Graham: Immigration debate ‘has turned into an s-show’

Lindsey Graham is pictured. | AP Photo

“This has turned into an s-show, and we need to get back to being a great country where Democrats and Republicans work together to do something that we should have done years ago,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

The immigration debate has turned into an “s-show,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday, lamenting what he said was President Donald Trump’s abrupt change in tone on the topic last week.

“This has turned into an s-show, and we need to get back to being a great country where Democrats and Republicans work together to do something that we should have done years ago,” the South Carolina Republican said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

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Trump on Thursday roiled the immigration debate when he told lawmakers in a private meeting that he wanted to encourage people to come to the U.S. from countries like Norway instead of places he described as “shitholes.” Graham, who was at the meeting, said Trump had appeared to have a different perspective when they spoke earlier in the week.

“So Tuesday, we had a president that I was proud to golf with, call my friend, who understood immigration had to be bipartisan,” Graham said during the hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “But he understood the idea that we have to do it with compassion. I don’t know where that guy went. I want him back.”

Nielsen said she hoped the administration could agree with lawmakers on a legislative package that addresses four areas of reform the White House has identified, including protecting thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Trump on immigrants: ‘I want them to come in from everywhere’

Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has denied using any derogatory language to describe Haitians and said one Democratic lawmaker “totally misrepresented” his remarks when he said Trump used “vile” and “hate-filled” language. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants immigrants coming in “from everywhere” in response to questions about his alleged remarks challenging U.S. admittance of people from “shithole countries.”

“I want them to come in from everywhere,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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The remark came as reporters shouted questions about his reported statement last week that he’d prefer the United States welcome people from countries like Norway over nations like Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

Trump has denied using any derogatory language to describe Haitians and said one Democratic lawmaker “totally misrepresented” his remarks when he said Trump used “vile” and “hate-filled” language, including repeatedly referring to the foreign nations as “shitholes,” during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration Thursday. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he stands by “every word” of his statement on the matter.

Two Republican lawmakers in attendance have since disputed Durbin’s account after initially saying they could not recall whether Trump had made the derogatory remark.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to deny the reports on Tuesday, adding that the “president hasn’t said he didn’t use strong language. This is an important issue. He’s passionate about it,” she told reporters.

Trump’s Tuesday remarks stand in contrast his own rhetoric and policy on immigration, with his administration aggressively seeking to curb the influx of immigrants from Latin America and from Muslim-majority countries.

Since entering office, the Trump administration has pursued several iterations of a travel ban that would restrict immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, an initiative that has been repeatedly shot down by federal courts.

Earlier Tuesday Trump called for additional security along the “very dangerous” U.S.-Mexico border, writing that “we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country!” During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump lamented that “we have some bad hombres” cross the border into the U.S from Mexico.

When he announced his campaign bid in June 2015, Trump said Mexico “not sending their best” into the U.S. in the current immigration system. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said.

Homeland security chief says she’ll work with Hawaii officials after false emergency alert

Kirstjen Nielsen is pictured. | AP Photo

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington. | Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday she would work with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) to ensure that states have a uniform way to handle missile threats and alert systems, after a false emergency alert was sent to Hawaii residents warning of an incoming ballistic missile.

“I’d like to work with you to ensure we’re providing specific instructions on what to do upon an alert,” Nielsen said before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Saturday’s false alarm from Hawaii emergency officials encouraged residents to seek shelter from a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” but it was later retracted and attributed to human error.

Nielsen said the Department of Homeland Security is not solely responsible for guaranteeing that states’ alert systems work properly.

“We provide the backbone to ensure that at any time, if the president or the Department of Homeland Security would need to send an alert to citizens with an impending catastrophic event, for example, we can do that,” she told Hirono. “The state and localities then often use that backbone to distribute and disseminate their own messages.”

Hirono also noted that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency was not clear on the proper procedure to issue a retraction for the false alarm and asked Nielsen how DHS could help ensure that, in the future, all involved parties are aware of necessary protocols. Nielsen said she had asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency chief to work with the state on that process.

Manafort trial likely to start in September at the earliest

Paul Manafort is pictured. | Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The criminal trial of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort appears likely to start in September at the earliest after a federal judge on Tuesday rejected a bid by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to kick off the trial in May.

The timeline emerging from an hour-long hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson raises the possibility that Manafort and colleague Rick Gates could go on trial at the height of the mid-term campaign season, making an already unwelcome distraction for the White House and Republicans even more uncomfortable.

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Jackson indicated that with hundreds of thousands of documents and electronic files turned over to the defense as recently as Friday, it was unrealistic to proceed with the May 14 trial date prosecutors proposed last week.

“I’m not exactly sure when the trial date might be,” the judge said. “I don’t have a problem with a trial in September or October…I don’t want something that we’re going to continue. We’re going to have a real trial date.”

Prosecutor Greg Andres said during the court session that Mueller’s team expects to need about three weeks to present their case against Manafort and Gates, which includes charges of money laundering and failing to file as foreign agents in connection with work done for the government of Ukraine and one of its political parties.

One of Manafort’s attorneys, Kevin Downing, said he plans to file a series of motions challenging the indictment, asking for more details about the charges and demanding access to more evidence in the government’s possession. However, he said the volume of records coming in complicate the defense’s efforts.

“We’re a little surprised that we’re this late in the game and there’s still discovery,” Downing said.

Prosecutor Kyle Freeny told the judge that “the bulk” of the relevant information in the government’s possession has been turned over, but Jackson suggested the government needs to complete the task.

“Other than things that are still coming in, there’s not excuse for not producing what you have,” the judge said. “You’re asking for a trial date that’s not that far away.”

All the reasons that Jackson decided against a trial in the spring were not clear, as much of the discussion on the scheduling issue was held at the judge’s bench, with a noise machine turned on to prevent those in the gallery from hearing what the lawyers and the judge were saying.

Both Manafort and Gates were in the courtroom for the first hearing of the year. During the lengthy sidebar discussion, the two men chatted across the defense table, with Manafort using his hand to try to maintain the privacy of their conversation from the dozens of reporters, FBI personnel and others watching the hearing.

During Tuesday’s session, the judge expressed her displeasure with Gates’ participation in a fundraiser last month with reporters present, at which a lobbyist denounced Mueller’s team as “very unfair.” She said the event, which Gates addressed via a videotaped message, seemed to fly in the face of a gag order she issued in the case.

However, she said she would not hold Gates in contempt over the episode, and she gave him the same type of warning she gave Manafort recently over his involvement in editing an op-ed piece about issues related to the case.

“I think it’s important for the defendants to use common sense,” Jackson said. She said they were free to speak about the case privately, to raise money for their defense and to thank donors, but she warned the parties not to make public statements through agents or associates.

“If press is going to be invited to an event…I think that’s a pretty big red flag,” the judge said, adding that if “an attack on the prosecution” is going to be a method of soliciting funds, the defendants should steer clear.

An attorney for Gates, Shanlon Wu, told the judge that the lines were not that clear since social media can quickly result in a private comment or event being make public. “In this day and age, it’s not so easy to ascertain,” he said.

Both the defendants remain in home confinement, although there were indications that Gates might be formally released from those restrictions as soon as Tuesday afternoon. During a tense exchange with Jackson, Downing said Manafort has had difficulty fulfilling the requirements for release.

Jackson set another hearing on Feb. 14 for scheduling, at which time she could set a trial date. She also set a hearing for April 17 to take up defense motions aimed at knocking out some or all of the government’s charges.

POLITICO tests the claim that EU membership costs citizens less than a cup of coffee a day


So Belgians get totally screwed by the EU.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 4:24 AM CET


Why isn’t Germany paying their fair share?

Posted on 1/16/18 | 4:28 AM CET


Completely meaningless article without showing rebate/funds recieved back.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 7:32 AM CET


Denmark is represented two times in the lower graph

Posted on 1/16/18 | 7:42 AM CET

Just an EU guy

“GNI-based contributions are in theory simple, based on the share of each Member State in the total EU GNI. However, the introduction of many corrections or reductions for some Member States has led to increased divergence between the share of some Member States in the total EU GNI, and the share of these same Member States in the total of contributions which finance the EU budget. Transparency is hindered by the fact that GNI-based contributions are treated very differently in national budgets .”

They have been facing criticism for their complexity, non-transparency and for being the result of political bargaining during budgetary negotiations.

When the UK withdraws from the EU, the UK correction will become obsolete. This will also be the case for what are called the ’rebates on the rebate’, i.e. the reductions which Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden benefit from the financing of the UK correction. As a consequence, the largest part of the regressive effects of the ‘per capita burden’ on the revenue side which are due to the UK correction will also disappear — all else being equal. In this context, other financing issues which are closely connected to the UK correction, and which have been so far difficult to reform for this reason, should be re-examined”

src: “high report on future financing of the UE”

Posted on 1/16/18 | 7:46 AM CET


I guess this show’s the ‘expense account’ mentality of EU commission employees. They only buy their coffee from expensive coffee shops (with our money). Most people make their daily coffee at home where it costs about 25 euro cents (or 20p in GBP). So actually the UK contribution in roughly 3.5 cups of coffee.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 7:55 AM CET


It would be interesting to see also the benefits for every country. Belgium (and Luxemburg) might have a high contribution, but they also have great (indirect) benefits with the European institutions within their borders

Posted on 1/16/18 | 8:11 AM CET



There was some article on politico about year ago… and Luxemburg and Belgium were definitely the biggest benefiters.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 8:44 AM CET


Working that through the eu costs every person in the UK around 200 pounds per year.

Whilst everyone pays tax to some extent or other, including vat on that cup of coffee, far fewer people actually earn money to pay for it. So with some 26 million income tax payers the cost to each of those is some 450£ and they are giving free coffee to each of those not earning enough to pay tax or on benefits.

All imperfect ways to calculate the costs of an organisation such as the eu so perhaps it ought to be related to the costs per family unit plus intangibles such as higher food and beverage costs due to the eu cartels which often means we pay above world market prices.

I can imagine the reaction if each citizen got an annual bill for their eu membership

Posted on 1/16/18 | 8:55 AM CET

Stefan de Vries

Actually, the term ‘cost’ is confusing. Since about 94% of the EU budget is reinvested, the real costs are the administration of the Union, i.e. 6% of the budget, or €9918 million in 2017. With 508 million people, this comes to €19,52 per citizen a year, or 5,3 cents a day. So Juncker and Politico are both wrong. This morning, I paid €1,80 for my ‘café crème’ in a Parisian bar, which means that even the first sip was more expensive than the EU.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 9:20 AM CET

Yahoo mail login

The U.K. gets a better deal than most EU countries in terms of both cash and coffee.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 9:23 AM CET

Hugo von Bahnhof

and now have a look who profits directly (e.g., agricultural payment) and indirectly (seat of European institutions and agencies) from these contributions.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 9:32 AM CET


“In this new “EU Coffee Index,” POLITICO ranks each member country, using the EU’s own statistics, according to how much citizens pay the EU (so disregarding money each country receives back such as regional or research funding), and how much coffee (with milk) that costs them.”
In a quick recalculation of the German contribution to the “EU coffee” I get 0.84€ times approximately 80 million Germans and 365 days/year a value grater than 24 billion Euros, which is still above the 23.273 billion, which are displayed on the referenced webpage for Germany in year 2016 (graph for “revenue” and “total national contribution”).
I strongly advice the authors to review their calculations and to correct them where appropriate.
The claim that the daily “coffee” expenditures disregard the money going back to the countries via e.g. agricultural funds cannot be maintained and has to be corrected!!

@Nikita: The contribution of a country to the budget is to a large extend based on the gross national income (GNI), which is different from country to country and different per capita.

@Orthogonal: Try to get out of the corner of polemic.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 9:40 AM CET

Capt Europe

This article is pointless and meaningless as I don’t drink coffee, I drink the traditional European drink of boiled cabbage water

Posted on 1/16/18 | 9:43 AM CET

Daniel Brückner

That is a really bad article if you don´t show the hidden costs of EU money policy.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 10:48 AM CET


Do you really believe EU membership costs can be rendered down for citizens to a cup of coffee a day.

Ok define the individual region budget deficit model as a indicator of expenditure that exceeds revenue? And quantify the cost to risk?

Define the deferential relevance to the budget deficit for all twenty member states and level all to a common reference to government spending rather than GNI, business or individual spending then apply to all or one of these entities.

Then explain as a clear sum the RAL risk to all twenty eights budget deficits.

And I will call a 2023

Posted on 1/16/18 | 10:59 AM CET



The point here is that pretty much everyone has some sort of benefits from EU for the price of a cup of coffee. Now haters gone hate asking why my coffee costs 0.79 whereas in Romania costs only 0.25 while having spent (in the past) 300 EUR on roaming charges in their vacation to Mediterranean.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 11:08 AM CET


Completely meaningless article: where are the prices of cappuccino? And why not consider the net ?
Not worth the bits

Posted on 1/16/18 | 11:12 AM CET


Like all statistics, what did or didn’t they factor in. Did they factor in bail out money for the Greeks, did they factor in that Belgium gets lots of EU Agencies, buildings and extremely well paid workers and subsequent benefits that gives.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 11:18 AM CET


Completely ignoring the political costs.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 11:25 AM CET


Come on Alex, you are a clever guy, the reality here is how many ‘cappuccinos’ one has actually to pay for…. Importantly the ‘cappuccinos’ one is never necessarily accountable for. Replace ‘cappuccinos’ with direct EU commission “taxation” it is all intimately political propaganda.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 11:56 AM CET


Sorry Alex for my spelling and grammar, I am/was travelling on a でんしゃ/train in Ino Japan

Posted on 1/16/18 | 12:27 PM CET


This is of course a meaningless exercise if the moneys received from the EU are not taken into account. And the comparison to the local cost of a cup of coffee (with milk). Come on. Be serious. Where is the comparison to the average local income or to the overall local cost of living. I am Belgian, and paying a euro a day to keep us without wars for 70 years for a mere Euro a day seems peanuts to me. How much can we spend less on defense because we live with this burden of this Euro a day? Please write that article if you want to make sense.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 1:34 PM CET


In my calculation of the net costs given above for Britons, we are talking about 200£ per person. That is before paying the tax needed to end up with 200£

A Typical family of four would therefore be invoiced 800£. They would need to earn at least 1100£ before tax to end up with that final amount.

That puts it in a different perspective. I wonder how many families would smile as they paid an annual membership fee of this size to the EU in the form of an invoice sent to them directly?

As others point out it is difficult to reduce the eu to merely a figure such as this, whether you approve of it or not. The political nature of it, its leaders and the way it is heading is of more importance to me than the cost.

However, I suspect if the Uk Leave campaign were able to afford to send out mock invoices of this size to every family in the country it would cause many remainers to rethink their support

Posted on 1/16/18 | 4:54 PM CET



Please remember it is nato and not the eu, that has kept Europe at peace for the last 70 years, and some of us have paid much more than other countries to the nato budget to secure that peace.

Posted on 1/16/18 | 5:02 PM CET