune, Trump's visit is seen as an "opening gambit" in a bid to win Minnesota in 2020, after narrowly losing the state in 2016.
--- "On Tax Day, Trump tax cuts remain deeply unpopular" (Politico)
VP: Vice President Mike Pence has no public events scheduled today.
FLOTUS: First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence will travel to Fort Bragg, home of the Airborne and Army Special Operations, in Fayetteville, North Carolina today. According to the White House, the duo "will receive demonstrations of special operations capabilities, tour the base facilities, and receive a briefing on the selection and training of America’s most elite special operators." They will also visit students at a middle school located on Fort Bragg and the First lady will "deliver remarks to military personnel and families, thanking them for their service to, and sacrifices for, our country."
Senate: The Senate will convene for a pro forma session, with no business conducted, at 3 p.m. today.
House: The House is on recess.
Supreme Court schedule
--- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) kicks off his "Justice for All" tour with a "Conversation with Cory" event in Sioux City, Iowa.
--- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro travels to Iowa for a pair of events in Des Moines.
--- Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) continues a swing through New Hampshire, holding events in Meredith, Conway, North Conway, Plymouth, and Lancaster.
--- Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) continues his "Climate Mission" tour with a visit to South Carolina, including climate-focused events in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Travelers Rest.
--- Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) will visit North Carolina today, making stops in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Chapel Hill.
--- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) visits Pennsylvania today, holding an event in Wilkes-Barre and participating in a Fox News town hall in Bethlehem.
--- Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is mulling a 2020 presidential bid as an Independent, travels to Arizona as part of his "Heart of America" tour, making stops in Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tucson.
--- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-PA) holds a town hall meeting with University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Young Democrats.
--- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) travels to South Carolina today, holding events in Charleston and Seabrook.
--- Entrepenurer Andrew Yang continues his "Humanity First" tour with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
*All times Eastern
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