When Democrats wouldn’t listen to a briefing on border security, Donald Trump went old school on them.
And when we say old school, we mean old school — as in, slides.
According to The Daily Caller, the president sent slides to every member of Congress outlining a border security presentation that was supposed to be given at the White House Wednesday, stopping Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she began to give it.
“Once the secretary started, Schumer interrupted her and didn’t want to hear it,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
The Daily Caller also reported that a “White House official told (them) that both Pelosi and Schumer refused to hear out Nielsen’s briefing and instead advocated for two solutions to end the government shutdown. Neither of the Democratic options would provide the additional funding for border security requested by The White House.”
So, Trump decided to send the slides of the presentation to all the members of 116th Congress along with a letter of admonition.
“It had been my hope that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would have the opportunity to deliver a presentation discussing the facts about the depth and severity of the humanitarian crisis and the security crisis that is now unfolding at the Southern Border,” the president said in a letter.
He noted, “however, some of those present did not want to hear the presentation at the time, and so I have instead decided to make the presentation available to all Members of Congress.”
.@POTUS sent the slides of a border security briefing to every Member of Congress after the Wednesday White House meeting when Democratic lawmakers were uninterested in seeing them pic.twitter.com/oIWOHoUmKB
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) January 4, 2019
The slides detailed how the crisis was different due to “Drugs,” “Criminals, Gangs, Terrorists” and “Vulnerable Populations.”
Under drugs, the briefing noted there were double-digit increases in amphetamine, heroin and fentanyl trafficking in the fiscal year 2017-2018 — including 78 percent for fentanyl, a synthetic opiate which has been implicated in the dramatic increase of overdose deaths.
As for criminals, gangs and terrorists, the slides claimed over 17,000 adults who already had criminal records caught at the southern border in fiscal year 2018 and almost 4,000 “(k)nown or suspected terrorists prevented from traveling to or entering the U.S. by DHS” in fiscal year 2017, although numbers at the southern border weren’t given. Six-thousand suspected gang members were “apprehended at the Southern Border and removed by ICE.”
“Vulnerable Populations,” meanwhile, noted a 25 percent increase in unaccompanied minors arriving illegally in fiscal year 2018, up to 60,000 individuals.
The slideshow also claimed 161,000 family units arriving illegally in fiscal year 18, an increase of 50 percent.
Among the solutions proposed involved completing the border wall, a change in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act “to allow consistent treatment of unaccompanied alien children” and ending the so-called “Flores Amendment” — which generally limits the amount of time that minors can be detained — so that families wouldn’t be separated.
Needless to say, that’s unlikely to be agreed to wholesale. However, they’ll certainly have the slides — an old-school way of doing things, indicative of the days when PowerPoint and projectors ruled the roost.
However, you have to say this much: For interrupting a private showing, the Democrats ended up getting the slideshow released in a very public way. That’s probably not a tradeoff anyone on the other side of the aisle would like to have made.
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