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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 111)

Top Border Officials Condemn ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Secret Facebook Group

WASHINGTON — Top officials in the agency overseeing border security condemned a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that featured jokes about migrant deaths, obscene images of Hispanic lawmakers and threats to members of Congress as the lawmakers themselves on Tuesday amplified their criticism of the agency.

Carla Provost, the chief of the Border Patrol, sent an email to her agents describing the posts in the group as “highly inappropriate and offensive.” The Customs and Border Protection agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general began an independent investigation into the posts, Ms. Provost said.

“The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are under immense pressure every day as you manage the crisis on our border,” Ms. Provost said in the letter, which the Department of Homeland Security made available on Monday night. “But let me be clear: There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of inappropriate behavior — on or off duty, publicly or privately.”

She said any agents identified as writing the posts would be held accountable. ProPublica reported the existence of the secret Facebook group just as Democratic lawmakers toured Border Patrol facilities in Clint and El Paso, Tex., on Monday.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who was a target of some of the most offensive posts in the group, described Customs and Border Protection as a “rogue agency.”

“I can’t understate how disturbing it was that CBP officers were openly disrespectful of the Congressional tour,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “If officers felt comfortable violating agreements in front of their *own* management & superiors, that tells us the agency has lost all control of their own officers.”

She also pointed the finger at members of Congress who signed off on the Senate’s $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package for the border, which exposed division in the Democratic Party. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other more liberal Democrats wanted the bill to include stronger protections for migrant children.

“They just wrote a multi-billion dollar blank check for misconduct,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.

That “blank check” is forming the backdrop for the escalating battle on the border. House Democrats had wanted to attach strict conditions on the humanitarian funding being rushed to the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157326879_22d24648-8048-41d1-9f67-f23072f74726-articleLarge Top Border Officials Condemn ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Secret Facebook Group United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration House of Representatives Democratic Party Customs and Border Protection (US) Border Patrol (US)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, at the Clint, Tex., border facility on Monday. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she had spoken to one migrant who had been forced to drink water out of a toilet, an assertion backed by two other lawmakers.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

Under a House bill, facilities that housed unaccompanied children would have had a slightly shorter time frame — 12 months instead of 14 — to meet existing legal standards for healthy, sanitary and humane conditions than under the measure President Trump signed into law. They also would have had to allow oversight visits from members of Congress without warning, and the Department of Health and Human Services would have had to report a child’s death in its custody to Congress within 24 hours.

Liberal Democrats in the House also wanted to ban for-profit companies from running migrant shelters and scrap funding for the United States Marshals specifically geared toward referring people who entered or re-entered the country illegally for criminal prosecution. They also wanted stronger prohibitions against sharing the immigration records of people who come forward to take custody of unaccompanied migrant children.

But facing divisions within her party, Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave up on those provisions last week and passed the less restrictive Senate measure, infuriating many of the House Democrats who toured the border facilities this week.

At a news conference after the tour on Monday, the lawmakers detailed horrid conditions for the migrants, including in a Border Patrol facility in Clint that has become the subject of public backlash in recent weeks after a team of lawyers who spoke to migrants at the facility reported that children had gone unfed and unwashed while detained.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said that she had spoken to one migrant who had been forced to drink water out of a toilet, an assertion backed by two other House Democrats, Judy Chu of California and Joaquin Castro of Texas.

Mr. Castro released footage from inside the Clint facility that he said in a tweet “captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell — some held for 50 days — for them to be denied showers for up to 15 days and life-saving medication.”

Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, denounced “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez going down to one of these facilities and making this outrageous claim that a woman’s drinking from a toilet, which everybody who has control over that facility, or control for the Border Patrol has said that’s not true.”

Last week the acting secretary of homeland security described allegations that children in the Clint facility had gone unfed and unwashed as “unsubstantiated” and the facility itself as “clean and well managed.”

Robert E. Perez, the deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, said he was “very confident” his agents were providing fresh water, food and hygiene products to migrants in Border Patrol custody. His agents are overwhelmed, he said, because of a record number of families crossing the border, which has filled facilities built for short-term detention.

“We take any and every allegation of misconduct incredibly seriously,” Mr. Perez said on CNN. “And there will be consequences to those who do not adhere to our standards of conduct.”

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House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns

WASHINGTON — The House’s tax-writing committee sued the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday demanding access to President Trump’s tax returns, escalating a fight with an administration that has repeatedly dismissed as illegitimate the Democrats’ attempt to obtain Mr. Trump’s financial records.

The lawsuit moves the dispute into federal courts after months of sniping between the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee, which requested and then subpoenaed the returns, and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The outcome is likely to determine whether financial information that Mr. Trump — breaking with longstanding tradition — has kept closely guarded as a candidate and as president will be viewed by Congress and, ultimately, by the public.

In Tuesday’s filing, the House argued that the administration’s defiance of its request amounted to “an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the I.R.S., and the tax laws on behalf of the American people.”

[Read the committee’s legal complaint.]

But with the House and the executive branch locked in a broader struggle over access to information from and witnesses in the Trump administration, the stakes in the tax-return lawsuit may be higher than that particular issue. House Democrats are facing resistance on a broad range of investigations that include inquiries into Robert S. Mueller III’s inquiry into Russian election interference, the addition of a citizenship question into the 2020 census, and the profits gleaned from Mr. Trump’s ongoing business ventures.

In almost every instance, the Trump administration has argued that Congress’s power to access those materials is inherently limited to information that would serve “legitimate” legislative purposes — defined by the executive branch as materials primarily needed to help draft new laws.

Congress retorts that its powers to compel information are far more sweeping than that and encompass oversight of important matters in general — and that its decisions about what information it wants to subpoena are not to be second-guessed by the White House.

The same dispute is at the center of a pair of lawsuits over subpoenas to accounting and banking firms for other financial records involving the Trump Organization. So far, two Federal District Court judges have rejected the argument offered by Mr. Trump’s private legal team that those requests did not carry legitimate legislative purposes. Mr. Trump has taken those losses to appeals courts.

A ruling by a federal court on the merits of the recurring dispute could shift the balance of power between the two branches and impact the authority of Congress to conduct oversight over not just Mr. Trump but presidents for years to come.

That outcome, though, could take months or years — a reality certain to frustrate liberals who are irate both at Mr. Trump’s across-the-board blockade of congressional subpoenas and at the House’s plodding pace in bringing the case to court.

Democrats have clamored for Mr. Trump’s returns since he burst onto the political stage, convinced they will show that he has distorted his assets and potentially defrauded the government. They have indicated they are preparing other lawsuits as well, including one to force the former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II to testify despite White House claims that he and other top presidential advisers have “absolute immunity” from congressional subpoenas.

Westlake Legal Group trump-presidents-investigations-promo-1557500573411-articleLarge-v4 House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service House Committee on Ways and Means Federal Taxes (US) Democratic Party

Tracking 29 Investigations Related to Trump

Federal, state and congressional authorities are investigating Donald J. Trump’s businesses, campaign, inauguration and presidency.

Mr. Trump was the first major presidential candidate in decades not to voluntarily release his tax returns. He has said that they were under audit by the I.R.S., but that does not actually preclude him from releasing them to the public.

The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, initially requested six years of Mr. Trump’s returns in early April using a little-known provision of the federal tax code that grants the chairmen of Congress’s tax-writing committees the power to request tax information on any filer. The provision in question — Section 6103 — dates from the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s and says merely that the Treasury secretary “shall” furnish the requested material.

Mr. Mnuchin rejected the request anyway, prompting Mr. Neal to shift tactics and counter in May by issuing subpoenas for the same material. That led to another rejection by Mr. Mnuchin because the request lacked “legitimate legislative purpose.”

The Justice Department backed that up in recent weeks with an opinion written by its Office of Legal Counsel undergirding Mr. Mnuchin’s argument and forecasting what the Trump administration could argue in court. In the 33-page memo, Steven A. Engel, the office’s leader, argued that Democrats’ request amounted to an attempt to gain access to Mr. Trump’s finances for political reasons in order to release them to the public.

Mr. Engel dismissed Mr. Neal’s stated rationale — the chairman says he needs the returns for an investigation of the I.R.S.’s presidential audit program and whether the law governing it should be changed — as “pretextual.”

“While the executive branch should accord due deference and respect to congressional requests, Treasury was not obliged to accept the Committee’s stated purpose without question, and based on all the facts and circumstances, we agreed that the Committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose for its request,” he wrote.

The Trump administration and the president’s personal lawyers have raised the “legitimate purpose” argument repeatedly as they have sought to parry Democratic requests related not just to Mr. Trump’s finances but also to question Congress’s right to information related to the special counsel’s investigation.

Last month, the House passed a resolution that cleared the way for committees to file lawsuits asking a court to reject such claims and to order the executive branch to comply with their subpoenas without further action on the full House floor.

The Ways and Means Committee lawsuit for Mr. Trump’s tax returns is the first exercise of that authority.

Even so, liberals have been frustrated with the pace of the case and have repeatedly targeted Mr. Neal in recent months, urging him to move faster. Stand Up America, a liberal advocacy group, said on Monday that it would be targeting constituents of Ways and Means Committee members by text and email to ask their representatives to press Mr. Neal to go to court.

For now, the dispute over the Mueller investigation materials, which centers on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, has not developed into a lawsuit because Attorney General William P. Barr has started providing some access to underlying material from the special counsel investigation.

The House has also held off from voting to hold Mr. Barr or Mr. Mnuchin in contempt of Congress, a step that in the past has preceded asking a judge to issue an order requiring an executive branch official to comply with a subpoena.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight

A week ago, a small tanker ship approached the Persian Gulf after a 19-day voyage from China. The captain, as required by international rules, reported the ship’s position, course, speed and another key detail: It was riding high in the water, meaning it was probably empty.

Then the Chinese-owned ship, the Sino Energy 1, went silent and essentially vanished from the grid.

It reported in again on Sunday, near the spot where it had vanished six days earlier, only now it was heading east, away from the Strait of Hormuz near Iran. If past patterns hold, the captain will soon report that it is riding low in the water, meaning its tanks are likely full.

As the Trump administration’s sanctions on Iranian oil and petrochemical products have taken hold, some of the world’s shipping fleets have defied the restrictions by “going dark” when they pick up cargo in Iranian ports, according to commercial analysts who track shipping data and intelligence from authorities in Israel, a country that backs the Trump crackdown.

[Iran breached a nuclear fuel limit in what it said was a response to the reimposition of sanctions by the Trump administration.]

“They are hiding their activity,” said Samir Madani, co-founder of TankerTrackers.com, a company that uses satellite imagery to identify tankers calling on Iranian ports. “They don’t want to broadcast the fact that they have been in Iran, evading sanctions. It’s that simple.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02ghostships-articleLarge To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

Smaller ships like the Sino Energy 1 are harder to track than big oil tankers when they go off the grid.CreditMartin Klingsick

A maritime treaty overseen by a United Nations agency requires ships of 300 tons or more that travel international routes to have an automatic identification system. The gear helps avoid collisions and aids in search-and-rescue operations. It also allows countries to monitor shipping traffic.

It is not illegal under international law to buy and haul Iranian oil or related products. The Trump administration’s sanctions, which went into effect last November after the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement, are unilateral.

But foreign companies doing business with American companies or banks risk being punished by the United States. Actions can include banning American banks from working with them, freezing assets and barring company officials from traveling to the United States, said Richard Nephew, a research scholar at Columbia University who oversaw Iran policy on the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

“We have sanctioned dozens of Chinese state-owned enterprises for nuclear, missile, arms and other forms of proliferation,” Mr. Nephew said. “But it is not entered into lightly.”

A State Department spokeswoman said, “We do not comment on intelligence matters.”

Chinese Tankers Keep Disappearing in the Persian Gulf

Westlake Legal Group 1 To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

The SC Mercury, an oil and chemical tanker owned by Sinochem until April 2019, sails regularly from Chinese ports into the Persian Gulf.

Westlake Legal Group 2 To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

On the morning of Jan. 27, 2018, it disappeared. The Mercury’s A.I.S. transponder — a device that broadcasts a ship’s location continuously, required by an international maritime treaty — fell silent.

Several days later, the transponder came back to life, tracking the Mercury as it sailed toward ports in India. Having deposited its cargo, it turned back toward the gulf.

On Feb. 15, 2018, the ship went dark again as it navigated the Strait of Hormuz, reappearing days later to begin a weekslong journey back to Shanghai.

All ships 300 tons or greater on international journeys are required to broadcast their location, course and speed on the system, but sometimes, to hide their activities from competitors, ships “go dark,” analysts say.

Westlake Legal Group 3 To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

The Persian Gulf isn’t the only place in the world where ships go silent. It also happens in the South China Sea, but there, one analyst said, the reason may be because the sheer number of ships overwhelms the system.

Westlake Legal Group 4 To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

In the case of the Mercury, outages appeared to be more selective. In April and May 2018, the ship’s transponder stayed active as it visited ports in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

When a ship goes dark in the Persian Gulf, it may be related to dodging sanctions, not technical problems, said Samir Madani of TankerTrackers.com, which uses satellite technology to monitor ships. Countries and companies that import Iranian oil risk punishment from the United States.

Westlake Legal Group 5 To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sinochem Ships and Shipping Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Nuclear Weapons Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Hook, Brian H Gulf of Oman Incident (June 2019) Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces China

In the past 18 months, the five ships, which regularly sail between China and the Persian Gulf, made only two port visits in Iran, according to information from their A.I.S. data. In contrast, those ships made close to 50 stops in ports in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. In another 28 instances, the ships vanished in the region for days or weeks.

By Rich Harris and Derek Watkins. Source: VesselsValue

debug 1128: waiting for message…….

Brian Hook, the United States special representative for Iran, told reporters in London on Friday that the United States would punish any country importing Iranian oil. Mr. Hook was responding to a question about reports of Iranian oil going to Asia, according to the Reuters news agency.

President Trump’s efforts to halt Iranian oil and petrochemical exports are at the heart of rising tensions between the two countries. Last month, he imposed new sanctions on Iran’s leaders after it downed an American surveillance drone and nearly precipitated a counterstrike that was called off at the last minute. The attack on the drone came a week after the United States accused Iran of being responsible for explosions that had crippled two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

American and Israeli intelligence agencies say the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is deeply entwined with its petrochemical industry, using oil revenues to swell its coffers. Mr. Trump has labeled the military group a terrorist organization.

Iran has been trying to work around the American sanctions by offering “significant reductions” in price for its oil and petrochemical products, said Gary Samore, a professor at Brandeis University who worked on weapons issues in the Obama administration.

Brian Hook, left, the United States special representative for Iran, has said the American government would punish any country importing Iranian oil.CreditYasser Al-Zayyat/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When shipping companies defy the sanctions, they weaken their effectiveness, especially if the companies — or the countries where they are based — see no consequences, analysts said. Some shipping companies with direct Iranian ties do not try to hide their movements, according to data collected by the commercial tracking sites.

Last month, the Salina, an Iranian-flagged oil tanker under American sanctions, docked in Jinzhou Bay, a port in northeastern China, according to data from VesselsValue, a website that analyzes global shipping information. The Salina regularly reported its position, course and speed via the automatic identification system.

Oil tankers like the Salina, which can transport as much as a million barrels of crude, or about 5 percent of the daily consumption of the United States, are so big that they can call on only a limited number of ports. They are also more easily spotted by satellites than smaller ships like the Sino Energy 1.

That vessel, and its more than 40 sister ships, are far more difficult to track when they go off the grid. They were owned until April by a subsidiary of Sinochem, a state-owned company in China that is one of the world’s biggest chemical manufacturers.

Sinochem has extensive business ties in the United States. It has an office in Houston and works with big American companies including Boeing and Exxon Mobil. In March, it signed an agreement with Citibank to “deepen the partnership” between the two companies, Sinochem said. In 2013, a United States subsidiary of Sinochem bought a 40 percent stake in a Texas shale deposit for $1.7 billion.

In April, it sold a controlling share in its shipping fleet to a private company, Inner Mongolia Junzheng Energy & Chemical Group Co., whose biggest shareholder is Du Jiangtao, a Chinese billionaire who made his fortune in medical equipment, chemicals and coal-generated power.

A person answering the phone at Junzheng’s investor relations office was not familiar with the newly acquired shipping business. For now, Junzheng owns 40 percent of Sinochem’s former shipping fleet, with the rest owned by two Beijing companies.

Frank Ning, the chairman of Sinochem, speaking in a brief interview in Dalian, China, said that shipping had not been central to the company’s business. In a statement, the company said it had “adopted strict compliance policies and governance on export control and sanctions,” though a former employee who had helped manage the shipping business, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the company had shipped petrochemicals from Iran for years.

The tracking data also show that some of the Sinochem ships made trips to Iran before the fleet was sold, and both before and after the American sanctions went into effect.

In April 2018, for example, one of the ships, the SC Brilliant, was moored at Asalouyeh, a major Iranian petrochemical depot on the Persian Gulf, according to data from VesselsValue. The SC Brilliant’s voyage was easy to plot. Its captain made constant reports via the automatic identification system, broadcasting its course, speed and destination.

But after Mr. Trump’s announcement last August that he would reimpose sanctions on Iran’s petroleum industry, the SC Brilliant’s voyages became less transparent.

In late September and early October, shortly before the sanctions took effect, the ship went off the grid for 10 days in the same stretch of the Strait of Hormuz where the Sino Energy 1 disappeared last week. When the SC Brilliant went off the grid, it appeared empty; when it re-emerged, it appeared full.

The pattern was repeated in February, with the ship disappearing for four days, according to the tracking data.

That month, another Sinochem ship, the SC Neptune, stopped transmitting its position when it approached the Strait of Hormuz, the tracking data show. Four days later, for a brief period, it appeared back on the grid, transmitting its location from an export terminal on Iran’s Kharg Island. It then went quiet for another 24 hours, reappearing on its way out of the strait.

Iran’s Kharg Island (pictured in a screenshot from Google Maps), where a Chinese ship called SC Neptune briefly reported its position in February after going off the grid.

In some parts of the world, including the South China Sea, it is not uncommon for ships to go silent because the automatic identification system may be overloaded by the volume of vessels, said Court Smith, a former officer in the United States Coast Guard who is now an analyst at VesselsValue. Sometimes they do so for competitive reasons, he added.

But in the Persian Gulf, where traffic is lighter, Mr. Smith said, vessels generally do not turn off the system, known in the industry as A.I.S.

“If the A.I.S. signal is lost, it is almost certainly because the A.I.S. transponder has been disabled or turned off,” Mr. Smith said of ships in the Persian Gulf. “The captain has decided to turn off the A.I.S.”

Another possible clue that Iran-bound ships are disabling their reporting systems is that ships making trips to countries on the western part of the gulf are not going off the grid.

The SC Mercury, another of the Sinochem ships, disappeared for about nine days at the end of December and into January, vanishing close to where the Sino Energy 1 disappeared last week, the tracking data show. But in early April, the ship’s course through the Persian Gulf had no interruptions in its signal. The destination that time was the United Arab Emirates.

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Trump and R.N.C. Raised $105 Million in 2nd Quarter, Outdoing Obama

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-TrumpFundraising1-facebookJumbo Trump and R.N.C. Raised $105 Million in 2nd Quarter, Outdoing Obama Trump, Donald J Republican National Committee Presidential Election of 2020 Campaign Finance

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee on Tuesday said they had raised $105 million in the second quarter of this year, dwarfing what President Barack Obama raised in the equivalent period during his re-election campaign.

The campaign and the R.N.C. said they had a combined $100 million in cash on hand, and that they had raised more money online in the second quarter than in the first half of 2018. The staggering total figure can be plowed into television and digital advertising, get-out-the-vote efforts and other activities related to the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump and his committees raised $54 million, they said, and the R.N.C. raised $51 million. The campaign officials did not say how many individual donors had contributed, or how many gave money in increments of $200 or less. The official report, which will include spending, will be filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 15.

Mr. Trump has not sought to restrict who can give money to his campaign.

The president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called it a “massive fund-raising success” based on enthusiasm for Mr. Trump’s record, which he said no Democratic candidate could match.

[Pete Buttigieg’s $24.8 million second-quarter total is the latest evidence that he has gone from a long shot to a serious candidate for the nomination in a matter of months.]

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the R.N.C., said the fund-raising allowed the committee to “identify troves of new supporters online and continue investing in our unprecedented field program.”

For a president who values large numbers and has told aides that he wants record-breaking fund-raising reports, the figures are expected to be particularly rewarding.

And the amount of money that was both raised and stored away will be daunting for Mr. Trump’s eventual challenger, underscoring the benefits of incumbency.

In 2011, during the same period, Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign raised $47 million, and the Democratic National Committee brought in $38 million, Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, said at the time.

Mr. Trump’s fund-raising haul is a testament to the more professional operation that his campaign has been running, primarily out of Arlington, Va. In 2016, Mr. Trump poured millions of dollars of his own money into his campaign. But he also raised a considerable amount from small donors online.

This time around, as president, he also has command of the party’s donor base in a way he never did in 2016. And Ms. McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, is known as an aggressive fund-raiser.

The Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced on Monday that he had raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, which was seen as a stunning number for a candidate who was relatively unknown six months ago.

Mr. Buttigieg has impressed a number of the party’s more traditional donors, enhancing his fund-raising, even as more prominent candidates jostle to overtake the front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Trailing Mr. Buttigieg was Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who announced his quarterly totals on Tuesday. Mr. Sanders’s campaign said he had raised $18 million in the past three months.

Other campaigns in the large Democratic field have yet to announce fund-raising for the quarter, although some saw an increase after the first primary debate, which was held over two nights in Miami last week.

Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat, said she had raised $2 million in the 24 hours after her appearance in the debate, during which she confronted Mr. Biden, head-on over his past statements praising segregationist senators.

Aides to Mr. Biden, whose debate performance was widely criticized, said he had also seen a fund-raising bump in the hours after the event, but they did not release a number.

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‘It Feels Like a Jail’: Lawmakers Criticize Migrant Holding Sites on Border

CLINT, Tex. — Women held in rooms without running water, sleeping bags set up on concrete and children left apart from their families: That was what Democratic lawmakers said they heard about on Monday as they toured two Texas border facilities.

Their emotional, and graphic, descriptions came on a day when ProPublica reported the existence of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents. Posts on the group’s page included jokes about migrants’ deaths, obscene GIFs and doctored images of Hispanic lawmakers, the report said. Some of the most offensive posts were directed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York.

Monday’s visit to the border by more than a dozen members of Congress — including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas — was a specific focus of some of the abuse on Facebook, ProPublica reported. One post used vulgar language to encourage agents to “hurl a ‘burrito’” at the two women.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez fired back at the group on Monday night in a series of tweets describing the visit. “These officers felt brazen in there,” she said, pointing out that members of the congressional delegation were asked to surrender their phones before the visit. “While mgmt was telling us it was a ‘secure facility’ where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing.”

She added, referring to the Border Patrol’s parent agency, Customs and Border Protection: “CBP’s ‘good’ behavior was toxic. Imagine how they treat the women trapped inside.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-clint2-articleLarge ‘It Feels Like a Jail’: Lawmakers Criticize Migrant Holding Sites on Border United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Texas Provost, Carla Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Kennedy, Joseph P III Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Humanitarian Aid House of Representatives Escobar, Veronica El Paso (Tex) Dean, Madeleine Congressional Hispanic Caucus Clint (Tex) Border Patrol (US)

Trump supporters demonstrating outside the Clint facility on Monday.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

The head of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, said the posts on Facebook were “completely inappropriate,” adding that “any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.” On Monday night, Customs and Border Protection said it was opening an investigation into the Facebook group.

The ProPublica report further escalated the tense atmosphere the group of Democratic lawmakers found on their scheduled tour of facilities in Clint and El Paso.

“It feels like a jail,” said Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, “and they’re treating them like they’re in jail.”

“This entire system is broken,” he said. “They deserve better than this, and our country deserves better than this.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet that Customs and Border Protection “did a lot of ‘cleaning up’ before we arrived.” She said women told her they had gone 15 days without a shower and were allowed to start bathing only four days ago, after the congressional visit was announced.

Some women, she said, told her they were forced to drink out of the toilet when the faucet in their cell broke. A Customs and Border Protection official declined to comment on the accusation.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, speaking on Monday after touring a Border Patrol facility in Clint.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

At a news conference on Monday afternoon, the lawmakers’ emotional descriptions were almost completely drowned out by vulgar and racist heckling from a handful of protesters, some carrying Trump 2020 banners and posters calling for tougher border security, deportation and the construction of a wall at the southwestern border.

“Bunch of knuckleheads,” one man yelled as the lawmakers tried to describe what they had seen at a Border Patrol station in El Paso and a migrant facility in Clint. “Break out the onions,” a woman cried, mocking how some of the Democrats grew visibly emotional in front of the microphones.

“We don’t want Muslims here,” another yelled, minutes before Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, vowed to “outlove your hate.”

“You can all scream at me,” she said. “I will never stop speaking truth to power.”

Immigration activists added to the tumult as they tried to combat the insults and heckles with support for the lawmakers.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus had organized the day trip to the Texas border after reports of children being held in squalor in the Clint facility, accusations Trump administration officials have vigorously denied. The group also visited a facility affiliated with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

But lawmakers emerged from the Border Patrol facilities describing living conditions unfit to hold adults or children, with Cuban, Honduran and Guatemalan women — including grandmothers and a young pregnant woman — sharing cells, some sobbing from fear of retribution from the guards for sharing their stories.

Protesters clashed outside the Clint Border Patrol facility on Monday.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

Representative Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania said in an interview that she was initially scolded by an official for miming an air hug to a migrant child. Lawmakers said they had been told not to speak to the migrants.

But ultimately, the group spoke with a number of migrants at the facilities. In images and videos taken by Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, the head of the Hispanic caucus, on a device smuggled into the facility, a group of women, some with tear-stained cheeks, can be seen huddling in blue sleeping bags. They told lawmakers that they did not have access to medication. Officials denied those accusations.

When she asked one woman what brought her to the facility, Ms. Dean recalled in an interview, “The woman said: ‘I crossed that damn river. I wanted to come to America. That’s my offense.’”

Most of the Democratic lawmakers on the trip to Texas voted against a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package last month, citing concerns about sending more federal money to the border without strict oversight provisions. The visit appeared to harden their resolve.

“After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as ‘psychological warfare,’” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “Tell me what about that is due to a ‘lack of funding?’”

President Trump, shortly after the lawmakers wrapped up their news conference, signed the aid package into law.

“I don’t know what they’re saying about the members of Congress,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Monday. “I know that the Border Patrol is not happy with the Democrats in Congress.”

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Lawmakers Criticize Migrant Holding Sites in Texas as ‘Toxic’ and ‘Broken’

CLINT, Tex. — Women held in rooms without running water, sleeping bags set up on concrete and children left apart from their families: That was what Democratic lawmakers said they heard about on Monday as they toured two Texas border facilities.

Their emotional, and graphic, descriptions came on a day when ProPublica reported the existence of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents. Posts on the group’s page included jokes about migrants’ deaths, obscene GIFs and doctored images of Hispanic lawmakers, the report said. Some of the most offensive posts were directed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York.

Monday’s visit to the border by more than a dozen members of Congress — including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas — was a specific focus of some of the abuse on Facebook, ProPublica reported. One post used vulgar language to encourage agents to “hurl a ‘burrito’” at the two women.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez fired back at the group on Monday night in a series of tweets describing the visit. “These officers felt brazen in there,” she said, pointing out that members of the congressional delegation were asked to surrender their phones before the visit. “While mgmt was telling us it was a ‘secure facility’ where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing.”

She added, referring to the Border Patrol’s parent agency, Customs and Border Protection: “CBP’s ‘good’ behavior was toxic. Imagine how they treat the women trapped inside.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-clint2-articleLarge Lawmakers Criticize Migrant Holding Sites in Texas as ‘Toxic’ and ‘Broken’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Texas Provost, Carla Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Kennedy, Joseph P III Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Humanitarian Aid House of Representatives Escobar, Veronica El Paso (Tex) Dean, Madeleine Congressional Hispanic Caucus Clint (Tex) Border Patrol (US)

Trump supporters demonstrating outside the Clint facility on Monday.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

The head of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, said the posts on Facebook were “completely inappropriate,” adding that “any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.” On Monday night, Customs and Border Protection said it was opening an investigation into the Facebook group.

The ProPublica report further escalated the tense atmosphere the group of Democratic lawmakers found on their scheduled tour of facilities in Clint and El Paso.

“It feels like a jail,” said Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, “and they’re treating them like they’re in jail.”

“This entire system is broken,” he said. “They deserve better than this, and our country deserves better than this.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet that Customs and Border Protection “did a lot of ‘cleaning up’ before we arrived.” She said women told her they had gone 15 days without a shower and were allowed to start bathing only four days ago, after the congressional visit was announced.

Some women, she said, told her they were forced to drink out of the toilet when the faucet in their cell broke. A Customs and Border Protection official declined to comment on the accusation.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, speaking on Monday after touring a Border Patrol facility in Clint.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

At a news conference on Monday afternoon, the lawmakers’ emotional descriptions were almost completely drowned out by vulgar and racist heckling from a handful of protesters, some carrying Trump 2020 banners and posters calling for tougher border security, deportation and the construction of a wall at the southwestern border.

“Bunch of knuckleheads,” one man yelled as the lawmakers tried to describe what they had seen at a Border Patrol station in El Paso and a migrant facility in Clint. “Break out the onions,” a woman cried, mocking how some of the Democrats grew visibly emotional in front of the microphones.

“We don’t want Muslims here,” another yelled, minutes before Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, vowed to “outlove your hate.”

“You can all scream at me,” she said. “I will never stop speaking truth to power.”

Immigration activists added to the tumult as they tried to combat the insults and heckles with support for the lawmakers.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus had organized the day trip to the Texas border after reports of children being held in squalor in the Clint facility, accusations Trump administration officials have vigorously denied. The group also visited a facility affiliated with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

But lawmakers emerged from the Border Patrol facilities describing living conditions unfit to hold adults or children, with Cuban, Honduran and Guatemalan women — including grandmothers and a young pregnant woman — sharing cells, some sobbing from fear of retribution from the guards for sharing their stories.

Protesters clashed outside the Clint Border Patrol facility on Monday.CreditAdria Malcolm for The New York Times

Representative Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania said in an interview that she was initially scolded by an official for miming an air hug to a migrant child. Lawmakers said they had been told not to speak to the migrants.

But ultimately, the group spoke with a number of migrants at the facilities. In images and videos taken by Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, the head of the Hispanic caucus, on a device smuggled into the facility, a group of women, some with tear-stained cheeks, can be seen huddling in blue sleeping bags. They told lawmakers that they did not have access to medication. Officials denied those accusations.

When she asked one woman what brought her to the facility, Ms. Dean recalled in an interview, “The woman said: ‘I crossed that damn river. I wanted to come to America. That’s my offense.’”

Most of the Democratic lawmakers on the trip to Texas voted against a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package last month, citing concerns about sending more federal money to the border without strict oversight provisions. The visit appeared to harden their resolve.

“After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as ‘psychological warfare,’” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “Tell me what about that is due to a ‘lack of funding?’”

President Trump, shortly after the lawmakers wrapped up their news conference, signed the aid package into law.

“I don’t know what they’re saying about the members of Congress,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Monday. “I know that the Border Patrol is not happy with the Democrats in Congress.”

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Trump Officials Are Split Over Approach to North Korea Talks

WASHINGTON — As President Trump reveled in his historic weekend stroll into North Korea, administration officials were sharply at odds on Monday over what demands to make of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, while preparing to restart negotiations on a nuclear deal.

Pushing an internal debate into the open, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser and the most prominent hawk in the administration, reacted angrily to a report in The New York Times about the possibility of a deal to effectively freeze North Korea’s nuclear activity in return for American concessions.

Some officials are considering a freeze as a first step toward a more comprehensive agreement for Mr. Kim to give up his entire nuclear program. Mr. Bolton has long insisted that the North Koreans dismantle their nuclear program and give up their entire arsenal of warheads before getting any rewards.

“This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the president,” Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter. “There should be consequences.”

But some senior administration officials have been discussing the idea of an incremental approach under which North Korea would first close down its nuclear facilities to prevent it from making new fissile material, in effect freezing its program but leaving its existing arsenal in place.

In exchange, the Americans would make some concessions that would help improve the living conditions in North Korea, which is under heavy sanctions, or strengthen relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Among those considering such ideas are senior diplomats, say people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump, eager to burnish his self-constructed image as a dealmaker in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, appears open to embracing a step-by-step process. Mr. Trump did not publicly mention full denuclearization during his hour at the border between the two Koreas on Sunday or after talks with South Korean leaders.

In April, during a visit to the White House by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Mr. Trump signaled that gradual concessions by both sides might be necessary.

“There are various smaller deals that could happen,” he said. “You could work out step-by-step pieces, but at this moment, we’re talking about the big deal. The big deal is we have to get rid of nuclear weapons.”

American officials involved in North Korea policy assert, even in private, that the administration’s long-run goal has been consistent all along: to have Mr. Kim, with whom Mr. Trump met at the border on Sunday, give up all of his nuclear weapons and the ability to build more.

In the short run, Mr. Trump’s public comments — and the showmanship of going to the Demilitarized Zone and stepping over a low concrete barrier to walk with Mr. Kim on his soil — is another sign of the limited influence of Mr. Trump’s most hard-line advisers. Mr. Bolton was not at the meeting in North Korea but on a scheduled trip to Mongolia. Last month, Mr. Trump at the last minute rejected Mr. Bolton’s urging for a military strike on Iran.

On Monday, after Mr. Bolton made his statement, Mr. Trump spoke effusively on Twitter about his weekend trip to the Koreas without disputing the possibility of a step-by-step approach. “While there, it was great to call on Chairman Kim of North Korea to have our very well covered meeting,” he tweeted. “Good things can happen for all!”

Mr. Trump has given Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responsibility for restarting negotiations, which had stalled after a failed February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim.

It was the second time the two had met, and Mr. Trump at the time had insisted that Mr. Kim give up his entire nuclear program, including an estimated 30 to 60 warheads, in exchange for sanctions relief.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157241079_ca340044-8697-4dd4-ae34-82c45ea8497e-articleLarge Trump Officials Are Split Over Approach to North Korea Talks Yongbyon (North Korea) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Pompeo, Mike Obama, Barack Nuclear Weapons North Korea Korean Demilitarized Zone Kim Jong-un Embargoes and Sanctions Bolton, John R Arms Control and Limitation and Disarmament

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, met Sunday on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo had both urged the president to settle for nothing less than a grand deal, but Mr. Pompeo now appears open to considering a gradual approach.

The State Department declined to comment on Monday. On Sunday night, Stephen E. Biegun, the United States’ special representative for North Korea, told The Times that its account of the ideas being discussed in the administration were “pure speculation” and that his team was “not preparing any new proposal currently.”

Some analysts said any approach must start with the United States and North Korea committing to a common definition of denuclearization. Without an ironclad definition, there is greater risk the North Koreans could back out of an interim deal, as they have done under previous American administrations, they said.

“There’s a myriad of ways that North Korea can pull it back,” said Jung H. Pak, a former C.I.A. analyst who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

For months after the meeting in Hanoi, there was no senior-level contact between Washington and Pyongyang, then Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim exchanged letters.

That paved the way for Mr. Trump’s Twitter post from the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday, in which he said he would like to see Mr. Kim during a scheduled visit Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone, on the border between the two Koreas, to shake Mr. Kim’s hand and to “say Hello(?)!”

Mr. Pompeo and other officials scrambled to organize for a potential meeting. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pompeo to accompany him to the heavily guarded border village of Panmunjom, along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, his eldest daughter and his son-in-law. Mr. Bolton notably flew to Mongolia instead. “Delighted to be in Ulaanbaatar,” he said on Twitter above a photograph of him smiling with the country’s secretary of state, Davaasuren Damdinsuren.

Though Mr. Pompeo is often aligned with Mr. Bolton on an aggressive approach to national security issues — Mr. Pompeo has also advocated a strike on Iran — the secretary of state is acutely attuned to Mr. Trump’s desires and has tried diplomacy with the North Koreans when commanded by the president.

In interviews and talks in recent weeks, Mr. Pompeo has not mentioned his earlier insistence that North Koreans must first turn over a complete list of nuclear assets, which some experts say is a necessary first step to establishing baselines for full denuclearization.

Administration officials say Mr. Biegun has been trying to come up with creative ways to get North Korea to at least agree with the Americans on a common definition of denuclearization and to start the process of shutting down its program. American intelligence officials have assessed that Mr. Kim will probably never give up all of his nuclear weapons.

That is where serious consideration of a step-by-step process comes in.

In January, during a speech at Stanford University, Mr. Biegun signaled that American negotiators might be willing to push off the demand for an inventory of nuclear assets and engage in a more gradual process. “Sequencing always confounds negotiators,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s grand-deal gambit in Hanoi upended that thinking. But that summit’s failure has left the door open for other ideas. Negotiators are back at a new starting line, essentially the same place they were after Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim’s first summit, held in Singapore in June 2018.

Doing a yearslong gradual process with a freeze on activity as the initial goal would amount to tacit acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear state. But American officials in both the White House and State Department say sanctions would not be lifted until North Korea completely gets rid of its nuclear weapons and its program. That includes the five sets of sanctions imposed by the Obama and Trump administrations starting in 2016 that North Korean officials say they most want the United States to cancel. In Hanoi, Mr. Kim made this demand of Mr. Trump.

For now, American officials might consider allowing more robust humanitarian aid to enter North Korea or some limited economic exchanges between the North and South, which under Mr. Moon has been pushing forward on an inter-Korean peace process. The two sides could also open interests offices in each other’s capitals.

In the approaches under consideration, those concessions would happen only if North Korea agrees to halt all its uranium enrichment — not only at Yongbyon, the central site of its nuclear program, but also at Kangson, another site known to American officials.

American intelligence officials also suspect there may be a third site, say experts on North Korea’s nuclear program.

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Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Set by 2015 Deal

WASHINGTON — Iran on Monday violated a key provision of the 2015 international accord to restrict its nuclear program and signaled that it would soon breach another as it seeks more leverage in its escalating confrontation with the United States.

International inspectors confirmed that Iran had exceeded a critical limit on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the agreement, which President Trump abandoned more than a year ago. By itself, the move does not give Iran enough material to produce a single nuclear weapon, though it inches it in that direction.

Hours later, Iran’s foreign minister said his nation now intended to begin enriching its nuclear fuel to a purer level, a provocative action that, depending on how far Tehran goes with it, could move the country closer to possessing fuel that with further processing could be used in a weapon.

The moves completed a sharp shift in strategy for Iran, which for the past 14 months had continued to respect the terms of the complex deal it struck with the Obama administration, even after Mr. Trump reimposed sanctions in an effort to strangle Iran’s economy by driving its oil revenues to zero. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran signaled the change in approach in May, but Tehran did not actually breach a central element of the agreement until Monday.

But while the moves appear to return Iran to its two-decade pursuit of the technology necessary to develop a nuclear arsenal, the real goal may have been to gain a diplomatic advantage for any future negotiations. Iranian leaders are betting they can force European countries, who were deeply critical of Mr. Trump’s scrapping of the nuclear deal, to deliver on promises to help compensate Tehran for the effects of American sanctions.

Mr. Trump, who has vowed that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon, told reporters that Iran was “playing with fire,” and in a statement the State Department criticized Iran’s moves as an effort “to extort the international community and threaten regional security.”

The administration has insisted that Iran continue to abide by the 2015 deal’s terms, even though Mr. Trump was the first to repudiate it, imposing escalating sanctions that are spurring high inflation and deep budget cuts in Iran.

But the administration made no overt threats of military action. Iran’s bit-by-bit violations of the accord are all reversible, and it is not clear how much either side wants to further escalate given that tensions have already been running high after the downing of an American surveillance drone by Iran last month nearly resulted in military strikes.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154544277_9ffef66e-15c0-42f2-bbfa-5a115bb2569b-articleLarge Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Set by 2015 Deal Zarif, Mohammad Javad Uranium United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Tehran (Iran) Stockpiling Rouhani, Hassan Nuclear Weapons Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces Cyberwarfare and Defense

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, second from left, blamed the Europeans for Tehran’s move, saying that they “have failed to fulfill their promises of protecting Iran’s interests.”CreditPool photo by Carlos Barria

Iran’s moves nonetheless brought expressions of concern from American allies, some of whom fear Washington and Tehran are on a collision course.

“Deeply worried by Iran’s announcement that it has broken existing nuclear deal obligations,” Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign minister and a contender for prime minister, said in a tweet. He said that Britain “remains committed to making deal work & using all diplomatic tools.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who lobbied Congress hard to defeat the deal four years ago, put the move in far more dire terms.

“Iran is taking a significant step toward producing nuclear weapons,” he said at a ceremony honoring reserve units of the Israel Defense Forces. “Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.”

He urged Europe to impose “snapback” sanctions against Iran, under provisions that were written into the arrangement to deal with violations.

But European officials have long argued that Mr. Trump essentially pushed the Iranians into the violations, and they are likely to be divided on the question of whether to pursue sanctions that would most likely terminate the arrangement entirely. The Iranians argue that they are under no obligations to adhere to the deal’s terms since Mr. Trump abandoned the pact.

“The E.U. remains fully committed to the agreement as long as Iran continues to fully implement its nuclear commitments,” said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the European Union, adding that Iran had complied with the deal for 14 months after the United States’ withdrawal. “We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” she said.

The 2015 agreement with Iran was negotiated by the United States under President Barack Obama along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. The European powers have been trying to keep Iran in the deal even after the withdrawal of the United States, but negotiations on a possible agreement for Europe to help Iran financially by coming up with a workaround to some American sanctions ended inconclusively last week.

The breach of the limit on how much nuclear fuel Iran can possess restricted its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to about 660 pounds. The decision was the strongest warning yet that Iran may be willing to rebuild the far larger stockpile that it agreed to send abroad under the deal.

Shortly after Iranian news agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had exceeded the stockpile limit, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the country’s foreign minister and the man who negotiated the agreement with the Obama administration, said Iran would now turn to enriching the nuclear fuel.

President Trump, who has vowed that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon, told reporters that Tehran was “playing with fire.”CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

“Our next step will be enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent allowed under the deal,” he said, according to a state-run Iranian broadcaster. He blamed the Europeans, who he said “have failed to fulfill their promises of protecting Iran’s interests” by compensating for billions of dollars in losses to the Iranian economy caused by the American sanctions.

The enrichment level limit in the 2015 deal was set to assure that Iran’s small amount of fuel could be useful only in producing nuclear energy, not a bomb. Higher enrichment levels take Iran closer to making the kind of material needed for a bomb — which requires something closer to 90 percent purity.

Iran has consistently denied that it has any intention of making a nuclear weapon, but a trove of nuclear-related documents, spirited out of a Tehran warehouse by Israeli agents last year, showed extensive work before 2003 to design a nuclear warhead.

Mr. Trump said last month that any effort by Iran to race to build a bomb might prompt him to take military action. But the move signaled by Iran on Monday fell far short of that threshold, and could have been intended to impress on the Europeans the importance of returning to negotiations over giving Tehran some relief from the sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in May that the United States would never allow Iran to get within one year of possessing enough fuel to produce a nuclear weapon.

His special envoy for Iran, Brian H. Hook, has often said that under a new deal, the United States would insist on “zero enrichment for Iran.” Mr. Hook has estimated that the sanctions have cost Iran $50 billion in lost oil sales, far more than the system the Europeans are putting in place would generate.

Iran has so far rejected beginning any negotiation with Washington, saying that the United States must first return to the 2015 agreement and comply with all of its terms.

In fact, there is an argument to be made that Mr. Trump pushed Iran into exceeding the stockpile limit. Among the recently imposed sanctions was one that threatened action against any country that bought low-enriched uranium from Tehran. To comply with the stockpile limits, Iran shipped low-enriched uranium to Russia in return for natural uranium. With that exchange now barred, it was only a matter of time before Iran exceeded the limits.

Even before the announcement, the Pentagon and the United States’ intelligence agencies — led by the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency — were beginning to review what steps to take if the president determined that Iran was getting too close to producing a bomb.

But any operation against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, with either conventional arms or cyberweapons, would be highly risky. And some administration officials warn that acting now would be premature. Even if Iran possesses 800 or 900 kilograms of uranium, it would be insufficient for a single bomb. That threshold is not likely to be crossed until later this summer.

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Split Emerges in Administration Over Approach to North Korea Talks

WASHINGTON — As President Trump reveled in his historic weekend stroll into North Korea, administration officials were sharply at odds on Monday over what demands to make of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, as they prepared to restart negotiations on a nuclear deal.

Pushing an internal debate into the open, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser and the most prominent hawk in the administration, reacted angrily to a report in The New York Times about the possibility of a deal to effectively freeze North Korea’s nuclear activity in return for American concessions.

Officials are considering a freeze as a first step toward a more comprehensive agreement for Mr. Kim to give up his entire nuclear program. Mr. Bolton has long insisted that the North Koreans completely dismantle their nuclear program and give up their entire arsenal of warheads before getting any rewards.

“This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the president,” Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter. “There should be consequences.”

But some senior administration officials have been discussing the idea of an incremental approach under which North Korea would first close down its nuclear facilities to prevent it from making new fissile material, in effect freezing its program but leaving its existing arsenal in place.

In exchange, the Americans would make some concessions that would help improve the living conditions of North Korea, which is under heavy sanctions, or strengthen relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Among those considering such ideas are senior diplomats, say people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump, eager to burnish his self-constructed image as a dealmaker in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, appears open to embracing a step-by-step process. Mr. Trump did not publicly mention full denuclearization during his hour at the border between the two Koreas on Sunday or after talks with South Korean leaders.

In April, during a visit to the White House by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Mr. Trump signaled that gradual concessions by both sides might be necessary.

“There are various smaller deals that could happen,” he said. “You could work out step-by-step pieces, but at this moment, we’re talking about the big deal. The big deal is we have to get rid of nuclear weapons.”

American officials involved in North Korea policy assert, even in private, that the administration’s long-run goal has been consistent all along: to have Mr. Kim, with whom Mr. Trump met at the border on Sunday, give up all of his nuclear weapons and the ability to build more.

In the short run, Mr. Trump’s public comments — and the showmanship of going to the Demilitarized Zone and stepping over a low concrete barrier to walk with Mr. Kim on his soil — is another sign of the limited influence of Mr. Trump’s most hard-line advisers. Mr. Bolton was not at the meeting in North Korea but on a scheduled trip to Mongolia. Last month, Mr. Trump at the last minute rejected Mr. Bolton’s urging for a military strike on Iran.

On Monday, after Mr. Bolton made his statement, Mr. Trump spoke effusively on Twitter about his weekend trip to the Koreas without disputing the possibility of a step-by-step approach. “While there, it was great to call on Chairman Kim of North Korea to have our very well covered meeting,” he tweeted. “Good things can happen for all!”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157241079_ca340044-8697-4dd4-ae34-82c45ea8497e-articleLarge Split Emerges in Administration Over Approach to North Korea Talks Yongbyon (North Korea) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Pompeo, Mike Obama, Barack Nuclear Weapons North Korea Korean Demilitarized Zone Kim Jong-un Embargoes and Sanctions Bolton, John R Arms Control and Limitation and Disarmament

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, met Sunday on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Trump has given Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responsibility for restarting negotiations, which had stalled after a failed February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim. It was the second time the two had met, and Mr. Trump at the time had insisted that Mr. Kim give up his entire nuclear program, including an estimated 30 to 60 warheads, in exchange for sanctions relief.

Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo had both urged the president to settle for nothing less than a grand deal, but Mr. Pompeo now appears open to considering a gradual approach.

The State Department declined to comment on Monday. On Sunday evening, Stephen E. Biegun, the United States’ special representative for North Korea, told The Times that its account of the ideas being discussed in the administration were “pure speculation” and that his team was “not preparing any new proposal currently.”

Some analysts said any approach must start with the United States and North Korea committing to a common definition of denuclearization. Without an ironclad definition, there is greater risk the North Koreans could back out of an interim deal, as they have done under previous American administrations, they said. “There’s a myriad of ways that North Korea can pull it back,” said Jung H. Pak, a former C.I.A. analyst who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

For months after the meeting in Hanoi, there was no senior-level contact between Washington and Pyongyang, then Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim exchanged letters. That paved the way for Mr. Trump’s tweet from the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday, in which he said he would like to see Mr. Kim during a scheduled visit Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone, on the border between the two Koreas, to shake Mr. Kim’s hand and to “say Hello(?)!”

Mr. Pompeo and other officials scrambled to organize for a potential meeting. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pompeo to accompany him to the heavily guarded border village of Panmunjom, along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, his eldest daughter and his son-in-law. Mr. Bolton notably flew to Mongolia instead. “Delighted to be in Ulaanbaatar,” he said on Twitter above a photograph of him smiling with the country’s secretary of state, Davaasuren Damdinsuren.

Though Mr. Pompeo is often aligned with Mr. Bolton on an aggressive approach to national security issues — Mr. Pompeo has also advocated a strike on Iran — the secretary of state is acutely attuned to Mr. Trump’s desires and has tried diplomacy with the North Koreans when commanded by the president.

In interviews and talks in recent weeks, Mr. Pompeo has not mentioned his earlier insistence that North Koreans must first turn over a complete list of nuclear assets, which some experts say is a necessary first step to establishing baselines for full denuclearization.

Administration officials say Mr. Biegun has been trying to come up with creative ways to get North Korea to at least agree with the Americans on a common definition of denuclearization and to start the process of shutting down its program. American intelligence officials have assessed that Mr. Kim will most likely never give up all his nuclear weapons.

That is where serious consideration of a step-by-step process comes in.

In January, during a speech at Stanford University, Mr. Biegun signaled that American negotiators might be willing to push off the demand for an inventory of nuclear assets and engage in a more gradual process. “Sequencing always confounds negotiators,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s grand-deal gambit in Hanoi upended that thinking. But that summit’s failure has left the door open for other ideas. Negotiators are back at a new starting line, essentially the same place they were after Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim’s first summit, held in Singapore in June 2018.

Doing a yearslong gradual process with a freeze on activity as the initial goal would amount to tacit acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear state. But American officials in both the White House and State Department say sanctions would not be lifted until North Korea completely gets rid of its nuclear weapons and its program. That includes the five sets of sanctions imposed by the Obama and Trump administrations starting in 2016 that North Korean officials say they most want the United States to cancel. In Hanoi, Mr. Kim made this demand of Mr. Trump.

For now, American officials might consider allowing more robust humanitarian aid to enter North Korea or some limited economic exchanges between the North and South, which under Mr. Moon has been pushing forward on an inter-Korean peace process. The two sides could also open interests offices in each other’s capitals.

In the approaches under consideration, those concessions would only happen, though, if North Korea agrees to halt all its uranium enrichment — not only at Yongbyon, the central site of its nuclear program, but also at Kangson, another site known to American officials. American intelligence officials also suspect there may be a third site, say experts on North Korea’s nuclear program.

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Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Under 2015 Deal

WASHINGTON — Iran has exceeded a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the 2015 international pact curbing its nuclear program, effectively declaring that it would no longer respect an agreement that President Trump abandoned more than a year ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Monday.

The breach of the limitation, which restricted Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium to about 660 pounds, does not by itself give the country the material to produce a nuclear weapon. But it is the strongest signal yet that Iran is moving to abandon the limits and restore the far larger stockpile that took the United States and five other nations years to persuade Tehran to send abroad.

The developments were first reported by the semiofficial Fars news agency, citing an “informed source.” Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister of Iran, was later quoted confirming the news, according to another semiofficial outlet, the Iranian Students’ News Agency, or ISNA.

The report from Fars said that representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency determined last week that Iran had passed the threshold, and a spokesman for the agency said on Monday that it had confirmed that the stockpile had surpassed the limit laid out in the deal.

It was unclear how much the action would escalate the tensions between Washington and Tehran after the downing of an American surveillance drone in June nearly resulted in military strikes.

But it returns the focus to Iran’s two-decade pursuit of technology that could produce a nuclear weapon — exactly where it was before President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran struck their deal four years ago.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154544277_9ffef66e-15c0-42f2-bbfa-5a115bb2569b-articleLarge Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Under 2015 Deal Zarif, Mohammad Javad Uranium United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Tehran (Iran) Stockpiling Rouhani, Hassan Nuclear Weapons Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces Cyberwarfare and Defense

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, second from left, in Vienna in 2015.CreditPool photo by Carlos Barria

While the Trump administration had no immediate reaction to the announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that the United States would never allow Iran to get within one year of possessing enough fuel to produce a nuclear weapon. His special envoy for Iran, Brian H. Hook, has often said that under a new deal, the United States would insist on “zero enrichment for Iran.”

Iran has so far rejected beginning any negotiation, saying that the United States must first return to the 2015 agreement and comply with all of its terms.

“Now the inevitable escalation cycle seems well underway,” Philip H. Gordon, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Obama administration national security official, wrote in an article this spring for Foreign Affairs magazine shortly after Mr. Rouhani telegraphed that he intended to walk away from the deal’s restrictions. Iran was on a “slippery slope” to fully pulling out of the agreement, Mr. Gordon added.

On June 28, after meeting in Vienna with European officials who had promised to set up a barter system with Iran to compensate for the effects of American sanctions that Britain, France and Germany say are unwise, Iranian officials said the effort was insufficient. Mr. Hook has estimated the sanctions have cost Iran $50 billion in lost oil sales, far more than the system the Europeans are putting in place would generate.

As they left the meeting, Iranian officials hinted that the breaking of the limit would go forward, though it could just as easily be reversed in the future.

For now, however, Iran seems on a pathway to step-by-step dissolution of key parts of the accord. Mr. Rouhani has said that Iran will begin raising the level of uranium enrichment this month.

It is possible that exceeding the stockpile limit is largely a negotiating tactic, a way for Tehran to impose costs on Washington after enduring more than a year of sanctions. But the move is risky. Mr. Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who negotiated the deal with the secretary of state at the time, John Kerry, are betting that the Europeans will declare that Mr. Trump, not Iran, is responsible for the collapse of the nuclear accord.

That may prove the case. European officials, in their most vivid split from Mr. Trump, are scrambling to preserve the agreement, fearful that if it falls apart, the United States and Iran could be headed toward military conflict — and perhaps war.

Advocates of the Iran deal, including former members of the Obama administration, say President Trump pushed Tehran to violate a key part of it.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

But a section of the pact allows the Europeans to invoke a so-called snapback of sanctions if Iran violates the terms. The Iranians say they are within their rights because the reimposition of sanctions last year by the United States gave them the grounds to halt their commitments, as well.

For advocates of the 2015 deal, like former members of the Obama administration, Mr. Trump pushed Iran into the announcement. Among the recently imposed sanctions was one that threatened action against any country that bought low-enriched uranium from Tehran. To comply with the stockpile limits, Iran shipped low-enriched uranium to Russia in return for natural uranium. With that exchange now barred, it was only a matter of time before Iran exceeded the limits.

Even before the announcement, the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence agencies — led by the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency — were beginning to review what steps to take if the president determined that Iran was getting too close to producing a bomb.

A decade ago, the Obama administration conducted a highly classified cyberattack, code-named Olympic Games, at the Natanz enrichment site. The breach neutralized Iran’s centrifuges, which spin at supersonic speeds to enrich uranium, and destroyed about 1,000 of the 5,000 machines then in operation. But after two years, Iran rebounded, and when the nuclear accord came into effect, it had more than 17,000 centrifuges, most of which were dismantled under the agreement.

If the United States targets Iran’s uranium enrichment operations, experts say, it is likely to take aim again at the Natanz site. But this time, the Iranians appear far better prepared. Other major nuclear sites, including the primary production facility for converting raw uranium to a gas form, and factories that produce next-generation centrifuges, are also likely targets, according to former officials.

In the weeks before the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s state news media has called for “surgical strikes” against Iran, as has Senator Tom Cotton, who pressed for military action after the downing of the drone. Mr. Trump initially agreed, then pulled back.

But any operation against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, either with conventional arms or cyberweapons, would be highly risky. And some administration officials warn that acting now would be premature. Even if Iran possesses 800 or 900 kilograms of uranium, it would be insufficient for a single bomb. That threshold is not likely to be crossed until later this summer.

“If there is conflict, if there is war, if there is a kinetic activity, it will be because the Iranians made that choice,” Mr. Pompeo said last week during a visit to New Delhi. “I hope that they do not.”

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