President Donald Trump seemed to make some big news — saying stepped up immigration enforcement would amount to a “military operation” — but then, just as suddenly, his Homeland Security secretary reined him in.
John Kelly’s promise today to Mexican officials that there will be “no mass deportations” under the Trump administration aimed, in part, to tone down Trumps’ rhetoric. Trump himself had predicted a “tough trip” for Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as they met with Mexican officials who have been increasingly worried about Trump’s actions.
Kelly didn’t blame the president for causing concern in Mexico — rather the media, POLITICO’s Nolan D. McCaskill reports.
“This is something I would really like you all to pay attention to because it is frequently misrepresented or misreported in the press,” Kelly said today at a joint press conference in Mexico City with Tillerson and Mexican officials. “Let me be very, very clear: There will be no — repeat: no — mass deportations. Everything we do in DHS will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the United States.”
Earlier, Trump said: “We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country — and at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer had also tried to walk back the president’s rhetoric, telling the press corps that Trump described his efforts as a “military operation” as an adjective to refer to the precision with which the deportations are taking place, not the use of the military.
Elsewhere in Donald Trump’s orbit:
GONE QUIET: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have hewed a more moderate line on gay rights, have been quiet about the Trump administration’s rollback of transgender protections for students.
ALL COMERS: Trump’s Oval Office has a much more open door quality than previous presidents.
BONG HIT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer says to expect stepped up federal enforcement of marijuana laws. The Obama administration had largely shied away from it.
BUDDY FLICK: Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon pushed back on the idea that they’re anything other than in perfect agreement.
CALIFORNIA LOVE: Lawmakers in California are expected to enforce strict environmental controls — a preemptive strike against Trump rolling back regulations.
THE PRINCIPAL IS NOT YOUR PAL: Betsy DeVos addressed CPAC and said that her job as Education secretary was not to win a popularity contest, but to bring real change. (Washington Post)
And there you have it, you’re caught up on the the Trump administration. TGIT.