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April 21, 2017
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President Trump met with former Colombian Presidents Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana at Mar-a-Lago last weekend, an undisclosed meeting that Colombian media says was arranged by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Rubio, Uribe, and Pastrana are all prominent critics of the peace deal Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos negotiated with the FARC guerrilla group. Next month, Santos is meeting with Trump in Washington, and he will urge Trump to support the peace deal, which won Santos the Nobel Peace Prize, by maintaining the $450 million in foreign aid that former President Barack Obama pledged to implement the agreement, McClatchy reports.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to confirm that the meeting had taken place. On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told McClatchy that Trump had "briefly said hello when the presidents walked past them," saying the two presidents happened to be visiting Trump's private club with an unidentified member. "There wasn't anything beyond a quick hello," she said.

On Twitter, meanwhile, Pastrana thanked Trump for the "cordial and very frank conversation about problems and perspectives in Colombia and the region," and Uribe ally and former vice president Francisco Santos told McClatchy that the former presidents had raised concerns with Trump about the turmoil in Colombia and Venezuela, and the FARC peace deal, in a short but direct meeting.

Colombian analysts focused on the damage to the peace process if Trump pulled funding or publicly opposed the peace plan, while in the U.S. observers were more concerned about the ease with which well-connected foreign leaders can meet with the president to press their case, without any public record. Mar-a-Lago's membership rolls are not public, the media is kept at arm's length when Trump is down there, and the club has no visitor log. You can read more about the meeting and the Colombian politics at The Miami Herald. Peter Weber

1:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has faced institutional checks and balances to his power, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) argued on ABC's This Week Sunday, but they haven't come from Congress.

It's difficult "for a lot of my colleagues to say, 'Hey, let's stand up to the president," Flake told host George Stephanopoulos. "But, boy, we ought to more jealously guard our institutional prerogative. I think in this crisis we're in, I think the judiciary has stood up well. The press has stood up well in terms of institutions. The balance. But the Congress has been lacking."

Flake highlighted tariffs as an issue where congressional Republicans ought to be pushing back, and he suggested that refusing to confirm judicial nominees might prod Trump to shift his stance. "I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the president's executive calendar — his nominees, judges — that we have no reason to be there," Flake said. "So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say, 'Let's not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.'"

In his final question, Stephanopoulos asked whether Flake, who is not seeking re-election, might "be prepared to challenge the president in 2020." Watch his answer below. Bonnie Kristian

1:18 p.m. ET

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declined to join other progressive politicos in endorsing the call to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.

"More than a dozen Democratic congressional candidates reportedly support abolishing ICE," said host Jake Tapper. "Do you agree that ICE should be abolished?"

"I think that what we need is to create policies which deal with immigration in a rational way," Sanders answered, sidestepping the question. "And a rational way is not locking children up in detention centers or separating them from their mothers."

Tapper also pressed Sanders as to whether the left "only seemed to start caring about these [immigrant children detained by the government] under Trump," noting that some Democrats circulated photos "taken in 2014 under the Obama administration during the unaccompanied minors crisis from that year," unfairly attributing the situation depicted to Trump in 2018.

Sanders pushed back, arguing that Democrats had "a lot of concern about how undocumented people were treated under Obama," and that Trump's immigration policy operates at a distinct level of abuse. Watch an excerpt of his comments below. Bonnie Kristian

12:47 p.m. ET

President Trump on Twitter Sunday proposed that immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally be immediately deported without due process:

The tweet's proposal is similar to comments Trump made Tuesday. "I don't want judges," he said. "I want border security. I don't want to try people. I don't want people coming in. Do you know, if a person comes in and puts one foot on our ground, it's essentially, 'Welcome to America, welcome to our country.' You never get them out, because they take their name, they bring the name down, they file it, then they let the person go. They say, 'Show back up to court in one year from now.'"

Sometimes, the president is very fond of due process. In February, he plaintively asked on Twitter whether there is "no such thing any longer as Due Process," apparently objecting to public critique of men accused of domestic abuse. Bonnie Kristian

11:26 a.m. ET
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The Trump administration will soon debut its Israel-Palestine peace plan, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview published Sunday by Al-Quds, an Arabic language newspaper.

The proposal will be released with or without feedback from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he announced. Abbas has refused to meet with Kushner during his trip to the Middle East this past week. "If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage," Kushner said. "If he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly."

The Al-Quds article offered some hints as to what the plan might entail. Kushner "mentioned nothing about a sovereign Palestinian state or of Palestinian refugees," The New York Times reports, and "also did not mention Israeli settlements on the West Bank or using the 1967 lines as a starting point to draw borders; and nothing about East Jerusalem serving as the Palestinian capital." Bonnie Kristian

11:14 a.m. ET
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Turkey votes in a presidential and parliamentary election Sunday, a snap election in which President Recep Tayip Erdogan is expected to face his most serious challenge in a decade and a half.

Erdogan called the election in April, planning to consolidate his party's parliamentary majority. Instead, opposition parties have displayed unusual unity, galvanized by the campaign performance of Muharrem Ince, the presidential nominee of the Republican People's Party (CHP).

Erdogan has claimed new powers and kept Turkey in a state of emergency since an attempted coup two years ago. If he wins another term, "Turkey enters a new era in which Erdogan will become the most powerful Turkish leader ever elected," said Soner Cagaptay of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Cagaptay and fellow critics of Erdogan's government argue he is undermining democratic institutions to expand his own authority.

Results are anticipated Sunday evening local time. Bonnie Kristian

10:35 a.m. ET

Saudi Arabian women can legally drive for the first time in decades as of Sunday, when the cancellation of the national ban on women drivers officially went into effect. Riyadh announced its plan to lift the ban last year, and since then, women have obtained driver's licenses but were not yet able to use them.

"I feel like I'm surprised — am I really driving in my own country?" said Mona Al-Fares, a doctor. "I feel happy, relieved. I feel like I'm free."

Saudi Arabia was the last country in the world to prohibit female drivers. Most Saudi women have yet to obtain licenses, and wait lists for gender-segregated driving classes are long. Watch a few delighted early adopters take their first legal drives below. Bonnie Kristian

8:46 a.m. ET

President Trump spoke at a campaign rally for Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in Las Vegas Saturday evening, urging his audience to vote against Heller's opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), whom Trump called "Wacky Jacky." A "vote for her is a vote for increased taxes," Trump claimed. "Weak borders. It is really a vote for crime."

The president also weighed in on key current issues for his administration, positing that trade relations will "work out" somehow. "The trade stuff is coming along, just starting, but it's going to happen because, you know, we're the piggy bank that everybody likes to rob from," he said.

On immigration, Trump argued the U.S. has "to be very strong," adding that his administration is doing "a very good job." Of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he said, "We have a good chemistry together. We get along great. He's a smart, tough guy. He's a great negotiator."

Trump also took the opportunity to slam Sen. John McCain (R) of nearby Arizona. Though he did not mention McCain by name, Trump critiqued the senator for his crucial "no" vote on the GOP health-care bill last year. The two men have a history of poor relations: Trump has belittled McCain's history as a prisoner of war, saying he prefers "people who weren't captured;" and McCain, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer, has said Trump lacks "principles and beliefs."

Watch Trump's full speech below. Bonnie Kristian

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