Morning Report — Trailing Trump, Biden makes his border move

A chronicle of Donald Trump's Crimes or Allegations

Morning Report — Trailing Trump, Biden makes his border move

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President Biden effectively shut down the U.S. southern border Tuesday, using executive and regulatory restrictions to immediately expel migrants following years of congressional battles over immigration and border crossings described as at crisis levels.

“Congress’s failure to deliver meaningful policy reforms and adequate funding, despite repeated requests that they do so, is a core cause of this problem,” Biden stated in a proclamation. “I must exercise my executive authorities to meet the moment … by suspending entry of noncitizens across the southern border during this time of high border crossings.” 

The president’s new thresholds took effect this morning, allowing border agents to return migrants across the border into Mexico or to their home countries within hours or days. Biden’s new course, to many Democrats, is a harrowing reminder of immigration restrictions imposed by former President Trump.

The Washington Post: Democrats are divided over Biden’s immigration executive order.

Trump has consistently been leading Biden in swing-state polls at a time when independents and moderate Democratic voters identify border issues as among the president’s political vulnerabilities, along with the economy. Trump’s campaign messages mix dire warnings about a crisis at the border and illegal immigration with blanket assertions about terrorism, crime and drugs, all of which show up as important issues on voters’ minds.

The American Civil Liberties Union plans to contest Biden’s edict in court. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told NBC News, “I‘m hoping that we can convince the administration, if not the courts, that this is misguided and illegal, and maybe the administration can pull it back or mitigate it.”  

If judicial challenges fail and the administration’s crackdown proceeds, the border shuts down when the seven-day average for daily illegal crossings hits 2,500 — commonplace these days. The border would be allowed to reopen when crossings drop to 1,500 for seven days in a row and hover there for two weeks.

The threshold of 2,500 was determined based on similar numbers negotiated by Republicans and Democrats in the Senate as part of a border security deal that stalled early this year and was opposed by Trump and House conservatives. 

The president’s long-debated decision to use unilateral action on an issue that has weakened his standing with voters since 2021 prompted criticism from all sides. Biden left the controversy in his wake Tuesday as he flew to France to spend several days commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day, hoping to contrast his perspective on democracy with that of Trump

Jennie Murray, president and CEO of the nonpartisan immigrant advocacy group National Immigration Forum, told NewsNation her organization doesn’t support executive actions and that she believes capping asylum-seekers places a “Band-Aid” on the problem.

“An executive order, while it looks on the surface as if it would be a solution, it will compound the issue, we will have more of the asylum-seekers,” she predicted.

Laredo, Texas, Mayor Victor Treviño, who was at the White House Tuesday with Biden and other officials, told MSNBC that the president’s action “will definitely help” by shifting asylum petitions outside the U.S. He called it “a first step of immigration reform.”

The Hill: Here’s what Biden’s order limiting asylum-seekers at the southern border will do.


▪ A “series of massive mistakes” led the Veterans Affairs Department to approve nearly $11 million in bonuses to career executives who were not eligible to receive them, Secretary Denis McDonough told lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing.

▪ Health insurers are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in building new affordable housing units, saying the investments will result in healthier communities, which would also mean less costly enrollees.

▪ Air fares will continue to rise, warns an aviation trade group.

🚀 Starship is the biggest and most powerful rocket on the planet, scheduled for a fourth test flight by SpaceX from Texas Thursday, beginning with a liftoff window that opens at 7 a.m. CDT. Because a “rapidly reliable reusable rocket” amounts to such a huge creation (nearly 400 feet tall), it can be seen for miles if it gets off the launch pad. The test of the megarocket aims for a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico with the Super Heavy booster, plus a controlled entry for Starship.


© The Associated Press / Daniel Kucin Jr. | Maryland Senate candidate Larry Hogan, a Republican and a Trump foe, is feeling the heat from his own party, despite GOP ambitions to flip a seat in a blue state.


Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is incurring the wrath of former President Trump’s top allies after he urged voters to respect the verdict that saw Trump convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Hogan had largely been able to operate his Senate bid — trying to flip what was long considered an unflippable seat — in the deep blue state without interference from MAGA forces. But that changed with his comments, which sparked opposition from Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump and Chris LaCivita, Trump’s campaign manager, with other top allies warning that the ex-governor was making a big blunder (The Hill).

“I think it was a huge mistake,” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), who is being considered as Trump’s potential running mate. “When he says things that would alienate the majority of Republicans … I think it’s totally reasonable to criticize him.”

Biden’s poor polling numbers have raised questions about the possibility of a blowout victory by Trump in November, even as the former president grapples with his own political challenges. A blowout wouldn’t look like the landslide reelection of President Reagan in 1984, but it could mean Trump winning more Electoral College votes than expected by flipping most if not all of the states Biden won in 2020 — and even expanding the map by turning some unexpected states, like Minnesota or Virginia, red.

👉 Veepstakes: In a new series, The Hill looks at Trump’s possible vice-presidential picks. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has been steadily rising in the ranks of the GOP for years, but it took an off-the-cuff question about antisemitism on college campuses to send her public profile through the roof. “It wasn’t a prepared question,” Stefanik said in an interview with The Hill’s Julia Manchester last month. “I wrote it down in pencil five minutes before.” The chair of the Republican conference, Stefanik is one of the most influential women in her party and one of only a small handful of female candidates on Trump’s shortlist of potential running mates.


▪ Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) won the Democratic Senate primary in his state on Tuesday, making him the favorite to win the Senate seat to succeed embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in the solidly blue state.

▪ Rep. Rob Menendez (D-N.J.) also won his primary Tuesday in a race that was overshadowed by his father’s ongoing corruption trial.

Tim Sheehy, backed by Trump, won the GOP Senate primary in Montana to face off against Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in November.

▪ New Jersey dealt Trump an unexpected defeat Tuesday when Republicans nominated real estate developer Curtis Bashaw over Trump-backed candidate and Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner in the New Jersey GOP Senate primary.

▪ The president’s political fortunes are in jeopardy because of how deeply the Israel-Gaza crisis has divided his own party. In The Memo, The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes Biden faces a particularly crucial stretch as he seeks to secure a cease-fire deal that it’s not entirely clear either side wants.

▪ Democrats say Biden, known as the empathizer-in-chief, needs to appear more in touch with voters’ needs on the economy — particularly on inflation — if he wants to win election to a second term.

▪ The RNC is engaging the possibility its nominee could be sentenced July 11 and jailed during the convention, which begins July 15, party chair Michael Whatley told Newsmax on Tuesday.

▪ Senate Democrats are divided over the prospect of Trump receiving a prison sentence before the election, with some fearing it would tear the nation apart and boomerang back on Biden.


The House will meet at 9 a.m.

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m.

The president arrived this morning in Paris for D-Day commemorations this week. He received the President’s Daily Brief at 10:30 a.m. local time.

Vice President Harris will travel from Los Angeles to Oakland, Calif., for a political event at midday. She will head to nearby San Francisco for another political event at 2:15 p.m. PT before returning to Washington, D.C.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will mirror the president’s travel schedule in France.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will participate in a virtual meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai of Vietnam at 7 a.m. in Washington.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will speak at 1 p.m. local time at a campaign event in Reno, Nev. He will headline a second political event at 5 p.m. PT, also in Reno.


© The Associated Press / Jacquelyn Martin | Attorney General Merrick Garland testified Tuesday during a contentious hearing before the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee.


“LONG LINE OF ATTACKS”: Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is facing the prospect of a contempt vote in Congress, accused Republicans of spreading conspiracy theories by suggesting the Justice Department was involved in Trump’s hush money conviction during Tuesday testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Garland was listing a “long line of attacks” on the Justice Department, including by members of Congress who have threatened to withhold federal funding over the verdict.

“These repeated attacks on the Justice Department are unprecedented, and they are unfounded,” he said. “These attacks have not, and they will not, influence our decision making. I view contempt as a serious matter. But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations. I will not be intimidated.”

The tough language from Garland comes amid a slew of accusations from Republicans against the department, including a baseless claim from Trump that the Justice Department gave law enforcement the green light to assassinate him during a search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago (The Hill and The New York Times).

REPUBLICANS HAVE RAMPED UP EFFORTS to target the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecutors such as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) in the wake of the conviction, The Hill’s Aris Folley and Rebecca Beitsch report. “It’s all about stopping lawfare,” House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters this week, shortly after his letter to the party’s funding chief went public on Monday outlining a list of proposed restrictions to FBI funding and dollars for those engaged in what he termed “politicized prosecutions.”

Meanwhile, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced a “three-pronged approach” Tuesday to go after the Justice Department following the conviction — using the appropriations process, legislation brought to the floor and Congress’s oversight authority (The Hill).

The House on Tuesday approved legislation aimed at penalizing the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it weighs whether to bring war crimes charges against Israeli leaders for their conduct in the war with Hamas. The tally was 247-155, with every Republican voting in favor of the proposal. They were joined by 42 pro-Israel Democrats with a history of backing Tel Aviv even when doing so bucks their own leadership (The Hill).

The Hill: The Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers are going all in on antitrust as prices loom 20 percent above where they were just a few years ago and voter confidence in the president’s handling of the economy sags.


IN DELAWARE, opening statements got underway Tuesday in Hunter Biden’s trial. Federal prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that the president’s son’s status as a “drug addict” caused him to lie on federal forms to unlawfully purchase a gun in 2018, promising that witnesses would testify to his insatiable desire to stay high. But defense attorneys said a series of “traumas” led Biden toward a life consumed by addiction, and that when he bought that gun, he did not think of himself as someone with a drug problem.

The criminal trial for gun possession is expected to last about two weeks. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines (The Hill).

The Washington Post: The GOP’s Biden-Manhattan conspiracy theory suffered a double blow this week.

CNN: Trump’s lawyers asked the judge overseeing his criminal hush money case to lift the gag order on the former president, saying it’s no longer justified since the trial is over.

▪ At Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, an FBI investigator described surveilling diners at a Washington restaurant. Among them were Menendez and an Egyptian official.


© The Associated Press / Christophe Ena | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pictured in October.


Biden on Tuesday said he doesn’t think Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is playing politics with Israel’s war in Gaza.

“He’s trying to work out a serious problem he has,” the president told reporters. But late last month, Biden offered a different take on the prime minister, suggesting that for political reasons, Netanyahu was stalling about finding an end to the war in Gaza, according to a Time magazine interview published Tuesday. Biden’s remarks during the May 28 conversation preceded a White House-proposed cease-fire proposal, still being discussed by Israel and Hamas as Netanyahu struggles with deep political divisions at home.

“There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion,” Biden said when asked if Netanyahu was prolonging the war for his own political gain. The president, who seeks a negotiated end to the nearly eight-month war, rejected allegations that Israel is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, but said: “I think they’ve engaged in activity that is inappropriate.”

Now, as Biden faces criticism at home and abroad for his response to the war in Gaza, writes The Hill’s Laura Kelly, he is counting on the Israeli public to trust him in pushing for a cease-fire deal with Hamas. Netanyahu’s biggest coalition partner said on Tuesday it would support a prospective deal to free hostages from Hamas captivity even if it entails an overhaul of Israel’s Gaza war strategy (Reuters).

“At the beginning, everybody said … ‘We will back you and give you [support] to achieve the goal of the war, which is to eliminate Hamas.’ Later on, they say, ‘Well it depends on humanitarian issues, but we are going to help you and give you full support to free all the hostages,’” said Uzi Dayan, a retired Israeli general. “And it ends up by saying, ‘OK, we’re still your good friends, but we have some humanitarian issues that we want you to follow humanitarian rules.’ So, we are very disappointed.”

NBC News: A gunman was captured after a shootout at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, on Wednesday — an attack that took place as Israel signaled it could soon launch an offensive in the country against Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah.

The New York Times: Israel organized and paid for an influence campaign last year targeting U.S. lawmakers and the American public with pro-Israel messaging, as it aimed to foster support for its actions in the war with Gaza.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday declared victory in the country’s elections, but voters in India dealt the Hindu nationalist leader a stunning setback by denying him an outright majority. For the first time ever, the giant of Indian politics for more than a decade will be forced to form a coalition government with smaller, albeit allied parties. As the campaign unfolded, bitter recriminations over India’s religious and caste divides, often fanned by Modi himself, overshadowed discussions about his accomplishments (CBS News and The Washington Post).

Days after the White House gave Ukraine permission to fire American weapons into Russia, Kyiv struck a military facility over the border using a U.S.-made artillery system (The New York Times).


■ Biden’s border election gambit, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

■ Netanyahu should not be honored with a congressional address, by Nadav Tamir, opinion contributor, The Hill.


© The Associated Press / David Clark, Giant Screen Films via AP | Liam Fisher, Kaiden Madsen and Jessin Fisher, featured in a new documentary, posed on the day their fossil find in North Dakota was confirmed to be a juvenile T. rex.

And finally … 🦖 In 2022, three boys out on a hike in North Dakota found what turned out to be rare bones of a teen-size Tyrannosaurus rex. This month, the rare fossil remains will be on public display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and there’s a new documentary film release featuring the discovery titled “T. rex.”

The whole tale has the feel of a Hollywood-style adventure. Brothers Liam and Jessin Fisher, 7 and 10 years old, were with their father, Sam Fisher, as well as their 9-year-old cousin Kaiden Madsen, when they noticed a large fossil sticking out of a rock formation. The elder Fisher was a former classmate of paleontologist Tyler Lyson, who led the dig that eventually confirmed the discovery as rare dinosaur remains. 

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