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Thursday was really crazy for Trump — even by Trumpian standards

Here’s what you might have missed if you weren’t plugged in to Trump news.

by Alex Lubben
Jan 12 2018, 3:45pm

President Donald Trump had one hell of a Thursday.

In one 24-hour period, the president revealed a lack of understanding about surveillance legislation and geography at the U.S.-Mexico border, riled health and social welfare advocates with an unprecendented Medicaid announcement, and sparked international outrage over comments that showed his true colors on immigration.

Here’s what you might have missed if you weren’t plugged in to Trump news:

Called a bunch of nations “shithole countries”

Trump let slide his true feelings about immigration from several countries during a meeting with legislators on Thursday at the White House.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, several people briefed on the meeting told the Washington Post, referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. And on Friday morning, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who was among the lawmakers in the room at the time, confirmed the report, saying, “He used those words.”

The meeting was held to discuss the possibility of allowing immigrants from certain countries to remain in the U.S after the Trump administration announced a plan earlier in the week to kick out 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants in the U.S. since a deadly earthquake struck their country in 2001. Last week, Trump also announced plans to kick 45,000 Haitians that immigrated to the U.S, after a disastrous earthquake hit their country exactly seven years ago on Friday.

Even some Republicans spoke out against the president’s comments, with Rep. Mia Love of Utah saying that the the comments were “ unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values.” Senator Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, called the comments “disappointing.”

And foreign diplomats haven’t stayed quiet. The Haitian government said that Trump’s comments reflect the president’s “racist view of the Haitian community.” Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the comments too. "I'm sorry, but there's no other word one can use but racist," Colville said in a statement.

Trump, however, denied making the comments at all and blamed the reports on Democrats.

Looked at a map

Meanwhile, Trump “discovered” that there’s a very big river along part of the border, the 1,900-mile Rio Grande, so his wall wouldn’t necessarily have to cover the entire thing, Kellyanne Conway said on CNN Thursday. Trump has been harping about building a 700-mile border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, and recently sent a proposal to legislators, requesting funding for it.

Trump has been trying to use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as a bargaining chip to secure funding for the border wall, which he hasn’t yet been able to secure.

Mistakenly slammed spying legislation that his administration wants passed

Trump also tweeted on Thursday his objection to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — but his administration wants it passed. Trump appears to believe that the act was used as justification for what he claims was spying on his 2016 presidential campaign, and appeared to question whether it should be extended.

Hours later, realizing his mistake, he walked that tweet back:

Later on Thursday, Congress voted on the legislation, and it seems likely to pass. Legislators are aiming to send it to the president’s desk for his signature by next week.

Allowed work requirements for Medicaid

The Trump administration released guidelines that will allow states to impose a requirement that Medicaid recipients work to receive benefits. In a letter to states, the administration said that it would support states that want to test work requirements for enrollees of the welfare program. That’s never been done in the half-century that Medicaid has existed.

Tried to block another immigrant teen from getting an abortion

The Trump administration already sought (unsuccessfully) to block three immigrant teens from aborting unwanted pregnancies while in U.S. custody. They tried a fourth time to block access to the procedure on Thursday, attempting to keep a teen referred to as Jane Moe from getting an abortion.

Announced that he didn’t want to go to London because Obama did a bad deal

Trump said Thursday he wouldn’t go to London because former president Barack Obama sold the old embassy there “for peanuts” and he didn’t want to be associated with the “bad deal.”

Trump would have faced widespread protests from Britons had he gone through with the trip, and many British members of Parliament have been vocal critics of Trump.

El Salvador
border wall
trump campaign
shithole countries
London embassy