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January 13, 2019

Congressional Democrats are willing to spend on border security to end the partial government shutdown, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said on Meet the Press Sunday, but that doesn't mean building President Trump's proposed border wall.

"Drugs come in through ports of entry. Let's beef up ports of entry," Kaine told host Chuck Todd. "The biggest group of undocumented people in the country come in on legal visas and overstay. If you build a million-foot wall, it won't deal with that problem."

"What we don't want to do is waste taxpayer money on a vanity project that's ineffective, that the president said Mexico would pay for," Kaine concluded. Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

January 13, 2019

The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Trump was secretly acting in Russian interests against the United States — and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is on the case. Graham said on Fox News Sunday he plans to ask FBI Director Christopher Wray about the report.

"I for one don't trust what I read in The New York Times," Graham told host Chris Wallace. "Having said all that, I'm going to ask the FBI director, 'Was there a counterintelligence investigation opened up regarding the president as being a potential agent of the Russians?'"

"I find it astonishing, and, to me, it tells me a lot about the people running the FBI," Graham continued. "So, if this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it, and what I want to do is make sure — how could the FBI do that? What kind of checks and balances are there?"

Graham also discussed the partial government shutdown, urging Trump to accept a short-term funding resolution to re-open closed federal agencies while border wall negotiations continue. However, the senator also said he would support Trump bypassing Congress, Graham's own branch of government, with an emergency declaration to fund wall construction.

Watch the full interview here. Bonnie Kristian

January 12, 2019

"The notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Saturday preview clip of a CBS Face the Nation interview set to air in full Sunday.

Pompeo was speaking in response to question from host Margaret Brennan about a Friday evening New York Times report. The story said "right after President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, the FBI began investigating whether President Trump himself was a potential threat to national security and whether he'd been working for Russia or unintentionally influenced by Moscow," Brennan summarized.

Pompeo dodged a follow-up question about whether, as then-director of the CIA, he knew about the FBI probe while it was happening. Instead, he simply reiterated that the idea that Trump "was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response."

Watch a clip of Pompeo's comments below, and see Trump's response to the Times report here. Bonnie Kristian

December 30, 2018

The $5 billion President Trump wants for border wall funding would pay for a high-tech structure, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said on ABC's This Week Sunday.

"What we're talking about is not just a dumb barrier," McAleenan told host Martha Raddatz. "We're talking about sensors, cameras, lighting, access roads for our agents, a system that helps us secure that area of the border. That's what we were asking [from] Congress."

McAleenan also responded to the deaths of two migrant children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody this month, for which President Trump has blamed congressional Democrats. The deaths are "absolutely devastating for us on every level. It's been over a decade since we've had a child die anywhere in our processes," he said, arguing that current U.S. immigration policies encourage families to make the dangerous journey to the United States.

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

December 30, 2018

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN host Dana Bash had a lengthy exchange over the Trump administration's immigration policies on State of the Union Sunday.

They particularly focused on President Trump's tweeted response to the deaths of two migrant children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody this month. While administration staff "have said that they have empathy for the deaths of children who are coming across the border with their parents," Bash noted, Trump himself has not. "The only thing he has said is something that is very political and, frankly, misleading, with regard to Democrats being culpable for the deaths of children."

Conway pushed back, arguing Trump's proposed changes in U.S. immigration policy and enforcement would prevent similar deaths in the future, and commenting that she doesn't "like some of the Democrats using these deaths as political pawns."

"But," Bash shot back, "isn't that exactly what the president just did?" Watch the full interview below. The "pawns" exchange occurs around the 3:30 mark. Bonnie Kristian

December 23, 2018

President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria is "exactly what he promised," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday — and it's also the right call.

"I think the people agree with him, actually," Paul argued. "I think people believe that we've been at war too long and too many places, and that we do need to turn attention to problems we have in home here: roads, bridges, schools."

"And I think people are tired of spending — you know, we have spent several trillion dollars on these wars everywhere," Paul continued. "And it's really one of the reasons [Trump] won, because he actually attracts independents who aren't beholden to either party, who say, 'You know what, why don't we turn attention back to America?'"

Watch a clip of Paul's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

December 23, 2018

The partial government shutdown that began Saturday at midnight may well continue past the end of the month and into the new Congress due to be sworn in Jan. 3, incoming acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney indicated on Fox News Sunday.

The Senate will not resume negotiations until Thursday, Dec. 27, and "it's very possible that the shutdown will [continue] into the new Congress," Mulvaney said.

He suggested House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be unwilling to work with the Trump administration until after she has been elected speaker by the incoming Democratic majority. "I think she's in that unfortunate position of being beholden to her left wing to where she cannot be seen as agreeing with the president on anything until after she is speaker," Mulvaney argued. "If that's the case, again, there's a chance we go into the next Congress."

President Trump has demanded $5 billion in funding for a border wall — err, "steel slats" — and congressional Democrats have refused the request. Mulvaney said the administration has proposed a lower number in closed-door negotiations but still requires more than the $1.3 billion for border security currently on offer.

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

December 16, 2018

Friday's federal court ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as ObamaCare, is unconstitutional will be upheld by the Supreme Court, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller forecast on Face the Nation on Sunday.

Miller conceded there would be no immediate change in ACA administration nationwide, but he answered CBS host Margaret Brennan in the affirmative when she summarized his comments as "predicting that this goes to the Supreme Court and that the Supreme Court ultimately strikes down" the ACA.

"I believe that's the likeliest outcome, because ObamaCare has always been unconstitutional," Miller said, pointing to the individual mandate provision, which is core to Friday's decision.

It's that very focus on the mandate which has led most legal experts — including conservatives and libertarians who oppose the ACA as a policy matter — to conclude the Friday ruling probably will not hold up under appeal. Read about their reasoning here at The Week. Bonnie Kristian

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