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Cristina Cabrera

Cristina Cabrera is the social media editor at TPM based in New York. Previously, she worked for Vocativ and interned at USA Today and New York 1 News. She received her B.A at NYU. Follow her on Twitter @crismcabrera

Articles by Cristina

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Saturday that he still stands by President Donald Trump despite POTUS’s agreement with Democrats to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from deportation.

During an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish, King discussed Trump’s announcement that he was working on a plan with Democrats to prevent the deportation of DACA recipients (undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children). Trump also said his border wall “would come later.”

Like many other anti-immigration hardliners, King had greeted the news with outrage, tweeting Wednesday that Trump’s base would be “blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair” and that “[n]o promise is credible.”

However, that doesn’t mean King himself, an early Trump supporter, has buyer’s remorse.

Presidents “do have a right to change their mind,” he told Smerconish.

Later in the interview, the CNN host asked King what he would do if Trump goes through with his agreement to save the people under the program he ended.

“Will you leave him, if this is the way it goes?” asked Smerconish.

“No. I’m gonna stick with President Trump for all the rest of his agenda and I’m gonna do everything I can to help him keep his campaign promises,” the Iowa representative said. “And by the way, it would be petulant to walk away from a President because you disagreed with him on a single issue.”

But throughout the interview, King emphasized how important immigration is to Trump’s base and warned that backtracking on it would be the one thing that would cause his base to abandon him.

“I’m asking the President to recall the commitments that he’s made, keep them so that he can keep his base,” he said. “I’m afraid that if there’s any one thing that would cause the Trump base to leave him, that is for him to grant amnesty in any kind of deal when it was such a strong campaign promise to end the unconstitutional DACA program.”

King has voiced his opposition to the program for years with harsh and sometimes inflammatory language about its recipients.

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King said in a 2013 interview with Newsmax.

H/t to the Hill.

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The Department of Justice announced on Friday that it will significantly scale back the Collaborative Reform Initiative, an Obama-era program aimed at improving police departments and their relations with the communities they serve.

The changes would end the program’s investigations into the departments and suggestions for reform, according to the Washington Post.

Instead, the Justice Department will focus on “targeted assistance directly to local law enforcement based on their identified needs and requests.”

“This is a course correction to ensure that resources go to agencies that require assistance rather than expensive wide-ranging investigative assessments that go beyond the scope of technical assistance and support,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a press release.

Run by the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Reform Initiative is a voluntary program created in 2014 in response to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Police departments that signed up for it worked with COPS to receive public reports outlining problems and solutions with regards their policing practices.

The announcement came on the same day as the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a white St. Louis police officer who shot a black man during a high-speed chase in 2011.

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ESPN public editor Jim Brady published a blog post on Friday criticizing anchor Jemele Hill for violating the outlet’s editorial guidelines with her tweets that called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist.”

“Let’s dispense with the suspense: I think Hill made an error in judgment in those tweets,” Brady wrote. “These were not tweets that served her or her employer well.”

The editor cited ESPN’s guidelines on political discussion stating that “the topic should be related to a current issue impacting sports. This condition may vary for content appearing on platforms with broader editorial missions — such as The Undefeated, FiveThirtyEight and espnW. Other exceptions must be approved in advance by senior editorial management.”

One problem is that Hill’s tweets didn’t have anything to do with sports, Brady said.

Additionally, the editor claimed Hill also violated the guideline telling journalists to “avoid personal attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.”

While conceding that what one considers “inflammatory” or a “personal attack” is subjective, Brady nonetheless said that “it’s hard to argue that ‘white supremacist’ isn’t pushing that line.”

Brady claimed that overall, “it seems clear the company leans left” and that ESPN needs to diversify politically now that media objectivity “seems to be a dying ideal.”

“Bringing back Hank Williams Jr. for Monday Night Football isn’t the answer,” he wrote. “The answer is improved ideological diversity in ESPN’s overall products.”

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday called for all Confederate statues to be removed from the Capitol, saying the statues are “reprehensible.”

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country,” she said in a statement.

Pelosi pressured House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans to follow suit.

“If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy,” she said, “I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.”

Pelosi’s move follows a violent white supremacist rally over the weekend that aimed to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. A self-proclaimed white supremacist allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuries more than a dozen people.

The rally and President Donald Trump’s “both sides” defense of the Nazi flag-waving protesters sparked heated debates about Confederate symbols and white supremacy. Several cities have since promised to take down Confederate statues, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pledged on Tuesday to take them down state-wide.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Trump expressed his opposition to removing the statues. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” he asked.

Trump doubled down on Thursday morning, lamenting that the removal of the “beautiful” monuments would ruin the “history and culture” of the U.S.

Read Pelosi’s full statement below:

“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.

“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.

“Under the leadership of Democrats in Congress, we have recognized more women and people of color in Congress’s collection of statues, including Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and Helen Keller. As Speaker, we relocated Robert E. Lee out of a place of honor in National Statuary Hall – a place now occupied by the statue of Rosa Parks.

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.”

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) signaled on Wednesday that he’s tired of questions about President Donald Trump’s controversial comments on the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“You tell me what he needs to say so we can move beyond this,” he told reporters, according to the Cap Times. “He said it once. Again, I’m not going to speak for the President, I speak for myself.”

Johnson continued to express frustration over foreign policy and budgetary issues he said were being ignored in the meantime.

“We can continue to harp on President Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville, but from my standpoint, I’m concentrating on finding areas of agreement and doing everything I can under my committee’s jurisdiction and what I can do to improve the situation,” he said.

Johnson also said he doesn’t see any reason for impeachment.

“Is it too early to think about Article 25 and impeachment?” asked one reporter.

“On what grounds?” Johnson responded.

Following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia featuring Nazi salutes and shouts of “Jews will not replace us,” Trump on Tuesday blamed “both sides” for the violence leading to counter-protester Heather Heyer’s death. He also said “both sides” had “fine people.”

While Johnson admitted he wasn’t “entirely” comfortable with Trump’s comments, he avoided criticizing the President outright and pivoted to healing divides.

“Let’s try to unify this nation. Let’s try and heal it. Let’s try and focus on what is causing the division and reduce it,” said Johnson.

The Wisconsin senator lamented the situation during an appearance on WTMJ’s “Jeff Wagner Show” on the same day.

“I just find this whole thing depressing,” he said.

Watch Johnson addressing questions about Trump below:

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The Department of Justice filed a brief on Wednesday evening weighing in on a workplace discrimination case, arguing that gay and bisexual employees are not protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The brief, filed in the case of a man who claims he was fired for being gay, states, “The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination. It does not, as has been settled for decades.”

It adds: “Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”

The move seems to be at odds with the Trump administration’s official statement declaring that it would continue to enforce President Obama’s 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” according to the statement issued in January.

Now, his Justice Department is pushing back against past arguments by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual employees falls under sex discrimination.

The brief argues that because lesbian, gay and bisexual men and women get discriminated against equally, and homophobia isn’t rooted in the belief that one sex is superior to another, they can’t claim to be discriminated against on the basis of sex.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) slammed the move during an appearance on MSNBC, saying it was “antithetical to our core American values.”

“This is one of the reasons why I opposed Jeff Sessions in the first place,” she said. “It’s wrong, morally wrong.”

Another Democrat, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, released a statement: “Donald Trump promised the LGBT community he would fight for them. Now, on the same day he pledged to ban transgender Americans outright from serving in our armed forces, he dispatched his Justice Department to publicly argue in favor of workplace discrimination against gay Americans. I’m no longer surprised by the President’s hypocrisy. But I am offended by the cruelty of this assault on LGBT civil rights.”

As Whitehouse notes, the department filed the brief the same day President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender people would be banned from serving in the army “in any capacity.” The announcement sparked widespread criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

This post has been updated.

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Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, on Wednesday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s announced plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

“So, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35?” Manning asked in a characteristically emoji-filled tweet. “Sounds like cowardice.”

The F-35 Lightning II Program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter Program, develops high-tech fighter jets. Plagued with engineering problems and about seven years behind schedule, the program has been blasted as a trillion-dollar mistake, according to Bloomberg.

Manning responded to a tweet from conservative commentator Tomi Lahren that said “The military is not about the wants of the individual, it’s about the mission” by asking, “What mission is that? Wasting money on dysfunctional equipment and greedy contractors?”

In 2010, Manning came out as a trans woman the day after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending thousands of classified records to Wikileaks. She reportedly faced humiliating abuse from the prison workers over her gender identity and attempted to commit suicide several times.

The Army granted Manning gender-affirming surgery in 2016 after her five-day hunger strike.

After a commutation from President Barack Obama, Manning was released from prison in June after serving seven years of her sentence.

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Newly-appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci spent Saturday scrubbing his Twitter account of old tweets criticizing Donald Trump, praising Hillary Clinton, and others.

Scaramucci admitted to deleting the tweets as an indication of “transparency” and that his past views had “evolved”:

He later tweeted, “The politics of “gotcha” are over.”

The old tweets, which can be read here, slammed Trump’s campaign as a “spectacle” and even expressed hope that Clinton would run for office because “she’s incredibly competent.”

Another deleted tweet called for greater gun control, which caught the attention of NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

Notably, Scaramucci had also attacked Trump’s border wall, a cornerstone of Trump’s domestic policy, tweeting “Walls don’t work. Never have, never will.”

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in no uncertain terms, never wants to step foot in the United States.

That’s what he told reporters on Friday after being asked about Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) slamming Duterte over human rights abuses in the Philippines and saying he would “lead the protest” if the president accepted Donald Trump’s invitation to the White House.

“There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter,” Duterte said. “So what makes that guy think I’ll go to America? I’ve seen America, and it’s lousy.”

Trump had invited Duterte to the White House in April during what the administration called a “very friendly” phone call between them.

News of the invitation sparked widespread condemnation from human rights advocates, who pointed to Duterte’s well-documented practice of extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and addicts. The number of deaths reaches well into the thousands.

As chairman of the congressional human rights commission, McGovern led a hearing on Thursday as a part of an investigation into the killings. “No arrest. No warrant. No judge. No jury. Simply, murder,” he said in his opening statement.

Watch Duterte speak below:

H/t to the Washington Post and GMA News.

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The beleaguered Sean Spicer suffered his fair share of woes during his six-month tenure as Trump’s press secretary.

One of those woes was being deprived of a mini-fridge when he first started out and being forced to take matters into his own hands, the Wall Street Journal reports.

With nothing to keep his food and drinks cold, Spicer sent an aide over to where several junior research employees worked nearby. The aide asked them to hand over their mini-fridge. They said no.

However, Spicer didn’t join the Navy to get shut down by junior staffers.

The former press secretary waited until nighttime to strike. According to the Journal, a White House official saw Spicer dragging the mini-fridge down the driveway after 8 P.M.

Victory was his.

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