Even some who expect the worst from the Trump administration were surprised by reports from the Washington Post and NBC News this morning about the White House pressuring U.S. immigration authorities to "release detainees onto the streets of 'sanctuary cities' to retaliate against President Trump's political adversaries."
As we discussed earlier, according to the purported plan, the White House envisioned a system in which officials would detain immigrants and then transport them to targeted "Democratic strongholds," including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco.
By all appearances, the ridiculous gambit has already been rejected by administration officials. An official statement from the White House said, "This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion." NBC News spoke to a former Department of Homeland Security official who added that the plan was ultimately scrapped when it was determined to be "so illegal."
When Donald Trump himself decided to weigh in via Twitter, I assumed he'd type a few words about "fake news" and move on. Instead, he went in the opposite direction.
"Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only.
"The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy -- so this should make them very happy!"
Putting aside the "open borders" nonsense -- I can only hope this president doesn't actually believe his own talking points -- Trump has now admitted that the ridiculous plan the White House said is dead is actually under "strong consideration."
It's a reminder that there's no real point in believing anything this White House says, even in writing, because Trump has no qualms about declaring the opposite, on a whim, even if it means blindsiding his own team.
What's more, note that the premise of the president's position is bizarre. In reality, Democrats are not "unwilling" to change the nation's immigration laws. On the contrary, Democratic lawmakers have offered the White House a series of possible compromises. Trump, at least so far, has rejected each of them.