Juggalos march in Washington to protest FBI gang classification (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Juggalos march in Washington to protest FBI gang classification (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Juggalos are holding a mass march in Washington, D.C. to protest their designation by the FBI as a gang.

‘Juggalos’ is the the collective term for fans of Detroit hip-hop duo the Insane Clown Posse. Juggalos can be easily identified by their distinctive black and white face paint and numerous tattoos.

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Most of the signs at the  stick to their rallying call: FBI de-list them as a criminal gang

However in 2011 fans of the group were designated a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in the FBI’s 2011 Gang Task Force report. Juggalos claim that since then they have been “subjected to various forms of discrimination, harassment, and profiling simply for identifying as a Juggalo.”

Thousands of Juggalos are expected to travel from all over the country for Saturday’s march, meeting outside the Lincoln Memorial from 1pm. Scheduled until 2am, the event will feature guest speeches and musical performances, most notably by Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope themselves.

READ MORE: Insane Clown Posse takes on FBI and loses: Juggalos classified as gang

The organizers have laid down a series of strict rules for ‘Juggalo Family’ members to abide by on Saturday, including, no littering, no vandalism, no weapons (or anything that could be construed as a weapon), no alcohol, marijuana or drugs, no vehicles of any kind and no signs or flags that promote violence or threats.

Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow

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Vice President Mike Pence appears to be cementing his status as President Trump’s heir apparent, promoting himself as the conduit between Republican donors and the administration.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, Gov. John Kasich is eyeing a return visit to New Hampshire, and Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.

President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren’t involved.

The would-be candidates are cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups and carefully enhancing their profiles. Mr. Trump has given no indication that he will decline to seek a second term.

But the sheer disarray surrounding this presidency — the intensifying investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the plain uncertainty about what Mr. Trump will do in the next week, let alone in the next election — have prompted Republican officeholders to take political steps unheard-of so soon into a new administration.

Asked about those Republicans who seem to be eyeing 2020, a White House spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters, fired a warning shot: “The president is as strong as he’s ever been in Iowa, and every potentially ambitious Republican knows that.”

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But in interviews with more than 75 Republicans at every level of the party, elected officials, donors and strategists expressed widespread uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump would be on the ballot in 2020 and little doubt that others in the party are engaged in barely veiled contingency planning.

“They see weakness in this president,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “Look, it’s not a nice business we’re in.”

Mr. Trump changed the rules of intraparty politics last year when he took down some of the leading lights of the Republican Party to seize the nomination. Now a handful of hopefuls are quietly discarding traditions that would have dictated, for instance, the respectful abstention from speaking at Republican dinners in the states that kick off the presidential nomination process.

In most cases, the shadow candidates and their operatives have signaled that they are preparing only in case Mr. Trump is not available in 2020. Most significant, multiple advisers to Mr. Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not.

Mr. Kasich has been more defiant: The Ohio governor, who ran unsuccessfully in 2016, has declined to rule out a 2020 campaign in multiple television interviews, and has indicated to associates that he may run again, even if Mr. Trump seeks another term.

Mr. Kasich, who was a sharp critic of the Republicans’ failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act with deep Medicaid cuts, intends to step up his advocacy by convening a series of policy forums, in Ohio and around the country.

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Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has declined to rule out a 2020 campaign in multiple television interviews.CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images

“He’ll continue to speak out and lead on health care and on national security issues, trade policy, economic expansion and poverty,” John Weaver, a political adviser of Mr. Kasich’s, said.

In the wider world of conservative Trump opponents, William Kristol, editor at large of The Weekly Standard, said he had begun informal conversations about creating a “Committee Not to Renominate the President.”

“We need to take one shot at liberating the Republican Party from Trump, and conservatism from Trumpism,” Mr. Kristol said.

It may get worse, said Jay Bergman, an Illinois petroleum executive and a leading Republican donor. Grievous setbacks in the midterm elections of 2018 could bolster challengers in the party.

“If the Republicans have lost a lot of seats in the Congress and they blame Trump for it, then there are going to be people who emerge who are political opportunists,” Mr. Bergman said.

Mr. Pence has been the pacesetter. Though it is customary for vice presidents to keep a full political calendar, he has gone a step further, creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent and promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration.

The vice president created his own political fund-raising committee, Great America Committee, shrugging off warnings from some high-profile Republicans that it would create speculation about his intentions. The group, set up with help from Jack Oliver, a former fund-raiser for George W. Bush, has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s own primary outside political group, America First Action, even raising more in disclosed donations.

PENCE’S BUSY SCHEDULE

Here are a few of the political events that Vice President Mike Pence has attended:

  • Party-affiliated events:

    He has been the keynote speaker for at least eight Republican events since February.

  • Outside groups:

    He has attended at least eight events since February for politically active groups, including his own group, the Great American PAC.

  • Donor cultivation:

    He was the driving presence behind at least four events in June and July, and hosted private gatherings at his residence earlier this year.

Mr. Pence also installed Nick Ayers, a sharp-elbowed political operative, as his new chief of staff last month — a striking departure from vice presidents’ long history of elevating a government veteran to be their top staff member. Mr. Ayers had worked on many campaigns but never in the federal government.

Some in the party’s establishment wing are remarkably open about their wish that Mr. Pence would be the Republican standard-bearer in 2020, Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said.

“For some, it is for ideological reasons, and for others it is for stylistic reasons,” Mr. Dent said, complaining of the “exhausting” amount of “instability, chaos and dysfunction” surrounding Mr. Trump.

Mr. Pence has made no overt efforts to separate himself from the beleaguered president. He has kept up his relentless public praise and even in private is careful to bow to the president.

Mr. Pence’s aides, however, have been less restrained in private, according to two people briefed on the conversations. In a June meeting with Al Hubbard, an Indiana Republican who was a top economic official in Mr. Bush’s White House, an aide to the vice president, Marty Obst, said that they wanted to be prepared to run in case there was an opening in 2020 and that Mr. Pence would need Mr. Hubbard’s help, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. Reached on the phone, Mr. Hubbard declined to comment.

Mr. Ayers has signaled to multiple major Republican donors that Mr. Pence wants to be ready.

Mr. Obst denied that he and Mr. Ayers had made any private insinuations and called suggestions that the vice president was positioning himself for 2020 “beyond ridiculous.”

For his part, Mr. Pence is methodically establishing his own identity and bestowing personal touches on people who could pay dividends in the future. He not only spoke in June at one of the most important yearly events for Iowa Republicans, Senator Joni Ernst’s pig roast, but he also held a separate, more intimate gathering for donors afterward.

When he arrived in Des Moines on Air Force Two, Mr. Pence was greeted by an Iowan who had complained about his experience with the Affordable Care Act — and who happened to be a member of the state Republican central committee.

The vice president has also turned his residence at the Naval Observatory into a hub for relationship building. In June, he opened the mansion to social conservative activists like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and representatives of the billionaire kingmakers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

At large gatherings for contributors, Mr. Pence keeps a chair free at each table so he can work his way around the room. At smaller events for some of the party’s biggest donors, he lays on the charm. Last month, Mr. Pence hosted the Kentucky coal barons Kelly and Joe Craft, along with the University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach, John Calipari, for a dinner a few hours after Ms. Craft appeared before the Senate for her hearing as nominee to become ambassador to Canada.

Other Republicans eyeing the White House have taken note.

“They see him moving around, having big donors at the house for dinner,” said Charles R. Black Jr., a veteran of Republican presidential politics. “And they’ve got to try to keep up.”

Mr. Cotton, for example, is planning a two-day, $5,000-per-person fund-raiser in New York next month, ostensibly for Senate Republicans (and his own eventual re-election campaign). The gathering will include a dinner and a series of events at the Harvard Club, featuring figures well known in hawkish foreign policy circles such as Stephen Hadley, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser.

Mr. Cotton, 40, a first-term Arkansas senator, made headlines for going to Iowa last year during the campaign. He was back just after the election for a birthday party in Des Moines for former Gov. Terry E. Branstad and returned in May to give the keynote speech at a county Republican dinner in Council Bluffs.

Mr. Sasse, among the sharpest Senate Republican critics of Mr. Trump, has quietly introduced himself to political donors in language that several Republicans have found highly suggestive, describing himself as an independent-minded conservative who happens to caucus with Republicans in the Senate. Advisers to Mr. Sasse, of Nebraska, have discussed creating an advocacy group to help promote his agenda nationally.

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Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has been among the sharpest Senate Republican critics of Mr. Trump.CreditTom Williams/CQ Roll Call

He held a private meet-and-greet last month with local Republican leaders in Iowa, where he lamented the plodding pace of Capitol Hill and declined to recant his past criticism of Mr. Trump.

Jennifer Horn, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party who hosted Mr. Sasse in the first primary state last year, said she saw the senator as speaking for conservatives who felt that Republicans in Washington had not been delivering on their promises.

“There are a lot of people in New Hampshire who have developed a lot of respect for him, and I’m one of them,” she said.

James Wegmann, a spokesman for Mr. Sasse, said the only future date that Mr. Sasse had in mind was Nov. 24, 2017, when the University of Iowa meets the University of Nebraska on the football field.

“Huskers-Hawkeyes rematch,” Mr. Wegmann said, “and like every Nebraskan, he’s betting on the side of righteousness.”

Beyond Washington, other up-and-coming Republicans are making moves should there be an opening in 2020. Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the United Nations and a former governor of South Carolina, put her longtime pollster on the payroll, has gotten better acquainted with some of New York’s financiers and carved out a far more muscular foreign policy niche than Mr. Trump.

“She sounds more like me than Trump,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a hawkish Republican from South Carolina.

Justice Dept., Under Siege From Trump, Plows Ahead With His Agenda

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department in July. He has been the subject of President Trump’s rage recently because of his recusal in the Russia inquiry. CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is at the Justice Department by 6:15 a.m., when he exercises on a treadmill near his fifth-floor office, showers in an adjoining bathroom, microwaves instant oatmeal and hand-washes the bowl, then prepares for a daily 8:20 a.m. meeting with his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein.

The televisions in both of their offices are nearly always dark, and neither man has a Twitter account.

That does not mean they have missed the public criticism from President Trump, who was infuriated when Mr. Sessions recused himself from the government’s Russia investigation and when Mr. Rosenstein, who now oversees it, appointed Robert S. Mueller III as the inquiry’s special counsel.

Yet even as the Justice Department has been under siege by Mr. Trump, Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein have sought to tune out the noise as they remake the department into the one that is most powerfully carrying out the president’s agenda.

“We value the independence of the Justice Department,” Mr. Rosenstein said in an interview this week. The employees, he said, have been conditioned to “ignore anything that’s said by people outside of the department.”

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Mr. Rosenstein added, “Nobody is directing us and nobody is going to direct us about which cases to pursue.”

But even if developing headlines are not rippling through the department in real time — “I’ve made a point of telling my people they should not be monitoring the breaking news,” Mr. Rosenstein said — the attacks by Mr. Trump, including his firing of the acting attorney general and the F.B.I. director, as well as calls to investigate a political opponent, have reverberated loudly. All the same, Mr. Sessions is carrying out the president’s conservative agenda with head-turning speed, roiling critics on the left and leaving some career staff members within the department disoriented by the sea change.

“Sessions as attorney general has been everything conservatives could have dreamed of and liberals could have feared,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the last six months, the attorney general has rolled back Obama-era policies on gay rights, voting rights, and criminal justice and police reform while advancing his own fight against drugs, gangs and violent crime. The scope of the work goes far beyond the investigation into Russia’s interference in last year’s election and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

“If you just read the media stories, you get a very narrow view of what the Department of Justice is doing,” Mr. Rosenstein said in an interview on Wednesday. “That’s not the way I see it.”

Mr. Sessions has mandated that prosecutors be as tough as possible in charging and sentencing all crimes, including drug offenses that carry stiff mandatory minimum prison sentences. He has expanded the ability of the police to seize people’s assets, irrespective of whether they may have been convicted of a crime or even charged. And as he presses a hard-line immigration agenda, he has dispatched additional federal prosecutors to border districts to prosecute immigration cases and has ordered cities and states to fall in line with federal immigration authorities or else face cuts in federal funding.

On Thursday, Mr. Sessions attached new conditions to local partnerships focused on reducing crime, requiring so-called sanctuary cities like Baltimore to honor federal requests to detain people suspected of being undocumented immigrants if they wanted to participate. On Friday, Mr. Sessions is expected to announce several investigations into leaking, a priority for the president, who has denounced the stream of information out of his administration.

Mr. Trump’s most loyal constituencies praise Mr. Sessions as the cabinet member most effectively delivering on the president’s promises. “We’re heartened by his no-nonsense approach to criminal justice,” said James O. Pasco Jr., the former executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police and now a senior adviser to that organization’s president. “He’s using the bully pulpit to show his support for law enforcement and make cities safer.”

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Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who now oversees the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

Although it will take time for the full effects of the new policies to be seen, legal experts said, changes have already taken root.

Brett Tolman, a former United States attorney in Utah during the administration of George W. Bush, said Mr. Sessions’s policies on criminal charging and sentencing had already drastically affected some of his clients in federal cases not just limited to drugs. In conversations with assistant United States attorneys around the country, Mr. Tolman said, the prosecutors cited Mr. Sessions’s directives in refusing to negotiate in situations they previously would have.

“There is a definite difference in the mentality of the Department of Justice, and you see it already,” said Mr. Tolman, who previously worked as counsel to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah. Mr. Tolman praised past bipartisan progress on criminal justice reform and said Mr. Sessions was out of step: “This is the 1980s and ’90s mentality, and an absolute 180-degree reversal from what we’ve learned.”

Mr. Sessions has not loudly promoted the changes. In travels around the country, he has rarely spoken with the press as public attention has centered on the government’s Russia inquiry. Mr. Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March after his own undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador became public. He left in charge Mr. Rosenstein, who in turn appointed Mr. Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel.

Mr. Sessions’s recusal has gnawed at the president, who has said he would have chosen a different attorney general had he known Mr. Sessions would step away from the inquiry — something Mr. Sessions did in keeping with the guidance of the Justice Department’s ethics lawyers. Mr. Trump, who considered Mr. Sessions a loyalist, has called the recusal “unfair to the president” and chastised Mr. Rosenstein for appointing Mr. Mueller.

Even as Mr. Trump’s new chief of staff, John F. Kellyassured Mr. Sessionsthis week that he was not at risk of being fired, Mr. Trump has issued no such reassurance.

Beyond personal attacks, the president has taken broader swipes at the department for how it has defended his travel ban, which aimed to close the nation’s borders to travelers from certain predominantly Muslim countries. He has also called for criminal inquiries into Hillary Clinton while calling the Russia investigation a “witch hunt.”

The tension between the Justice Department’s leadership and the president, however, has made some career prosecutors and senior officials — including supporters of the administration’s agenda — uneasy, according to more than two dozen current and former Justice Department officials.

Since May, Mr. Rosenstein has addressed an array of Justice Department staff members, from the public integrity section in Washington to field offices of federal prosecutors in Nevada and South Carolina, seeking to deliver a simple message: Business as usual.

As the Justice Department operates with only a handful of officials confirmed by the Senate — including Mr. Sessions, Mr. Rosenstein and Christopher A. Wray, the new F.B.I. director — the administration has sought to put in place other permanent leadership. Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Sessions have spent some Saturdays this summer meeting with United States attorney candidates to recommend to the president to replace the 46 United States attorneys Mr. Trump forced out this spring. As of Friday, the administration had made 32 nominations, which Mr. Rosenstein cited as “an illustration that we’re moving fairly quickly.”

Others say the vacancies have certain divisions on autopilot. Prosecutors are less likely to take risks or act with a broader sense of strategy, said Kerry B. Harvey, a former United States attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky during the Obama administration.

“When you have a long period of time where you don’t have presidential appointees, the day-to-day work gets done but it tends to be somewhat directionless,” Mr. Harvey said, adding that “it’s ironic the president’s comments seem to be calculated to weaken the Department of Justice’s ability to implement his agenda.”

But as the department presses on with the administration’s agenda, its officials have not wholly turned a blind eye to their place in protecting established government norms.

Among the paintings that Mr. Rosenstein selected to decorate his conference room at the Justice Department is a portrait of Edward H. Levi, appointed attorney general by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 after the department’s credibility had been eroded by President Richard M. Nixon, whose firing of the Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, led to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973.

“That right there,” Mr. Rosenstein said, motioning to the portrait of Mr. Levi. “That’s the post-Watergate A.G.”

Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half

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President Trump just before an announcement about immigration legislation with Senator Tom Cotton, second from right, and Senator David Perdue, far right, at the White House on Wednesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump embraced a proposal on Wednesday to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.

The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades and represents the president’s latest effort to stem the flow of newcomers to the United States. Since taking office, he has barred many visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, limited the influx of refugees, increased immigration arrests and pressed to build a wall along the southern border.

In asking Congress to curb legal immigration, Mr. Trump intensified a debate about national identity, economic growth, worker fairness and American values that animated his campaign last year. Critics said the proposal would undercut the fundamental vision of the United States as a haven for the poor and huddled masses, while the president and his allies said the country had taken in too many low-skilled immigrants for too long to the detriment of American workers.

“This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens,” Mr. Trump said at a White House event alongside two Republican senators sponsoring the bill. “This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”

In throwing his weight behind a bill, Mr. Trump added one more long-odds priority to a legislative agenda already packed with them in the wake of the defeat of legislation to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care program. The president has already vowed to overhaul the tax code and rebuild the nation’s roads, airports and other infrastructure.

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But by endorsing legal immigration cuts, a move he has long supported, Mr. Trump returned to a theme that has defined his short political career and excites his conservative base at a time when his poll numbers continue to sink. Just 33 percent of Americans approved of his performance in the latest Quinnipiac University survey, the lowest rating of his presidency, and down from 40 percent a month ago.

Democrats and some Republicans quickly criticized the move. “Instead of catching criminals, Trump wants to tear apart communities and punish immigrant families that are making valuable contributions to our economy,” said Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “That’s not what America stands for.”

The bill, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, would institute a merit-based system to determine who is admitted to the country and granted legal residency green cards, favoring applicants based on skills, education and language ability rather than relations with people already here. The proposal revives an idea included in broader immigration legislation supported by President George W. Bush that died in 2007.

More than one million people are granted legal residency each year, and the proposal would reduce that by 41 percent in its first year and 50 percent by its 10th year, according to projections cited by its sponsors. The reductions would come largely from those brought in through family connections. The number of immigrants granted legal residency on the basis of job skills, about 140,000, would remain roughly the same.

Under the current system, most legal immigrants are admitted to the United States based on family ties. American citizens can sponsor spouses, parents and minor children for an unrestricted number of visas, while siblings and adult children are given preferences for a limited number of visas available to them. Legal permanent residents holding green cards can also sponsor spouses and children.

In 2014, 64 percent of immigrants admitted with legal residency were immediate relatives of American citizens or sponsored by family members. Just 15 percent entered through employment-based preferences, according to the Migration Policy Institute, an independent research organization. But that does not mean that those who came in on family ties were necessarily low skilled or uneducated.

The legislation would award points based on education, ability to speak English, high-paying job offers, age, record of achievement and entrepreneurial initiative. But while it would still allow spouses and minor children of Americans and legal residents to come in, it would eliminate preferences for other relatives, like siblings and adult children. The bill would create a renewable temporary visa for older-adult parents who come for caretaking purposes.

Video

Stephen Miller Jousts With Reporters Over Immigration

Exchanges between the senior White House adviser and Glenn Thrush of The New York Times and Jim Acosta of CNN became combative at a news briefing on Wednesday.

By THE NEW YORK TIMES on Publish DateAugust 2, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

The legislation would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 a year and eliminate a diversity visa lottery that the sponsors said does not promote diversity. The senators said their bill was meant to emulate systems in Canada and Australia.

The projections cited by the sponsors said legal immigration would decrease to 637,960 after a year and to 539,958 after a decade.

“Our current system does not work,” Mr. Perdue said. “It keeps America from being competitive and it does not meet the needs of our economy today.”

Mr. Cotton said low-skilled immigrants pushed down wages for those who worked with their hands. “For some people, they may think that that’s a symbol of America’s virtue and generosity,” he said. “I think it’s a symbol that we’re not committed to working-class Americans, and we need to change that.”

But Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, noted that agriculture and tourism were his state’s top two industries. “If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state’s economy, which relies on this immigrant work force,” he said. “Hotels, restaurants, golf courses and farmers,” he added, “will tell you this proposal to cut legal immigration in half would put their business in peril.”

Cutting legal immigration would make it harder for Mr. Trump to reach the stronger economic growth that he has promised. Bringing in more workers, especially during a time of low unemployment, increases the size of an economy. Critics said the plan would result in labor shortages, especially in lower-wage jobs that many Americans do not want.

The National Immigration Forum, an advocacy group, said the country was already facing a work force gap of 7.5 million jobs by 2020. “Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family,” said Ali Noorani, the group’s executive director.

Surveys show most Americans believe legal immigration benefits the country. In a Gallup poll in January, 41 percent of Americans were satisfied with the overall level of immigration, 11 percentage points higher than the year before and the highest since the question was first asked in 2001. Still, 53 percent of Americans remained dissatisfied.

The plan endorsed by Mr. Trump generated a fiery exchange at the White House briefing when Stephen Miller, the president’s policy adviser and a longtime advocate of immigration limits, defended the proposal. Pressed for statistics to back up claims that immigration was costing Americans jobs, he cited several studies that have been debated by experts.

“But let’s also use common sense here, folks,” Mr. Miller said. “At the end of the day, why do special interests want to bring in more low-skill workers?”

He rejected the argument that immigration policy should also be based on compassion. “Maybe it’s time we had compassion for American workers,” he said.

2649COMMENTS

When a reporter read him some of the words from the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — Mr. Miller dismissed them. “The poem that you’re referring to was added later,” he said. “It’s not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

He noted that in 1970, the United States allowed in only a third as many legal immigrants as it now does: “Was that violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty law of the land?”

Correction: August 2, 2017 
An earlier version of this article misstated part of President Trump’s effort to stem the flow of immigrants into the United States. He has increased immigration arrests, not deportations.

 Courtesy: The New York Times

As Washington Tries to Protect Tech, China Could Fight Back

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The Ford Motor plant in Hangzhou, China. China could penalize American companies operating there if a trade dispute broke out. CreditGiulia Marchi for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration moves to take on China over intellectual property, Washington will find it has limited firepower. Beijing has a strong grip on American technology companies, and global trade rules could favor China.

Technology is proving a major battleground for China and the United States, as both sides vie to protect their economic and national security interests.

Beijing has forced a long list of American companies to enter joint ventures or share research with Chinese players, part of a broader push to create its own technology giants. From makers of smartphones to chips to electric cars, American businesses have reluctantly agreed, fearful of losing access to China, which has the second-largest economy in the world.

China’s ambitions have set off alarms in Washington, with concerns on both sides of the aisle. Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, is now preparing a trade case accusing China of extensive violations of intellectual property, according to people with detailed knowledge of the case.

But China can play a strong defense. The country has broad latitude, under special rules it negotiated with the World Trade Organization, to maintain restrictions within its market.

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“The problem is that U.S. trade negotiators agreed to provisions allowing China to limit market access for U.S. companies unless they engaged in joint ventures,” said Michael R. Wessel, a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which Congress created to monitor the relationship between the two countries.

“Potential Chinese partners demand the family jewels,” he said. “Companies can say no, but too many give in to Chinese pressure to make a quick buck.”

The current trade frictions trace back to the Clinton administration.

When China was entering the W.T.O. in 1999 and 2000, American negotiators gave Beijing some leeway, a position later supported by the administration of George W. Bush. As a developing country, China was allowed extra protections, such as requirements that companies in critical industries work with Chinese partners. China, in return, promised to shed the extra rules gradually as its economy matured.

But Beijing did not open up, even as China evolved into an economic powerhouse. Quite the opposite has happened under President Xi Jinping, who has pursued a more nationalistic agenda than his reform-minded predecessors.

China now sees the technology sector as a critical piece of its industrial policy — a policy that Beijing is aggressively enlisting American tech giants to support and that the leadership will most likely go all out to protect.

Beijing’s demands have been partly driven by security concerns, particularly after disclosures by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, of electronic spying by the United States on China’s rapid military buildup.

China has also been explicit about its economic motives, seeking to dominate fast-growing global industries that could create millions of well-paid jobs for a generation of increasingly well-educated young Chinese.

GRAPHIC

Building Trade Walls

The Trump administration faces the problem that China’s high trade barriers are allowed by the World Trade Organization, because China entered the group as a developing country and insists it still is one.

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In several cases, China’s strategy to control technology approaches the kind of oversight most countries reserve for industries serving the military or government.

New Chinese rules often force foreign tech companies into partnerships with local companies — in part to gain expertise, in part to assert control. Other guidance from the government has indicated that companies must invest more in China to continue to have access to the market. Apple has opened research and development centers in the country as part of a new charm campaign.

In the chip sector, a major initiative intended to lift Chinese capabilities has drafted America’s biggest makers of the electronic brains that run everything from smartphones to driverless cars. Over the past four years, America’s largest chip companies have entered into a dizzying network of partnerships unlike anything they have anywhere else.

Qualcomm works with a company in southwest China to develop server chips. In 2014, Intel signed agreements with two Chinese chip makers, Spreadtrum and Rockchip, to give it a leg up in the market for China’s smartphones and tablets. Last year, Intel agreed to a partnership with the influential Tsinghua University in China as part of a bid to make server chips that match local specifications.

IBM and Advanced Micro Devices have both licensed chip technology to Chinese partners with ties to China’s military. GlobalFoundries, a California-based company, joined forces with a local government in central China to build a $10 billion chip manufacturing plant there.

American technology companies can find themselves at a serious disadvantage in China unless they agree to cooperate with government-linked Chinese businesses.

Take cloud computing, the fast-growing business of leasing computer power to companies. Chinese laws require foreign companies to join with local partners and allow them only a minority stake. International businesses are also blocked from branding such services under their own names.

Both Microsoft and Amazon, dominant forces in cloud computing in the United States, have local partnerships in China. By contrast, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba operates two data centers in the United States without any partner.

Another rule calls for data about Chinese consumers or business operations to be stored in China. Apple and Amazon recently set up data centers in China, again with local partners, to store more customer information in the country.

Against that backdrop, the call for trade action is attracting bipartisan support.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which handles trade issues, met with Mr. Lighthizer Wednesday morning and gave him a letter supporting a challenge to Chinese policies. “China’s forced technology transfer policies are among the key challenges facing U.S. innovators operating in China or otherwise competing with Chinese firms,” Senator Wyden wrote.

China can make its own play under global trade rules. Beijing can quickly demand binding arbitration — and could have a good chance of winning. China was allowed into the W.T.O. with very few limits on its ability to regulate services or foreign investment, two categories in which China was fairly weak when it entered the organization in 2001.

If China did win a W.T.O. case, it would then have the right to restrict American exports to the same extent that the United States restricts Chinese imports.

China consistently exports four times as much to the United States as it imports. Even so, China could penalize American companies like Apple and Starbucks that have very large operations that produce and sell in China with minimal imports from the United States.

“U.S. negotiators, I think, basically dropped the ball,” said Nicholas R. Lardy, a longtime trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, referring to the rules on services that were negotiated when China entered the W.T.O. “They didn’t think China was very important.”

McCain Provides a Dramatic Finale on Health Care: Thumb Down

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John McCain Casts Decisive Health Care Vote

Senate leaders react after John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who returned to the Senate this week after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat his party’s “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. .Watch in Times Video »

WASHINGTON — All week long, Senate Democrats had quietly groused that Senator John McCain made a stirring return to the Senate after a brain cancer diagnosis, that he preached the virtues of bipartisanship — and that he then backed a Republican-only push to replace the Affordable Care Act.

But early Friday morning, Mr. McCain, showing little sign of his grave illness, strode onto the Senate floor as the vote was being taken to repeal it, and shocked many of his colleagues and the nation. He sought recognition from the vote counters, turned his thumb down, and said “no.” There were gasps and some applause.

He had just derailed the fevered Republican effort to undo the Obama-era health care law.

It was a stunning moment that will be long remembered in the Senate, a flash of the maverick John McCain, unafraid of going his own way despite the pleas of his fellow Republicans. In teaming up with Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who had already opposed the bill, Mr. McCain made good on his earlier promise to help defeat the measure if it didn’t meet his personal test.

No amount of arm-twisting by his peers, Vice President Mike Pence or even President Trump could sway him from the decision that he had telegraphed to some Democrats and Republicans in the anxious buildup to the vote.

Ms. Collins said Mr. McCain told her that he felt compelled to “do the right thing.” It probably didn’t hurt that it was also a measure of cold revenge against Mr. Trump, a man who on the campaign trail in 2015 had mocked Mr. McCain’s ordeal as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Mr. McCain made no mention of that, however, and instead used his time of maximum impact in the spotlight to say that the spectacular collapse of the health bill provided a chance for renewal, an opening to get the Senate out of its dysfunctional and partisan rut.

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“The vote last night presents the Senate with an opportunity to start fresh,” Mr. McCain said in a statement on Friday. “I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to trust each other, stop the political gamesmanship, and put the health care needs of the American people first. We can do this.”

His decision to reject the measure represented a remarkable turnaround from Tuesday. Mr. McCain, 80, whose brain cancer had been diagnosed just days earlier, arrived in the Senate to provide the vote Republicans needed to open debate on their jumbled efforts to find a legislative path to repeal the health care bill they had railed against for seven years. Mr. Trump praised Mr. McCain’s courage in returning to the capital.

Leading up to the vote, Mr. McCain, not untypically, had confounded both critics and admirers. His speech Tuesday had the potential to go down as a Senate classic, a call to restore the work-across-the-aisle traditions of the past.

“We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues,” Mr. McCain scolded his colleagues. “We’re getting nothing done, my friends, we’re getting nothing done.”

Mr. McCain’s vote that day left Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, smiling as his sometime foe, sometime friend from Arizona helped rescue the Kentucky Republican’s reputation as a master strategist.

He provided the vote to move the Republican measure forward and seemed to work throughout the week with his constant ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, to explore ways to get the legislation out of the Senate and over to the House as Mr. McConnell so badly wanted.

A hastily scheduled Thursday evening news conference set off alarm bells among Democrats that Mr. McCain was going to back the last-ditch “skinny” repeal effort and sustain the drive to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

But he had also been working back channels with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, about his intentions. A relieved Mr. Schumer praised Mr. McCain after the vote.

“John McCain is a hero and has courage and does the right thing,” Mr. Schumer told reporters. “He is a hero of mine.”

Mr. McConnell was no longer smiling.

“So yes, this is a disappointment,” the majority leader said in an emotional speech after the vote. “A disappointment indeed.”

Other Republicans, while crediting Mr. McCain with a flair for the dramatic, said it was Republican voters who would be left disappointed by Mr. McCain’s act.

“The losers tonight are the people who believed in the democratic process, believe that actually when candidates run and say, ‘I will fight to repeal Obamacare,’ that that actually means they will fight to repeal Obamacare,” said Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who has clashed with Mr. McCain in the past. Mr. McCain was re-elected last year after making the repeal and replacement of the health care law a central element of his campaign.

As a senator from a state with a large population of older Americans, Mr. McCain has long involved himself in health policy, although the fine points are far from his chief area of expertise, military affairs. In this health care fight, Mr. McCain’s resistance appeared to be driven partly by concerns raised by Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona about the potential loss of coverage in the state.

After turning Washington upside down over the last few days, Mr. McCain planned to be in Arizona on Monday for what his office described as a “standard post-surgical regimen of targeted radiation and chemotherapy.” Mr. McCain intends to keep working but does not plan to be back on Capitol Hill before September.

The question now is whether Mr. McCain’s vote will produce the results he wants: a more bipartisan approach to making changes in the health law that both sides acknowledge are needed. Or will it simply produce a stalemate that leads to a failure of the current system and a chorus of “we told you so” from Republicans?

The president made clear his unhappiness and issued a warning of what would come, predicting the current system would implode.

But for now, it was Mr. McCain who had seized the moment and set the course of the Senate.

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Calling Comey a Liar, Trump Says He Will Testify Under Oath

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President Trump with President Klaus Iohannis of Romania on Friday in the Rose Garden.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday accused James B. Comey, the fired F.B.I. director, of lying under oath to Congress, saying he would gladly provide sworn testimony disputing Mr. Comey’s charge that the president forced him out because of his handling of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.

Mr. Trump asserted that the comments on Thursday by Mr. Comey, whom he called “a leaker,” had proved that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, nor any obstruction of justice by the president. He hinted again that he had tapes of his private talks with the former F.B.I. chief that would disprove Mr. Comey’s account, but declined to confirm the existence of any recordings.

“Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction,” Mr. Trump said in the White House Rose Garden, during a news conference with the visiting Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis.

He dismissed Mr. Comey’s testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is investigating whether his campaign worked with Russia to sway the election, as a politically motivated stunt orchestrated by adversaries bitter about his victory in November.

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“That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election that some people think they shouldn’t have lost,” he said. “But we were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things that he said just weren’t true.”

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Highlights From Comey’s Testimony

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish DateJune 8, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

The remarks were a defiant response from Mr. Trump, who had remained uncharacteristically silent on social media during Mr. Comey’s blockbuster day of testimony on Thursday, as the former F.B.I. chief laid out an account that strongly suggested the president’s private exchanges with him had been an attempt to obstruct justice. They escalated an extraordinary public feud between a sitting president and the ousted F.B.I. director who had been investigating his campaign, each now engaging in full-throated accusations that the other is lying.

But Mr. Trump’s comments reflected a highly selective reading of Mr. Comey’s testimony, much of which painted a damaging picture of the president’s conduct. Mr. Comey told Congress that the president had not personally been under investigation while he was the F.B.I. director, and that at one point Mr. Trump suggested he would like to find out whether any of his associates had done anything wrong. But his account also strongly suggested that Mr. Trump had tried to influence his handling of the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Trump denied that he had ever asked Mr. Comey to drop the F.B.I. investigation into his former national security adviser’s dealings with Russia, or asked for a pledge of loyalty, as Mr. Comey asserted Thursday. Those conversations are reflected in memos Mr. Comey wrote, and now are in the possession of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation who was named after Mr. Comey’s firing.

“I didn’t say that,” Mr. Trump said of the request regarding the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. “And there’d be nothing wrong if I did say it.”

Of the loyalty pledge from Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump said, “I hardly know the man; I’m not going to ask him to pledge allegiance.”

Asked whether he would be willing to provide his version under oath, Mr. Trump responded, “100 percent.” He said of Mr. Mueller, “I would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you.”

The president declined repeatedly to say whether, as he suggested last month in a Twitter post, he had recordings of his conversations with Mr. Comey. “I’ll tell you about it over a very short period of time,” he said. “You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”

The tantalizing comment appeared to catch the attention of congressional investigators participating in the Russia probe. Representative K. Michael Conaway, Republican of Texas, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, quickly announced they had written to Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, requesting that any recordings or memos about Mr. Trump’s conversations with Mr. Comey be furnished to the intelligence committee within two weeks. They also said they had made a formal request to Mr. Comey for copies of the memos he testified about on Thursday or notes reflecting the meetings.

During his Senate testimony on Thursday, Mr. Comey said he relished the idea of recordings of his conversations with Mr. Trump becoming public, saying, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” and seeming to taunt the president at one point, remarking, “Release all the tapes — I’m good with it.”

Mr. Comey testified that it was Mr. Trump’s May 12 Twitter post suggesting there were such tapes that prompted him to ask an intermediary to share information with a reporter from a memo he had created about his interactions with the president. The New York Times was read portions of the memo and on May 16 published an article, in which it was revealed that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to drop the Flynn matter.

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What Comey Left Unsaid — and What It Means

A look at what we can glean from the questions James B. Comey, the former director of the F.B.I, would not answer publicly during his testimony before Congress on Thursday.

By NATALIA V. OSIPOVA and NEETI UPADHYE on Publish DateJune 9, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Earlier on Friday, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that Mr. Comey had given him “vindication” in the Russia investigation.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication,” he wrote at 6:10 a.m.

He added, “and WOW, Comey is a leaker,” referring to the former F.B.I. director’s admission that he had orchestrated the leak of the contents of a memo detailing Oval Office discussions with the president to The Times through a friend. The president also recirculated another defense of his actions posted on Twitter by Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor emeritus who has advised the Trump team on Middle Eastern policy. “We should stop talking about obstruction of justice,” Mr. Dershowitz said, linking to an interview he gave to Fox News. “No plausible case. We must distinguish crimes from pol sins.”

Mr. Trump’s team, led by his personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, on Friday was preparing a counterattack on Mr. Comey based in part on his admission that he arranged the leak of his account of the conversation with Mr. Trump in which he says the president suggested the F.B.I. halt its investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. The president’s lawyers plan to file a complaint with the Justice Department inspector general next week arguing that Mr. Comey should not have shared what they call privileged communications, according to two people involved in the matter.

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The lawyers also plan to send a complaint to the Senate Judiciary Committee raising questions about Mr. Comey’s previous testimony to that panel. On May 3, in response to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the committee chairman, Mr. Comey said he had never been an anonymous source for news outlets about the investigation involving Mr. Trump’s team or authorized anyone at the F.B.I. to be.

In his testimony on Thursday, Mr. Comey said the memo whose contents he had a friend leak was not classified and therefore not inappropriate to make public. Mr. Trump’s lawyers argue that it was subject to executive privilege, although the president has never asserted privilege over his conversations with Mr. Comey and independent legal experts have expressed doubt that he could. Mr. Comey arranged the leak on May 15, after he was fired and after the May 3 hearing, so it would not be in direct conflict with that testimony.

Correction: June 9, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of President Trump’s personal lawyer. He is Marc E. Kasowitz, not Kadowitz.

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