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

President Donald Trump flatly rejected Democrats’ push to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on Saturday morning, saying there is “zero chance” it will happen.

In a series of tweets, Trump praised the agency as “one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” while falsely claiming that ICE “liberated” towns from MS-13.

In a following tweet, he says abolition will “never happen!”

As scrutiny of the agency grows while it carries out the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, several Democrats, including those eyeing a 2020 presidential bid, have heeded activists’ calls to get rid of ICE entirely.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday, “I believe you should get rid of [ICE], start over, reimagine it, and build something that actually works.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), another possible 2020 Democratic candidate, made similar comment last week during an MSNBC interview, saying that the government should “probably think about starting from scratch” with immigration enforcement.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) is currently hammering out legislation to abolish the agency.

And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose shocking primary victory against incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley heralded a new progressive push in the Democratic party, has been a vocal advocate of abolishing the agency.

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While trying to take a swipe at the media, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) may have been a little more honest about his party’s handling of President Donald Trump than he intended.

Rubio tweeted on Wednesday that many Republicans won’t call out Trump “even when they don’t agree with him” because “it means siding with a media that never cuts him a break” and “in the end [the media] will still attack you anyway.”

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has quietly deleted its records of lawmakers’ past ratings by the gun group.

Washington Post reporter Philip Bump flagged the change on Tuesday. NRA members can still view current grades, but the drop-down menu no longer lists previous years.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told the Post that he was likely just experiencing an “IT glitch,” but an unnamed NRA employee confirmed that the past grades had been removed.

“I think our enemies were using that,” he told the Post.

Baker told TPM that “the old grades are no longer relevant” because the rating system serves as an election guide for its members.

The development, highlighted by the anonymous staffer’s comment, signals that a positive rating from the hardline pro-gun group could be becoming a scarlet letter for politicians as gun control activists gain momentum in the wake of the Parkland high school shooting massacre.

GOP Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) scrubbed his A/A+ NRA grade and pro-gun stance from his campaign site, TPM reported in March. Bishop’s campaign spokesman insisted that the change merely “reflects an update” for the congressman, not a change in position.

This story has been updated with the NRA’s statement to TPM.

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Maryland gubernatorial candidate Rich Madaleno aired a campaign ad Thursday on “Fox and Friends” that ended with him kissing his husband in an attempt to “piss off” President Donald Trump.

In the ad, the Democratic candidate promises to “stand up to Donald Trump” and lists off things he’s done that “already infuriate” the President, such as supporting Planned Parenthood and a statewide assault weapons ban.

“And what’s the number one way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” asked Madaleno before turning to kiss his husband, Mark Hodge.

“Take that, Trump!” he declared.

The White House has refused to acknowledge Pride Month for a second year in a row, and Trump instated a second “transgender soldier ban” after the first attempt was shot down in the courts. Additionally, Attorney General Jeff Sessions applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Watch the ad below:

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Political news outlet Axios tweaked a glowing description of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday after initially describing him as “an honorable person.”

“Jeff Sessions is an honorable person,” the original version of the post read. “He takes extraordinary pride in the fact that, during his decades-long career, he’s built a reputation as the literal and figurative Boy Scout. He loves that reputation – and doing the right thing.”

HuffPost reporter Elise Foley pointed out the flattering language on Twitter:

Several hours after the article was published, Axios tweeted that the article had been edited to “Jeff Sessions prides himself on being an honorable person.”

Axios appended an editor’s note on the post that read: “We changed the first sentence of the second paragraph to show it’s a reflection on how Sessions views himself.”

The rest of the article remained unchanged.

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A Republican House candidate running in California’s 44th District filmed herself on Tuesday following a trans woman into a public bathroom and demanding to know why she was there.

Jazmina Saavedra, a “Latinos for Trump” spokeswoman who’s looking to unseat Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), streamed the incident via Facebook Live while at a Denny’s.

“I’m trying to use the ladies’ room right now,” Saavedra told viewers as she entered the bathroom. “And there is a man here saying that he’s a lady.”

She then pointed the camera at the cubicle and asked, “Why are you using the ladies’ bathroom?”

“Okay first off, you’re harassing me,” the woman responded. “I’m just using the restroom.”

“No, you’re invading my privacy because I’m a woman and I deserve to use the ladies’ room,” Saavedra said.

The woman asked incredulously, “I’m in the toilet, how am I invading your privacy?”

Saavedra left the bathroom and waited for the woman to come out, saying “I want everyone to see this.”

Throughout the seven-minute video, she repeatedly called the woman a “stupid guy” while ranting about “sick politicians” in California who believe in allowing people to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

“You’re invading my privacy,” Saavedra told the woman she had accosted.

On Friday, Rep. Barragán slammed Saavedra’s actions. “Everyone has the right to their own identity, and the right not to be discriminated against for who they are,” she tweeted.

At the end of Saavedra’s video, the candidate showed viewers her stun gun and pepper spray.

“You never know what crazy people you can find in public restrooms,” she said.

According to ABC7, Saavedra doesn’t regret anything she said.

Watch the full video below:

A man in a ladies room saying He is a woman.( Obama legacy)As your next Congress woman I will fight to get our right to have a ladies room just for us back . Vote for Jazmina for U.S. Congress 44 District. California June 5thGuys I need you donate to our

Posted by Jazmina Saavedra on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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Republicans in the Colorado state legislature have introduced a bill that could land teachers who go on strike in jail.

Local station Denver7 News reported on Sunday that the Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Gardner (R) and state Rep. Paul Lundeen (R), would allow school districts to seek an injunction in the event of a strike. Any teacher who refuses to comply would be considered in “contempt of court” and could face up to six months in jail.

The bill would also allow school districts to fire those teachers without a proper hearing.

Colorado teachers plan to walk out this Thursday and Friday to demand more school funding and higher wages. Their protest follows a nationwide trend of teacher strikes in Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Last week, teachers in Arizona voted to strike on April 26.

The protesting teachers decry below-average wages, and an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with them: A new AP poll found that 78 percent of Americans believe public school teachers are underpaid.

Denver7 noted that average salaries for Colorado teachers rank 46th in the nation, and that they spend approximately $656 out of pocket for school supplies every year.

H/t the Hill.

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Hedge-fund billionaire Seth Klarman, a major Republican donor, is using the money he got under President Donald Trump’s tax cut to bankroll Democrats.

“I received a tax cut I neither need nor want,” Klarman, CEO of the Baupost Group hedge fund, told the Boston Globe in an article published Sunday. “I’m choosing to invest it to fight the administration’s flawed policies and to elect Democrats to the Senate and House of Representatives.”

Klarman said that Republicans “have failed to hold the President accountable and have abandoned their historic beliefs and values,” and that Democrats need to win one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms “for the good of the country.”

The Globe noted Klarman’s long-standing opposition to Trump. “Tragically, Donald Trump has displayed few of the character traits required in a US president, and no aptitude for or interest in developing them,” Klarman said. He donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign once Trump became the GOP’s candidate for the general election.

Klarman has already given about $222,000 to 78 Democrats running for Congress since the 2016 election, according to the Globe.

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United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council on Saturday that the U.S. plans to keep pressure on Syria to prevent further use of chemical weapons.

Haley said she had spoken to President Donald Trump, who told her: “If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded.”

“When our President draws a red line, our President enforces a red line,” said Haley.

The ambassador’s remarks came during an emergency UN Security Council meeting held after the U.S. led a series of airstrikes against Syria on Friday. Trump had ordered the strikes in response to the Syrian regime’s alleged chemical attacks on a rebel-controlled town last weekend.

U.S. military leaders said that the strikes, coordinated with France and the U.K., targeted the Syria’s chemical weapon facilities.

Trump posted a Bush-esque “Mission Accomplished!” tweet on Saturday morning, though there has been no indication so far that the strikes have effectively prevented Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) claimed on Friday that children were “sexually assaulted” or “introduced to drugs for the first time” because they were “left alone at home” during the teacher rally that day.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin told reporters in a video captured by WDRB reporter Marcus Green. “I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed, or ingested poison, because they were home alone. Because a single parent didn’t have money to take care of them.”

The GOP governor said he was “offended” that people “so cavalierly disregarded what’s truly best for our children.”

“As surely as we’re having this conversation, children were harmed, some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time, because they were vulnerable and left alone,” Bevin said.

Amid teachers’ protests statewide to increase school funding, Bevin had vetoed what he called a “sugary” measure aimed to boost funding with a $480 million tax increase. Kentucky House lawmakers proceeded to override the governor’s veto on Friday, securing a victory for the teachers rallying outside the state capital.

Watch the video below:

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