TPM News

As Donald Trump's campaign has pushed back on reports raising questions about Melania Trump's immigration status during her early modeling career in the United States, former models employed by the GOP nominee's own Trump Model Management say the agency knew they were working in the country in the mid-2000s without proper visas, according to a report out Tuesday from Mother Jones.

The report is based on the account of Rachel Blais, a former Trump model who provided Mother Jones with documentation to back up her account, and a couple other, anonymous former Trump models who described similar experiences of working in the states without the proper documentation. The accounts of the anonymous models also were bolstered by legal filings.

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It's been a long time coming, but Wednesday Donald Trump's campaign is promising the candidate will unveil a new and detailed immigration plan that will clarify a year of flip-flops, ambiguity and policies that even many in his own party dismissed on their face as unserious.

What we know is that Trump plans to continue talking about his border wall, as well as ending sanctuary cities, but there are still big blanks to fill in including the very serious question of what Trump plans to do with the estimated 11 million immigrants still living in this country illegally.

In recent days, Trump's surrogates have remained vague about what Trump will actually say. Asked repeatedly if Trump will continue to continue to promote his deportation force in Wednesday's speech, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told Bloomberg Monday that Trump "has not talked about that in a very long time," but that voters will have to wait until the speech to know for sure.

Some early reporting indicates that we might not get much clarity at all from the much-hyped speech. CNN's Jim Acosta reported that a senior aide told him that Trump plans to secure the border now and postpone conversations about what to do beyond that for a few years.

But, let's pretend for a second that Trump is indeed going to fill in the blanks. Here is what you will want to be watching for.

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As the country waits with bated breath for Donald Trump to clarify where he stands on mass deportation, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told a listener he "never took" Trump "seriously" on the issue and that Trump's supporters are "gonna stick with him no matter what."

The admission came after a listener called in to complain about Trump's current flip-flopping on whether he would deport the 11 million immigrants in the country, according to a transcript posted by Red State.

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The campaign coordinator for David Duke's Senate campaign on Tuesday morning said that Donald Trump only disavowed robocalls from Duke urging voters to back Trump because the Republican nominee's advisers directed him to do so.

"If he was not forced to, he would have never disavowed David," campaign coordinator Mike Lawrence told TPM, adding that he believes Trump was told to disavow Duke by an adviser.

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ISIS is undeniably talented. Despite our unwavering endeavors to demolish the group, we have not. Although our efforts have significantly impeded some of ISIS’s operations, and helped drive it out of parts of Iraq and Syria, ISIS-inspired attacks persist – and at an alarming frequency. Its perpetual existence is partly due to the group’s vast support base and remaining physical holding. Above all else, however, it is due to its masterful use of the Internet. Its utilization of cyberspace keeps its radicalization global.

The group uses the Internet to spread poisonous doctrines, militant tactics, and graphics displaying their violence or their ability to govern. It maintains a comprehensive media machine, including a unit dedicated primarily to Westerners. Each of ISIS’s two-dozen operational territories across the Middle East, North Africa, Central and SE Asia houses a media team that shadows fighters in battle, records and propagates executions, publicizes upcoming local events, and then edits and distributes content according to the group’s messaging objectives.

When fighters worldwide flocked to the group’s strongholds, ISIS leveraged their linguistic skills to translate propaganda materials and leadership statements into many foreign languages. ISIS has compartmentalized the group’s video dissemination and assigned media teams to focus on various segments of the target audience, whether Western populaces, local Syrians and Iraqis, Kurdish forces, or its own fighters and supporters. The group then delivers its radical ideology to the global masses using the very technology billions of people around the world depend on.

Regardless of how much territory ISIS loses, its messaging will still reach and likely convince a massive audience that it is effectively playing “David vs. Goliath” against the world’s largest military coalition. It works through the obvious public sources like Twitter, but when it has been impeded from doing so, it has resorted to what is called the “deep web” and to a Russian-created massage service called Telegram, to elude the eyes of the intelligence agencies. It has even found a way to use the cloud services offered by Microsoft and Google.

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thus a major player in the GOP Senate's refusal to confirm President Obama's Supreme Court nominee -- opened the door to confirming Judge Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session, even as he continued to defend Republicans' stance that the successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia should be chosen by the next president.

At a question and answer session in Sioux City Monday, Grassley told attendees that, "It had nothing to do with Garland," but there was an "understanding" that Supreme Court vacancies that opened in up in a president's final year should not be filled by that president, according to the Sioux City Journal.

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As preparation for the upcoming debates, the Hillary Clinton campaign has talked with the ghostwriter of Donald Trump's book "The Art of the Deal" to get a better understanding of the Republican nominees insecurities, the New York Times reported.

Writer Tony Schwartz told the New Yorker in July that he regrets helping Trump with the 1980s bestseller. He called Trump a "sociopath" and said that the real estate mogul has a "completely compulsive" need for attention.

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