Trump Defends Use Of Tear Gas At The Border; Mississippi Senate Heads To A Runoff

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Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from IBM, who was helping create p Tech's schools, a new education model that prepare students for twenty first century careers. Let's put smart so work. Find out how it IBM dot com slash p tag get I- NBA crew. It's clayton. He from Melbourne Australia. I've just voted in my likely state election where it's compulsory voting. I get a fine. If I don't show up preferential voting I have to number every books and Iran, really just kids if they get a sausage at the select the front this podcast was recorded at three twenty four PM on Monday, November twenty six things have changed by the time. You hear this? Hey, can I have mine with onions on with the show? I wanted to know where the sausage is free. Yes. You get them. If you vote I won't have sticker you have to. But the point is they give you a free a free sites. That's just awesome. This is your word that is one of the main reason torii voted, hey there. It's the NPR politics podcast over the weekend. US border agents fired tear gas into Mexico as migrants tried to cross into the United States. And the election is still not yet over tomorrow in Mississippi. There is a runoff in the race for Senate. I'm tamra Keith. I cover the White House. I also cover the White House, and I'm Mara Liasson national political correspondent, so let's start with what happened over the weekend along the border. Well, what happened this weekend was really this sort of the coma nation of something that's been building for a long time. There's been a large number of. Of Central American asylum seekers making their way to the United States. The Trump administration has deliberately trying to funnel all of those migrants to official ports of entry. That's the official doorways in the border between the US and Mexico. The biggest doorway is the Santa sedro port of entry. But between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, I used to live there. It's I've spent a lot of hours waiting in that border line. It's a very busy port of entry. It's very busy port of entry at the best of times, and it's more complicated now because you have several thousand additional Central American migrants who've been waiting to go through there and apply for asylum and the under the Trump administration they've only been leading fewer than a hundred through per day. I want to try to understand this. There were people who had already gathered trying to cross into the United States to seek asylum. Then caravan people have shown up making the crowd of folks in Tijuana. China larger do you have a combustible situation. You have folks who've been waiting weeks and now looking at the prospect of waiting months to have their asylum claims heard there was a protest, they got impatient. Some of the protesters also rushed to the border in a ill conceived attempt to think maybe they could climb over the fence or sneak under the fence or somehow get across the border, and that's when the border patrol responded with tear gas. It was a windy day. Some of the people who were affected by the tear gas were the folks who are not rushing the border. We're just having their protests. But it turned what was already a difficult situation into a really chaotic scene. And then the authorities along the border took the additional step of actually closing the door altogether, including to the ordinary commuters and tourists in the tens of thousands of people who pass back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana every day for hours on the Sunday after thanksgiving. So the tear gas being lobbed into Mexico game. Gives us this. What has become already an indelible image of this mom, wearing a frozen t shirt with their two kids frozen. As in the Disney show is in the Disney movie running away from smoke and our reporters on the ground have said that it was it's been windy that that air was moving around that that the tear-gas went beyond maybe the people that were trying to charge the border, right? So this is a picture of the mom and her kids with somebody trying to get away from teargas one thing, that's got you. And I know because we have lived in California and have crossed that border crossing. This is a pretty heavily fortified part of the US border. Like, if you're talking about build a wall, there's something that looks a lot like a wall there. Absolutely. And and even more so in recent weeks because the the thorns have been fortifying it with additional concertina wire they've closed off some of the what are usually traffic lanes. So it's even more fortified than usual right now. And today. Out on the south lawn of the White House. President Trump was asked about this. And he defended the action that the border patrol took. They had to use because they were being rushed by some very tough people, and they used tear gas and is the bottom line. Nobody's coming into our country unless they come in legally. No, we should say under both American law and international law. If you reach the US border you are allowed to petition for asylum. So that would count as coming in legally, the president has been resisting this and what he'd like to set up his some sort of system where asylum-seekers stay in Mexico while their asylum claims are being heard. Yeah. And you know, the interesting thing about the politics of this issue is that generally when the issue is border security, the president and the Republicans win when the issue is maltreatment of women and children the Democrats win. So you had this picture of the mom and her kids running on the border to get away from tear gas. Now is that a reduction of family separation which was the one moment in this entire debate. Where the Democrats were on the offensive not the defensive or can Donald Trump continue to say that pictures like this of women and children are somehow an imminent national security threat to the United States. Well, and if that was the only picture that would be one thing, but there were also images and moving images of these people trying to jump the fence or climb the fence. So that that certainly plays into the hands of the president and other immigration hardliners who want to say, look, this is a threat. This is a large number of people trying to come into the country against the will of the United States. And just to reiterate one reason it's a large number of people in one spot is because the Trump administration is deliberately said if you want to apply for asylum. You've got to go to a port of entry. And the other reason is because they have slowed down to such a great extent the asylum process that is. Just more people are massing on the border because so few of them can be processed per day. So this morning with all of this on cable news on a loop, especially Fox News. I was in the office of an ally of President Trump's today as on the television set in his office. There were there were moving pictures of of of this protest and what happened yesterday, and he pointed up there and said this is going to help the president in his effort to get funding for the wall. And that is going to be a very big matter very soon because there is a government funding deadline of December seventh where wall funding is going to be a big part of that discussion the this ally. The president says you look at that image of people trying to get into the United States. This large group of people trying to get into the United States that makes people want to have a wall. It makes Democrats want to give him funding for the wall. He didn't think that but he said it would make moderate. Republicans and independence more interested in a wall than maybe they would have been a week as they cast their vote before they are no longer members of congress because there's a lame duck. Yeah. And lame duck politics are very interesting. And and we don't know exactly which way this is going to go don't forget, the Democrats have now won thirty eight they might get up to forty more seats. So that me and the house in the house. So there are a lot of lame duck Republicans who are going to be asked to vote on this budget, including funding for the wall. Who know that this is the last vote they're going to cast. They're not going to be coming back in January some of them feel they lost their seats because of Donald Trump and because of his obsession about the border there from moderate suburban districts. They're not, you know, from the places where the wall is the most popular so we don't know exactly how that's going to play out. And when we talk about the budget. We're talking about the budget for the part of homeland security of the government has already been funded for the new year, but the homeland security department and a number of other branches of government have not yet been funded. So one of the things this lame duck. Congress has to do. Is pass a funding Bill for those remaining departments. And the it's I December seventh and it's an opportunity for the president to to push for a wall. But there's certainly no guarantee even if his ally thinks it's this kerfuffle in Tijuana helps him there's certainly no guarantee. I don't think there's a tremendous appetite in congress to spend anything like the multiple billions of dollars at the president wants on on a border wall. And don't forget that the president has said several times that he would be willing to shut down the government. If he didn't get full funding for the wall. Now, he said he didn't want to do it before the election. He understood the politics of shutting down the government. But he has suggested that he might be willing to revisit that. So just as a reminder what happened is in September. There was a government funding deadline and congress funded something like eighty percent of the government for the next year. And then about twenty percent of the government. That includes the department of homeland security was funded temporarily through December. So now Semper seventh through December seventh. It's the next front. It's the next fight. It is and once again, it's about immigration and don't forget in the past. The president has been close at several times to making a deal with Democrats where he would get the wall funding, but in exchange he'd have to either do something about DACA. The you know, the kids who were given temporary relief from deportation or something else. Those deals always fell apart at the last minute. And it's hard for me to imagine with the Democrats knowing that they're going to be in control in just another short month and a half after that that he can get a deal like that again. Now, we should say whatever happens in this budget fight in which the wall may be one of the big bones of contention as with previous government shutdowns or partial government shutdown. It's important to remember that essential government personnel are going to stay on the job so border patrol officers. TSA agents the quote, unquote, essential members that federal government will stay on the job. Even if their departments are not funded, but this. Is still an opportunity when lawmakers have some leverage the need to pass a spending Bill does force lawmakers, and the and the White House to wrestle with some of these issues that maybe they've been putting off for some time. Okay. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back Mississippi and the Senate race there. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from grow with Google digital skills are becoming more and more important in today's economy. That's why grow with Google is providing free online training and tools to help Americans. Learn the skills they need to succeed. Learn more about grow with Google and get started by visiting Google dot com slash grow support for this podcast. And the following message come from southern visa institute of art offering educational programs, including fully accredited, master's, degrees, online, courses and summer courses for adults and teenagers. Learn about the business side of art art history. How galleries and auction houses work and how to begin your career in the art world in New York, London and Los Angeles. Learn more at Sotheby's institute dot com this week on asking other we have comedian Michelle wolf, and she shares her opinion about the White House's recent decision to not have a comedian at this year's correspondents dinner. They wanna make a. A case for the first amendment which first of all if you have to make a case for the first amendment. You're losing. Yeah. It's not happening. And you know, that won't be all on MPR's. Our puzzles where games and trivia, and we're back and President Trump right now is on Air Force One headed to Mississippi tonight to hold to rallies. And why is he holding rallies? The dude. Game. Really after thanksgiving. Here's a runoff election. Because neither there were three candidates running to Republicans and a democrat. Nobody got over fifty percent rules in Mississippi say he got to go to a runoff. So now, we've got Cindy Hyde Smith who was appointed to the position Republican running against Mike Espy democrat. He is an African American candidate. If he won he'd be the first African American Senator from Mississippi since reconstruction. That's why there's an election on Tuesday. Okay. That's why there's an election. But that's not why the president is going there. The fact that the president the Republican president is having to hold not one, but two campaign rallies for a Republican Senator in the ruby red state of Mississippi. That's the story Senator Cindy Hyde. Smith is facing a surprisingly stiff challenge from Mike Espy in this runoff, mainly because of her own missteps, although she's made several racially insensitive remarks. That's one of the reasons the race has tightened. She is doesn't have the kind of baggage that ROY Moore did in Alabama and SP. Let's just explain who he is. He's the former agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration. He comes from a very prominent African American family in Mississippi and former congresswoman congressman also what he's trying to do is run the Doug Jones playbook in Mississippi. Doug Jones was the democrat who against all odds won a Senate seat in Alabama. But the interesting thing is the same democratic strategist is running Espy's race as ran Doug Jones race. So he's trying to use the same playbook, which is get a certain amount of the white vote. Twenty five to thirty percent perhaps and then boost African American turnout to historic levels and most people I talked to on both Republicans and Democrats say that Espy's job is not impossible. But it's extremely difficult. But again, the fact that President Trump is taking a Monday afternoon in jetting down there to do to rally suggests that Republicans at least are hearing footsteps maybe their footsteps in the in the in the way back. But they are hearing. There's no doubt about that. But Donald Trump loves to campaign. He loves to hold these rallies. He wants to be able to say that he he'd her over the finish line. He wants to be there to take credit. He might have done this, even if she was maybe he would have only held one rally, but I think he would've gone down. Anyway, this is a state where Donald Trump can make a difference. This is the kind of very red state very pro-trump state where he can boost Republican turnout and as Mara says for President Trump to hold a campaign rally is not really a sacrifice. You don't you don't need to be. He doesn't make a big excuse. No. I mean, he had his groove heading into the mid terms because he was doing all these rallies in early between Labor Day and election in mostly red states where he won and where he was very popular. And then the midterms happened a lot of Republicans lost. He lost the house the president kind of lost his groove. He's going to get his groove back. But the other thing to remember Mississippi. This does not affect the balance of power in the Senate. Republicans are going to have either fifty two or fifty three votes. There it affects it's not we're not at the tipping point. It doesn't affect the majority. But fifty three is better than the balance of power. It's going to be a Republican majority. No matter what the other thing, we should mention just so people don't forget about it is the following Tuesday. We're going to have another runoff in Georgia for the secretary of state. There's Democrat John barrow he's in a runoff with Republican brand referenced burger Donald Trump has already been tweeting about this race. And the reason this race is so significant is that this whoever wins would replace Brian Kemp who's the governor of elect he was the secretary of state before? And don't forget that Georgia politics has been consumed with this debate about voter suppression voter fraud already in this runoff election for secretary of state whose job it is to oversee elections and ballot security etcetera. The Republican is already accusing the democrat saying if he wins his policies would lead to. More illegal voting than ever. We are going to keep an eye on all those results, and we will be back in your feeds on Wednesday with the news along with the latest in the democratic leadership fight election. Whatever you wanna call it in the house. I'm tamra Keith. I cover the White House. I'm Scott Horsely. I also come the White House. I'm Mara Liasson national political correspondent and thank you for listening to the PR politics podcast. This message comes from NPR sponsor Capital One offering a variety of credit card options with features for range of customers from foodies to travelers Capital One what's in your wallet credit approval required capital. 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