Trump just completely undermined his own staffers as his latest scandal blows up in his face

Trump just completely undermined his own staffers as his latest scandal blows up in his face
Image via Screengrab.

Using asylum seekers as pawns, targeting political opponents with law enforcement resources, employing the immigration system for negotiating leverage — this all sounds like a massive abuse of power and a brewing major scandal. And indeed, when the Washington Post reported Thursday night that President Donald Trump's administration had considered releasing detained immigrants in Democratic strongholds and sanctuary cities as some kind of 'retribution," it was widely regarded as an outrageous and ridiculous idea.

Even conservatives thought it would be unthinkable. CNN's Steve Cortes thought it was so absurd, he wouldn't even entertain the hypothetical that the report was true. David Harsanyi, an editor for the Federalist, suggested it was just a "stupid idea" brought up in a meeting that was never seriously considered. When the White House responded to the story, it said, “This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion."

But then on Friday afternoon Trump undermined all that, his staffers' downplaying of the idea, his conservative defenders' dismissals, by saying yes, of course, he was seriously considering the idea:

It's not often that a president openly admits that he is contemplating a blatant abuse of power. Unless that president is Donald Trump.

Tal Kopan, a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, pointed out the absurdity of the idea, even from the president's own perspective.

"I see," she said. "To own the libs, the admin will use ICE’s budget that is supposedly nowhere near enough $ to at great expense bus or fly immigrants to cities that are often their preferred destination anyway and where the immigration courts are most lenient on them? Got it."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.