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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 199)

Citizenship Change Will Affect a Handful, but the Backlash Is Fierce

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-citizenship-facebookJumbo Citizenship Change Will Affect a Handful, but the Backlash Is Fierce United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Immigration and Emigration Government Employees Citizenship and Naturalization Citizenship and Immigration Services (US)

WASHINGTON — A new homeland security policy that will restrict the conferral of automatic citizenship for some children born abroad to active service members will affect only a handful of families each year, but the botched rollout of the policy this week incited a fierce backlash against President Trump, who has hailed himself as an advocate of veterans.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency released policy guidance on Wednesday that would make some parents serving abroad who adopted children or who had spent limited time in the United States apply for citizenship for children not born on American soil. Immigration lawyers and military groups predicted that for those families, citizenship would have to come through an onerous, expensive application process — if it comes at all.

Some involved in the planning for the policy even delayed its unveiling for months because they were so opposed to it, according to government officials.

But the policy will probably affect fewer than 100 families at the moment and does not affect anyone born in the United States. Agency officials said an analysis of the past five years of applications showed that the change would apply to about 25 people a year.

That left some critics asking why bother, even as the hashtag #TrumpHatesMilitaryFamilies was trending Thursday on the president’s favorite communications channel, Twitter.

“There’s going to be some people whose children are not citizens as a result of this; the question is why,” said Martin W. Lester, an immigration lawyer who also works for an organization matching immigration lawyers with members of the military. “I cannot for the life of me figure out why the administration thinks that is a good policy.”

Jeremy Butler, the chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, also appeared mystified.

“By targeting the citizenship of children, the administration has made service abroad — an already intense, stressful environment — even more difficult for military families to navigate,” he said. “It’s unclear what issue this policy is trying to solve, and why it’s going into effect imminently without a plan for education, outreach and support for those it affects.”

Children gain American citizenship either by being born in the United States or, if born abroad, by inheriting it at birth from a citizen parent, given that the parent must meet certain requirements. Parents can also apply for their child’s citizenship before their 18th birthday if they do not otherwise qualify.

In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, officials at Citizenship and Immigration Services portrayed the change as a simple bureaucratic update.

To give greater flexibility to active service members forced by the country to travel, the agency previously allowed a child born abroad to military personnel to be granted the same citizenship privileges as one “residing” in the United States. That automatic conferral is being withdrawn, so such parents will have to rely on another area of immigration law for their child to obtain citizenship. The parent who is a United States citizen serving abroad must prove he or she lived in the country for five years, including a mandatory two years after the parent turned 14 years old. Time spent abroad serving in the military will count toward the five-year requirement.

An official for Citizenship and Immigration Services said the agency felt the previous policy was sound, “but it’s not what the law says.”

“If I could change the law to our interpretation, I would happily do so, but the fact of the matter is it’s just not what the law says,” the official said.

The policy change will also make it more difficult for parents to obtain citizenship for children they adopt abroad, said Irene Steffas, a lawyer who specializes in immigration and adoption. Some parents will need to travel back to the United States to fulfill the five-year residency requirement needed to obtain citizenship for their children, Ms. Steffas said.

Some advocates were skeptical that the impact would be as limited as the administration maintained.

If they really think this only affects 25 people, why have they invested the time and resources to do it? It’s only because it’s one more step in their ongoing policy to restrict legal immigration,” Mr. Lester said. “But when you start doing it by going after the babies of active-duty military personnel, at some point somebody’s got to say this isn’t the way our system is supposed to work.”

Homeland security officials sought to clarify that the policy change had nothing to do with speculation that the administration would try to revoke birthright citizenship for certain families. Mr. Trump said just last week he was “seriously” considering ending the process by which babies born in the country automatically become citizens, which would be immediately challenged in court as a violation of the Constitution.

“The policy manual update today does not affect who is born a U.S. citizen, period,” Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said on Twitter. “It only affects children who were born outside the U.S. and were not U.S. citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship.”

The agency has enforced other wide-reaching rules in the last month, including a regulation that would deny green cards to immigrants who are determined likely to use public benefits.

In the briefing, agency officials said they had communicated with the Defense Department on the introduction of the policy since May.

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Trump’s Methane Rule Rollback Divides Oil and Gas Industry

HOUSTON — Oil and gas producers might have been expected to welcome a decision to loosen regulations affecting their business. But their reaction to the Trump administration’s move to roll back methane-emissions rules revealed at least tactical divisions on climate policy.

Contradictory voices quickly emerged Thursday between those who supported the move as a boon to domestic energy production and others who viewed it as a counterproductive measure that would sully the reputation of natural gas as a clean fuel.

Global oil and gas companies generally distanced themselves from the administration decision, while smaller domestic companies that are struggling to make a profit at a time of low oil and gas prices said they supported the rollback.

The divide reflected differing visions of the industry’s future in light of growing concerns about greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

Natural gas often escapes unburned during production and distribution, and its essential component — methane — is more than 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere in the 20 years it takes to dissipate. The administration’s move would loosen regulations affecting methane emissions from pipelines, storage tanks and wells.

Without constraints on harmful emissions, some in the industry feel they will be less effective in arguing that gas should replace coal in generating power. And that would strengthen the case for favoring sources like wind and solar energy rather than gas to control global warming.

“What some people in the industry do not get, but others are beginning to get, is that we are transitioning to a low-carbon economy,” said Mark Boling, former executive vice president of Southwestern Energy and a consultant to oil companies trying to monitor emissions in Colorado. “If natural gas is going to replace coal, we need to show the climate benefit.”

Natural gas has replaced coal as the most important power fuel in the United States in recent years, largely because it is cheap and far cleaner to burn. Proponents say gas can be a “bridge fuel” that can back up wind turbines when the wind does not blow and solar arrays when the sun does not shine.

But critics note that the problem of leaks may be underestimated to the point where the environmental benefits of gas have been overstated. Big companies that propose to ship gas around the world in pipelines and in cooled liquid form want to counter that argument so they can increase exports to countries like India and China.

Under increasing pressure from shareholders, activists and their own employees, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and several other international oil companies have joined the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which is pledged to reduce gas emissions. It is one part of a growing acknowledgment in the industry that climate change and future regulation are a threat.

“Shell has long supported the direct regulation of methane when regulation is efficient, effective and encourages innovation,” said Gretchen Watkins, Shell’s president for U.S. operations. “While the law may change in this instance, our environmental commitments will stand.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_139971951_bc803102-e188-4c52-b4c4-a157562b1601-articleLarge Trump’s Methane Rule Rollback Divides Oil and Gas Industry Trump, Donald J Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline natural gas Methane Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming American Petroleum Institute

Bubbles rising from a leaky pipe juncture at a natural-gas well site. Natural gas often escapes unburned during production, and its essential component, methane, traps heat in the atmosphere.CreditAndrea Morales for The New York Times

BP said Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate methane emissions from both new and existing energy sources. “We have to reduce methane emissions for natural gas to realize its full potential in our energy mix,” said Susan Dio, BP America’s chairman and president.

But the industry’s principal trade organization, the American Petroleum Institute, took a different tack. The group, which represents all facets of the industry, from production to refining, voiced support for the Trump administration’s action and said companies were controlling leaks without government intervention.

Erik Milito, a vice president at the institute, said the organization welcomed “smart regulations” that “provide the flexibility to develop and deliver affordable and reliable American energy.”

Among the critics of government methane regulations are the thousands of small producers who pump oil around Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana from small wells that sometimes produce as little as 10 barrels a day. They say they cannot afford higher compliance costs.

“They want us to comply with extremely expensive equipment and procedures that will hinder us from making a profit,” Darlene S. Wallace, president of Columbus Oil, an Oklahoma company, said of those who promoted stricter standards adopted during the Obama administration. “Most people who own marginal wells are rural people, and all the regulation is going to do is take a living away from a lot of people.”

Patrick Montalban, chairman of Montalban Oil and Gas Operations in Montana, said tighter regulation meant “a tremendous amount of administrative and field expenses that is not required,” adding, “You are not saving the environment by doing this.”

The administration decision is bound to be popular with many oil workers who are skeptical about climate change and see regulations as a threat to their jobs. But many oil executives have shown little enthusiasm for administration initiatives that would open the way for exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and deepwater areas off the Atlantic coast. They cite a supply glut and plenty of exploration opportunities in existing shale fields. They also privately express concern that the trade war with China could limit their oil and gas exports in the future.

And in addressing environmental concerns, some big companies are taking a new look at technological solutions. Chevron and Occidental are investing in a Canadian company that is designing a way to sweep carbon dioxide out of the air to produce a clean fuel.

Executives are also beginning to speak out more bluntly about climate change, and in support of the 2016 Paris climate accord that President Trump abandoned.

“It’s for both moral and economic reasons that we should not vent methane or flare,” said Bill Maloney, a board member for two private oil and gas companies. “Why in the world would we want to make a product that we can sell and then vent it into the atmosphere?” added Mr. Maloney, a former executive vice president for development and production in North America for Statoil, the Norwegian company that has since changed its name to Equinor.

Since 2014, more than a dozen medium-size oil and gas companies, including Hess, Apache and Noble, have sided with an effort called One Future Coalition that aims to trace and reduce gas emissions. They are joined by Kinder Morgan, the pipeline giant, and several utilities.

Early indications are that there will not be a retreat from the effort.

“We will continue to urge the E.P.A. to retain the main features of the existing methane rule,” said Scott Silvestri, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, the country’s largest oil company. “Last year, we announced our support for the direct regulation of methane emissions for new and existing oil and gas facilities. That hasn’t changed.”

Mark Brownstein, a senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund who has worked with oil companies to reduce methane emissions, expressed cautious optimism. “I think the larger and globally focused companies continue to focus on this issue and getting it right,” he said. “But this is a situation where the laggards define the reputation of the product. This will ultimately come down to the weakest link in the chain.”

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Comey Is Criticized by Justice Dept. Watchdog for Violating F.B.I. Rules

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-comey-facebookJumbo Comey Is Criticized by Justice Dept. Watchdog for Violating F.B.I. Rules United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Inspectors General Horowitz, Michael E Federal Bureau of Investigation Comey, James B Classified Information and State Secrets

WASHINGTON — The former F.B.I. director James B. Comey violated policy by disclosing memos about his interactions with President Trump to people outside the bureau, said a blistering Justice Department inspector general report released on Thursday, admonishing him for setting “a dangerous example” for officials with access to government secrets.

The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, faulted Mr. Comey for releasing the memos to his lawyers, which officials retroactively determined contained classified information, but prosecutors declined to charge him. Mr. Comey, who gave one memo to a confidant who provided its contents to The New York Times, has said he helped make the information public in part to bring about the appointment of a special counsel.

“Comey violated F.B.I. policy and the requirements of his F.B.I. employment agreement when he chose this path,” the report said.

[Read the report.]

Mr. Trump and his allies are sure to use the report’s conclusions to attack Mr. Comey, whom the president fired abruptly in 2017 and partly blames for opening the Russia investigation, which threatened his presidency from its inception.

The report is the latest chapter in the story of Mr. Comey, who was castigated last year as part of a broader inspector general’s investigation that examined his handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry during the 2016 presidential campaign. In trying to protect the F.B.I., the earlier report said, Mr. Comey instead damaged its reputation.

Mr. Comey responded on Thursday by noting that the new report found he had broken no laws and criticizing those who had accused him of lying or leaking information.

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote on Twitter, challenging his critics to stop trusting “people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

Mr. Comey wrote memos after meeting with Mr. Trump in the first days and weeks of his presidency, saying later that he wanted to document the encounters because he worried that the president would lie about their discussions. Mr. Trump and his allies accused Mr. Comey of illegally leaking the memos as they tried to undermine his standing as a key witness in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

The inspector general laid out a litany of problems with Mr. Comey’s actions. In addition to concluding that the memos were F.B.I. property, not his, the inspector general noted that Mr. Comey failed to return them to the F.B.I. after he was fired and improperly disclosed bureau documents and information to his friend and personal lawyer, Daniel C. Richman, and his other lawyers. But the inspector general said Mr. Comey did not leak any classified information to the news media.

Mr. Comey has said he would not do anything differently if faced with the same set of choices. Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, has said that Mr. Comey’s intransigence was partly why he backed firing him.

At issue in part is who owns the information in the memos: Mr. Comey or the F.B.I. While Mr. Comey said that he believed that two of his memos were his personal documents, all of the senior leaders interviewed by the inspector general disagreed, believing they were the property of the F.B.I.

Mr. Comey kept four memos inside a safe at his home and shared details about one with Mr. Richman, who told a Times reporter about its contents. Mr. Comey later sent some of the memos to Mr. Richman and his other lawyers, David Kelley and Patrick Fitzgerald. The F.B.I. eventually deleted the memos from its computer systems.

The contents of the memo that Mr. Richman shared detailed a private dinner Mr. Comey had with the president — itself an unusual encounter — where Mr. Trump demanded Mr. Comey’s loyalty. That memo contained no classified information, officials later determined.

The reaction to the memos, first revealed in Times articles in the days after his dismissal two years ago, was swift. Angered by their accounts of his demands for loyalty from typically independent law enforcement officials, the president threatened retaliation. Close aides to Mr. Comey also told the inspector general they were “stunned” and “shocked” to learn he had relayed the details of his encounters with the president to a reporter through Mr. Richman.

In the days after Mr. Comey was fired and the first Times article was published, the F.B.I. began investigating whether the president obstructed justice and opened a counterintelligence inquiry into whether he was secretly working on behalf of Russia. And one day after another article about a Comey memo revealed the president’s request that the F.B.I. end an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, then the national security adviser, Mr. Rosenstein appointed the special counsel.

Inside the F.B.I., members of Mr. Comey’s inner circle were forced to deal with the fallout from Mr. Comey’s revelations, the inspector general found, even as they confronted the investigations into Mr. Trump, which themselves had outsize political implications.

Former aides to Mr. Comey, including the former F.B.I. lawyers Lisa Page and James A. Baker, along with the senior agent Peter Strzok, were assigned to examine the seven memos to determine whether they contained classified information. The found that four of the memos had small amounts of classified details, and the others were designated as unclassified but “for official use only.”

The team classified two of the documents as confidential in order to protect the president’s ability to conduct foreign relations, the report said. One of the memos described statements by the president that had the potential to harm “the diplomatic relations of the United States; the foreign relations of the United States, by disclosing the president’s mental view of a foreign leader,” Mr. Baker told the inspector general.

The inspector general said he referred the case to prosecutors, who quickly determined that it did not warrant charges. The inspector general interviewed 17 witnesses, including Mr. Richman.

Congress made the memos public in April 2018 with some information blacked out, and Mr. Comey wrote about them in a book published last year.

Even if he believed that disclosing details about Mr. Trump’s actions was the right course of action, Mr. Comey nonetheless hurt the F.B.I., which depends on its employees to keep sensitive information private, the report said.

“Comey failed to live up to this responsibility,” the inspector general concluded, then noted its earlier criticism of Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

“We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with department policy,” the report said. “Comey’s unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism.”

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Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported

LOS ANGELES — Maria Isabel Bueso was 7 years old when she came to the United States from Guatemala at the invitation of doctors who were conducting a clinical trial for the treatment of her rare, disfiguring genetic disease. The trial was short on participants, and thanks to her enrollment, the Federal Drug Administration eventually approved a medication for the condition that has increased survival by more than a decade.

Now 24, Ms. Bueso has participated in several medical studies. She has won awards for her advocacy on behalf of people with rare diseases, appearing before lawmakers in Washington and in Sacramento. Through the years, her parents have paid for the treatment that keeps her alive with private medical insurance.

But last week, Ms. Bueso received a letter from the United States government notifying her that she must leave the country within 33 days or face deportation. Her doctor, lawyer and mother described the order as tantamount to a “death sentence.”

Without notice, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services eliminated a program this month that had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. Called “deferred action,” the program had provided a form of humanitarian relief from deportation for at least 1,000 applicants every year, and was renewable every two years.

The Trump administration also recently eliminated a program that allowed immigration judges to end the deportation cases of others with sympathetic circumstances. Taken together, these changes have made it all but impossible for people who were previously considered safe from deportation to defend themselves if they are picked up by federal immigration authorities, some experts said.

“I have been feeling super scared and overwhelmed,” said Ms. Bueso, whose lower body is paralyzed from the disease, an enzyme disorder that inhibits cells from processing sugars. “The treatment that I receive keeps me alive.”

The policy change, which caught immigration officials unawares, is the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration to revoke or modify procedures that have allowed certain immigrants to remain in the United States. Now thousands — including those with serious medical conditions, crime victims who have helped law enforcement with investigations and caretakers of sick children or relatives — no longer have access to a safety net that has shielded them from deportation.

Over the last two years, major changes to immigration policy have been implemented with little notification given to the federal workers charged with carrying them out, beginning with a travel ban imposed by President Trump in his first weeks in office, and the “zero tolerance” approach that led to family separations last summer.

In explaining the new policy, a spokesman for U.S.C.I.S. said requests for deferred action must now be made to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for removing people from the country. An ICE official, though, said this week that the department had not been notified of the new position and questioned ICE’s ability to assume the role.

“The decision by U.S.C.I.S. to alter this policy is not something that ICE is prepared to take on,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. “This wasn’t discussed with ICE. It’s not a procedure. We had no idea what they were talking about.”

In letters reviewed by The New York Times, Ms. Bueso, her family and other “deferred action” applicants have been told that the agency will only consider requests from people who are in the military and that the authorities may “commence removal proceedings” against those who do not leave the country.

“I have been told by U.S.C.I.S. there is no appeal, and nobody has told us how to proceed,” said Martin Lawler, Ms. Bueso’s attorney in San Francisco. “She cannot leave the United States. She will die.”

Every week for several years, Ms. Bueso has received intravenous infusions of the replacement enzyme that treats her disease, Mucopolysaccharidosis VI, or MPS-6, which causes dwarfism, clouded vision and spinal cord compression, among other abnormalities.

“Stopping this therapy will dramatically shorten her life span,” said Paul Harmatz, the pediatric gastroenterologist who was involved in the original trial and has been treating Ms. Bueso since 2003 at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

The new policy may prevent an 8-year-old girl with nerve cancer from participating in an experimental treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her father, who is in the country illegally, is the only parent who can travel with her because her mother, an American, recently had a stroke that impaired her vision and ability to drive, said Tammy Fox-Isicoff, a Miami immigration lawyer who is representing the family.

Without deferred action, the man cannot legally drive or board an airplane from Miami to New York, where the girl must go each month for the treatment.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 29deport-02-articleLarge Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported visas United States Trump, Donald J Rare and Orphan Diseases Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Executive Orders and Memorandums Deportation Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Citizenship and Immigration Services (US)

Ms. Bueso with her mother Karla Bueso at their home in Concord, Calif. Her doctor, lawyer and mother described the order to leave the country as tantamount to a “death sentence.”CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

Brent Renison, a lawyer, is representing an Indian woman who the government has not permitted to stay in the country, even though she is waiting for a green card, because her husband, the sponsor, died. He said deferred action is “meant to allow for some discretion, to recognize cracks in the law that people fall into, and alleviate humanitarian situations and needless suffering.

“For the administration to take this away means the end of humanitarian relief as we know it,” he said.

In another move unveiled earlier this month by the Trump administration, crime victims who have helped law enforcement authorities with investigations will find it much more difficult to remain in the United States. The special protective visa, known as the U-visa, has a yearslong backlog.

ICE said this week that, unlike under prior administrations, it would no longer heed the advice of visa adjudicators — whose early, preliminary approvals used to qualify immigrants for a temporary “stay,” or pause on their deportation cases, until a final determination could be made. The new policy could affect about 140,000 people currently waiting for U-visas, plus their dependents.

Kenia Martinez of El Salvador, who has been living in the United States since 2004, is among those waiting. She was sent to a detention center in Louisiana this week in preparation for removal from the country, after her application to pause her deportation proceedings was denied. Previously, Ms. Martinez, who has two sons, would have been eligible to halt her removal because of her pending application.

In 2014, when Ms. Martinez first qualified for the visa, she had fresh bruises and cuts that were noted by police officers who had responded to a call about domestic violence, according to paperwork signed by her local police department supporting her application. She “cooperated fully” with the investigation, said the documents.

Cecelia Friedman Levin, senior policy counsel for ASISTA Immigration Assistance, a group that advocates for victims of physical and sexual abuse and human trafficking, said that the change is counter to the intentions of the bipartisan congressional group that created the U-visa nearly 20 years ago.

“It compromises victims’ safety and it creates a chilling effect on survivors to come forward ,” said Ms. Friedman Levin.

In Guatemala, doctors told Ms. Bueso’s parents that their daughter’s life would be short. When Dr. Harmatz learned Ms. Bueso had the rare enzyme disorder, he wanted to include her in the medical trial.

“We could not have done the clinical trials” without her, he said. “We were struggling to find patients.”

The “dramatic breakthrough” that came from the trial has helped people with the disease live longer than 30 years, he said. Before the drug, they rarely survived past 20.

It has been 16 years since Ms. Bueso began receiving weekly four- to six-hour infusions of the drug, Naglazyme, at the hospital. She has built a productive life despite the crippling disease.

Last year, she graduated summa cum laude from California State University, East Bay, where she worked with the school to start a scholarship for students with rare diseases. She has traveled and made presentations to lawmakers on behalf of people with rare diseases.

Her family lives in a tidy house in a middle-class neighborhood in Concord, Calif., which her parents bought and renovated to accommodate their daughter’s wheelchair. They did not expect to leave the country, having won permission to stay every time they reapplied for an extension.

When Mr. Lawler, the family’s lawyer, told them about the government’s decision last week, Ms. Bueso began to shake uncontrollably.

“We were crying with the nurses, doctors, everyone,” said her mother, Karla Bueso. “Without her treatment, it’s like a death sentence. It has been hard to process.”

Neither the drug nor the medical care that she requires is available in Guatemala. Without the drug, her health is expected to quickly deteriorate. Her breathing could become belabored; she could suffer cardiac arrest and become susceptible to infections.

“We have watched her grow up and mature, and become a responsible young adult, a leader advocating nationally,” said Dr. Harmatz. “If you take it away, it will be a rapid return to her previous state. Death would be the outcome.”

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How 4 Companies Struggle to Navigate Trump’s Trade Uncertainty

Business leaders and economists have long said that certainty breeds economic growth. In order to invest and hire, companies need to know what tax rates to pay, what laws and regulations to heed and how those “rules of the road” could plausibly change in the years ahead.

President Trump has upended that principle in his escalating trade war with China and other trading partners. He has embraced uncertainty and unpredictability.

On Friday, angered by retaliatory tariffs levied by China, Mr. Trump said he was directing American multinational companies to find alternatives to their Chinese supply chains. He increased existing tariffs to 30 percent and raised the rate to 15 percent for the next round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Stock markets plunged.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump told reporters that he had second thoughts about the escalation. But any sense of relief was short-lived. His aides quickly retreated from that position, saying the president only regretted not raising the tariffs higher.

By Monday, Mr. Trump was sounding conciliatory again, hinting that the two countries were closer to producing an agreement.

“Sorry. It’s the way I negotiate,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a news conference at the Group of 7 summit when asked about the mixed messages. “It’s done very well for me over the years, and it’s doing even better for the country.”

The gyrations have rippled across corporate America, prompting manufacturers, retailers and others that rely on imports for their businesses to try to adjust their strategies based on the president’s latest whim.

Mr. Trump’s roller-coaster announcements over the past week sent many companies into a tailspin as they tried to divine what the president planned to do and how their businesses would be affected. Here is how four companies reacted.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 29DC-UNCERTAIN-columbia-articleLarge How 4 Companies Struggle to Navigate Trump’s Trade Uncertainty United States Economy Trump, Donald J Shopping and Retail Schaefers TV and Appliance Center Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) Cordoba Music Group Columbia Sportswear Company China

The Columbia Sportswear flagship store in Portland, Ore.CreditCorey Arnold for The New York Times

In Portland, Ore., executives at Columbia Sportswear had been meeting for weeks to determine what to do about the 10 percent tariffs set to go into effect on Sept. 1. They will hit a wide range of products the company imports from China, including a popular tent, the lightest down jacket it produces and a specialized women’s hiking shoe. All are made in specialized Chinese factories that can’t easily be moved elsewhere.

Columbia’s preparations had spanned thousands of hours, roping in parts of its manufacturing, finance and legal divisions, along with supply chain managers, company officials said.

On Friday morning, more than 25 company executives gathered at 7:30 a.m. local time, in the Bugaboo Conference Room of their headquarters office, for a long-planned meeting to finalize a tariff response. It included which product lines to start shifting to other countries, and which ones to start raising prices on, including goods from next year’s spring line that retailers had purchased in advance but had not yet been shipped from China.

Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and chief executive, phoned into the meeting from a vacation in Canada. Less than a half-hour into the session, Mr. Trump said on Twitter than American companies are “hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”

“I considered staying” in Canada, Mr. Boyle joked in an interview. Instead, he and his team worked through the weekend, reworking their tariff response plan once again.

Just over 10 percent of the company’s products come from China, and Columbia officials consider the Chinese market their biggest single opportunity for global sales growth right now.

Mr. Boyle said the company is considering moving some production out of China and to Ethiopia. And executives have postponed investments they had planned to make in distribution centers in Oregon, Kentucky and Florida.

“We move stuff around to take advantage of inexpensive labor. That’s why we’re in Bangladesh. That’s why we’re looking at Africa,” Mr. Boyle said. “We’re putting investment capital to work, to get a return for our shareholders. So when we make a wager on investment, this is not Vegas. We have to have a reasonable expectation we can get a return. That’s predicated on the rule of law: Where can we expect the laws will be enforced, and for the foreseeable future, the rules will be in place? That’s what America used to be.”

For as long as he could, Tim Miklaucic had put off what he knew would be some very difficult conversations. But when Mr. Trump on Friday said that the rate on the next round of products to face tariffs would go to 15 percent from 10 percent, Mr. Miklaucic couldn’t wait any longer.

Tim Miklaucic, left, of Cordoba Music Group, holding a Cordoba guitar.CreditImage Group LA

All told, the tax would mean an extra $100,000 in monthly expenses for Mr. Miklaucic’s company, Cordoba Music Group, which manufacturers guitars in China and other countries.

“We can’t absorb that,” he said.

Each month, China supplies $650,000 worth of guitars sold under the Cordoba and Guild labels. “I also make products in Indonesia, Spain, South Korea and the U.S., but I can’t move my production quickly,” he said. “These are highly skilled laborers that took years to train.”

Mr. Miklaucic called his director of Asian operations in Guangzhou Saturday with a message for suppliers: We need your help. “I told him to tell them what we were facing,” said Mr. Miklaucic. “All I could do is work with them and ask for their support.”

He also began sending out emails. “Please let me know if you are willing to work with us to get through these next few months,” he said in one. “All of us hope that this will be temporary and that the trade war will be settled soon.”

About half of Cordoba’s Chinese suppliers said they would consider reducing prices enough to cover about 50 percent of the cost of the tariffs, at least temporarily.

Beginning Monday, Mr. Miklaucic told his buyers — which include online retailers like Amazon and Sweetwater, chains like Sam Ash and Guitar Center, as well as smaller stores — that there was no way his costs could increase this much while prices stayed the same.

Some retailers were wary of paying more for his guitars; a few agreed to consider higher prices, which they would pass on to customers in the fourth quarter.

“Retailers don’t want to see price increases during the peak Christmas shopping season,” he said. “They want to see discounts.”

Lance Ruttenberg, the chief executive of American Textile Company just outside Pittsburgh, was preparing a summary of his plan to cope with Mr. Trump’s tariffs, to present to his board of directors, when word came that the tariff rates had climbed again. He was on the road that day, and his phone lit up with emails and text messages bearing bad news.

American Textile Company makes utility bedding products such as pillows, bed pads and comforters that it sells to retail stores and hotels. It has factories in Pennsylvania, Utah, Texas and Georgia, but imports many of its components and parts from China and has “millions of dollars of exposure” in the country.

While the tariffs have been a major complication for Mr. Ruttenberg’s company, the order by Mr. Trump last week that American businesses must sever ties with China was of particular concern. His company has worked to diversify its relationship so that it can source products from places like Vietnam and India, but those types of transitions cannot happen overnight.

Thus far, American Textile has been able to avoid passing higher import costs to his customers, but that may no longer be an option. Mr. Ruttenberg said it seems inevitable that he will have to tell retailers that prices are going up.

In the meantime, plans for future investment are on hold until the Trump administration provides some clarity about its strategy.

“I would say we’re in wait-and-see mode,” Mr. Ruttenberg said.

On Friday, emails about Mr. Trump’s latest trade war escalation began flooding the inbox of Ron Romero, owner of Schaefer’s TV and Appliance Center in Lincoln, Neb.

Mr. Romero had given up convening emergency tariff meetings when the president’s trade pronouncements had become such a moving target. After the latest spasm on Friday, he decided that he would hold his breath until manufacturers told him that higher prices for the products he sells were on the way.

Manufacturers tend to give between 30 and 90 days’ notice before raising prices, he said. There was no telling what Mr. Trump could do in that time.

Prices of some appliances at Schaefer’s have already increased by as much as 7 percent, Mr. Romero said. Some appliances that he imports have components that are made in China and some, such as televisions, are manufactured there and exported to the United States.

Consumers are changing their buying habits accordingly. Mr. Romero said that shoppers in the market for refrigerators are forgoing costlier units and opting to buy a $1,000 refrigerator rather than one that sells for $1,250, crimping profits.

“I am disappointed in the way this is going back and forth and not coming to some kind of solution here,” Mr. Romero said, referring to Mr. Trump’s negotiating style. “I’m just hoping that with the election coming, that he will make a decision one way or another and move on.”

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Comey Criticized by Justice Dept. Watchdog for Violating F.B.I. Rules

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-comey-facebookJumbo Comey Criticized by Justice Dept. Watchdog for Violating F.B.I. Rules United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Inspectors General Horowitz, Michael E Federal Bureau of Investigation Comey, James B Classified Information and State Secrets

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department inspector general released on Thursday a report that was highly critical of the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey’s handling of memos detailing his interactions with the president, accusing him of setting “a dangerous example” for officials with access to government secrets.

The findings were the result of a lengthy investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the inspector general, who examined whether Mr. Comey had acted inappropriately when he gave one of the memos to a confidant who later provided its contents to The New York Times. Mr. Comey has said he helped make the information public in part to bring about the appointment of a special counsel.

“Comey violated F.B.I. policy and the requirements of his F.B.I. employment agreement when he chose this path,” the report said.

President Trump and his allies are sure to use the report’s conclusions to attack Mr. Comey, whom the president fired abruptly in 2017 and partly blames for opening the Russia investigation, which threatened his presidency from its inception.

[Read the report.]

The report is the latest chapter in the story of Mr. Comey, who was castigated last year as part of a broader inspector general’s investigation that examined his handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry. In trying to protect the F.B.I., the earlier report said, Mr. Comey instead damaged its reputation. He was insubordinate by keeping hidden from Justice Department leaders his plans to hold a news conference on the Clinton investigation and violated department policy by publicly discussing the inquiry, the inspector general found.

Mr. Comey responded by noting that the report found he had violated no laws and criticized those who had accused him of lying or leaking information.

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote on Twitter, challenging his critics to stop trusting “people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

Mr. Comey has said he would not do anything differently if faced with the same set of choices. Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, has said that Mr. Comey’s intransigence was partly why he backed firing Mr. Comey.

Mr. Comey’s memos, first revealed in Times articles in the days after his dismissal two years ago, angered the president with their accounts of his demands of loyalty from typically independent law enforcement officials.

Mr. Comey kept several memos at his home and shared one with a friend when he thought they contained only routine information, but the F.B.I. determined that some of the documents included classified material, prompting an investigation into whether he mishandled them.

Members of Mr. Comey’s inner circle, including the former F.B.I. lawyers Lisa Page and James A. Baker, along with the senior agent Peter Strzok, were assigned to examine the memos and determined that at least two contained classified information. That prompted the F.B.I. to upgrade them to confidential, the lowest level of the classified system. The material dealt with foreign relations and not more closely held secrets like the names of sources or information-gathering methods.

The case was referred to prosecutors, who quickly determined that it did not warrant charges, people familiar with the inquiry have said.

Mr. Comey wrote the memos after meeting with Mr. Trump in the first days and weeks of his presidency, saying later that he worried that the president would lie about their discussions. Mr. Trump and his allies accused Mr. Comey of illegally leaking the memos as they tried to undermine his standing as a key witness in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

The F.B.I. collected four memos from Mr. Comey’s house in Virginia in June 2017, and he told agents he had written two others. The F.B.I. eventually recovered seven memos in total, which were later turned over to Mr. Mueller. Congress made the memos public in April 2018, and Mr. Comey wrote about them in a book published last year.

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Comey Is Criticized in Watchdog Report Over Handling of Memos About Trump

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-comey-facebookJumbo Comey Is Criticized in Watchdog Report Over Handling of Memos About Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Inspectors General Horowitz, Michael E Federal Bureau of Investigation Comey, James B Classified Information and State Secrets

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department inspector general released on Thursday a report that was highly critical of the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey’s handling of memos detailing his interactions with the president, accusing him of setting “a dangerous example” for officials with access to government secrets.

The findings were the result of a lengthy investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the inspector general, who examined whether Mr. Comey had acted inappropriately when he gave one of the memos to a confidant who later provided its contents to The New York Times. Mr. Comey has said he helped make the information public in part to bring about the appointment of a special counsel.

“Comey violated F.B.I. policy and the requirements of his F.B.I. employment agreement when he chose this path,” the report said.

President Trump and his allies are sure to use the report’s conclusions to attack Mr. Comey, whom the president fired abruptly in 2017 and partly blames for opening the Russia investigation, which threatened his presidency from its inception.

[Read the report.]

The report is the latest chapter in the story of Mr. Comey, who was castigated last year as part of a broader inspector general’s investigation that examined his handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry. In trying to protect the F.B.I., the earlier report said, Mr. Comey instead damaged its reputation. He was insubordinate by keeping hidden from Justice Department leaders his plans to hold a news conference on the Clinton investigation and violated department policy by publicly discussing the inquiry, the inspector general found.

Mr. Comey responded by noting that the report found he had violated no laws and criticized those who had accused him of lying or leaking information.

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote on Twitter, challenging his critics to stop trusting “people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

Mr. Comey has said he would not do anything differently if faced with the same set of choices. Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, has said that Mr. Comey’s intransigence was partly why he backed firing Mr. Comey.

Mr. Comey’s memos, first revealed in Times articles in the days after his dismissal two years ago, angered the president with their accounts of his demands of loyalty from typically independent law enforcement officials.

Mr. Comey kept several memos at his home and shared one with a friend when he thought they contained only routine information, but the F.B.I. determined that some of the documents included classified material, prompting an investigation into whether he mishandled them.

Members of Mr. Comey’s inner circle, including the former F.B.I. lawyers Lisa Page and James A. Baker, along with the senior agent Peter Strzok, were assigned to examine the memos and determined that at least two contained classified information. That prompted the F.B.I. to upgrade them to confidential, the lowest level of the classified system. The material dealt with foreign relations and not more closely held secrets like the names of sources or information-gathering methods.

The case was referred to prosecutors, who quickly determined that it did not warrant charges, people familiar with the inquiry have said.

Mr. Comey wrote the memos after meeting with Mr. Trump in the first days and weeks of his presidency, saying later that he worried that the president would lie about their discussions. Mr. Trump and his allies accused Mr. Comey of illegally leaking the memos as they tried to undermine his standing as a key witness in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

The F.B.I. collected four memos from Mr. Comey’s house in Virginia in June 2017, and he told agents he had written two others. The F.B.I. eventually recovered seven memos in total, which were later turned over to Mr. Mueller. Congress made the memos public in April 2018, and Mr. Comey wrote about them in a book published last year.

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The Trump Secrets Hiding Inside Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank’s disclosure on Tuesday that it has tax returns related to President Trump’s family or business set off a frenzy of speculation about what those materials might reveal.

But a trove of other data and documents that his longtime lender is sitting on might prove more revelatory to investigators digging into Mr. Trump’s finances. That includes records of how Mr. Trump made his money, whom he has partnered with, the terms of his extensive borrowings and what transactions he has engaged in with Russians or other foreign nationals.

For nearly two decades, Deutsche Bank was the only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump, who had a long record of defaulting on loans. The bank over the years collected reams of his personal and corporate information.

Two congressional committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for a vast array of records related to Mr. Trump — including any tax returns since 2010. The investigators are hoping the materials will shed light not only on the president’s finances but also on any links he has had to foreign governments and whether he or his companies were involved in any illegal activity, such as money laundering for people overseas.

Here is what might be lurking in Deutsche Bank’s electronic vaults about the president, his family and his businesses.

After the two House committees subpoenaed the bank, Mr. Trump sued to block it from complying. The case is pending with a federal appeals court.

In a court filing on Tuesday, Deutsche Bank confirmed that it has at least some of the tax returns that were demanded by the congressional committees. The filing didn’t disclose whose tax returns the bank possesses, or for what years, but current and former bank officials have told The New York Times that Deutsche Bank has the first several pages of Mr. Trump’s returns for multiple years.

Beyond that, congressional investigators are seeking dozens of other items (the list on the subpoena is six pages of single-spaced type). The request would cover most, if not all, of the extensive documentation Deutsche Bank has amassed about Mr. Trump’s businesses and personal finances. That includes information about his corporate balance sheet, his income from various assets and documents that map out how his businesses are set up.

While Deutsche Bank has been lending to Mr. Trump since 1998, the most detailed information would cover the period since 2011, when the company’s private-banking division struck up a relationship with the future president and his family.

For a president who has kept his business affairs largely hidden from public view, the materials would together provide the most complete picture yet of Mr. Trump’s finances.

Mr. Trump broke with decades of precedent in refusing to release his federal tax returns, and for more than three years Democrats and journalists have been trying to get their hands on them.

The summary pages of the returns alone would not illuminate Mr. Trump’s income sources or his business partners. On the other hand, the tax-return summaries likely would show whether Mr. Trump has paid any taxes in recent years. (We already know that Mr. Trump for years may have avoided paying federal income taxes.)

But the tax documents, coupled with the other financial materials that the bank has, would likely fill in some of the gaps about the true extent of Mr. Trump’s fortune, which he has described as being in the billions of dollars.

In addition, materials that the congressional committees have subpoenaed — including anything relating to the due diligence the bank conducted before agreeing to lend him money — could contain new information about where and with whom Mr. Trump, his companies and his family have been earning money.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663029_aefa3f70-0268-4ea7-9c8f-27e783a55478-articleLarge The Trump Secrets Hiding Inside Deutsche Bank Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank has confirmed that it has at least some of President Trump’s tax returns that were demanded by the congressional committees.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

Since before Mr. Trump was elected president, critics of the president have speculated that Russian companies or individuals were secretly providing him with financial assistance, possibly via Deutsche Bank.

It isn’t hard to understand how such speculation got started. Deutsche Bank has a long history of operating in Russia, working with Kremlin-linked companies and laundering money for wealthy Russians.

Mr. Trump has a history in Russia. He once staged the Miss Universe pageant there, and he also sold a mansion to a Russian billionaire for $95 million. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump’s company was looking to build a tower in Moscow — with the help of a Russian bank, VTB, that has long-running ties to Deutsche Bank.

And, of course, Russia interfered in the presidential election, seeking to tilt it in Mr. Trump’s favor.

So far, though, no evidence has emerged that shows Deutsche Bank’s extensive lending to Mr. Trump — a total of well over $2.5 billion worth since 1998 — was connected to the Russian government, companies or individuals.

Numerous current and former Deutsche Bank executives, including those with direct knowledge of the loans, have said the loans made since 2011 were financially attractive to the bank because Mr. Trump agreed to personally guarantee much of them — in other words, if he were to default, Deutsche Bank would be able to seize his personal assets, including tens of millions of dollars that he kept in accounts at the bank.

Still, Deutsche Bank’s internal files will most likely contain additional information about at least some dealings with Russia — although not necessarily involving Mr. Trump himself.

Congressional investigators subpoenaed any materials about suspicious activity that the bank detected in the accounts of Mr. Trump, his company or his family members, including Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and adviser. In 2016, Tammy McFadden, a former anti-money-laundering compliance officer at the bank, flagged transactions connected to Mr. Kushner as potentially suspicious.

Those transactions involved money flowing to Russian individuals, and Deutsche Bank’s files almost certainly include more information.

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Trump Tells Aides ‘Take the Land’ as Impatience Grows on Border Wall

Westlake Legal Group 28dc-trumpwall-facebookJumbo Trump Tells Aides ‘Take the Land’ as Impatience Grows on Border Wall United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Border Barriers Amnesties, Commutations and Pardons

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall along the southwestern border is far behind schedule. So he has told his aides to get the job done by whatever means necessary, including by seizing land on the Mexican frontier.

The president has repeatedly suggested during meetings on immigration policy that aides “take the land” and “get it done,” according to a person who has heard him say it. The Washington Post first reported that Mr. Trump had brought up the land seizures, and had floated the idea of offering pardons to aides willing to break the law, a suggestion he has made before when exploring ways to fulfill his campaign promises.

On Wednesday, a senior administration official did not deny that Mr. Trump had made the comments but said that the president had been joking — “he winks when he does it,” that person said — and added that Mr. Trump had never seriously suggested the idea of pardons. But the president has dangled pardons before — to aides and confidants caught up in Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation and to officials pressing his hard-line immigration policies.

Now, as he faces a jittery stock market, battles the Federal Reserve over interest rates, and refuses to back down from his trade war with China, Mr. Trump is impatient to showcase a success story to his supporters ahead of the 2020 election.

Inside the White House, his aides say the president is doing what he can to deliver on the promise, and quickly. In a statement, Hogan Gidley, a deputy White House spokesman, said that the account amounted to “more false fabrications by people who hate the fact the status quo, that has crippled this country for decades, is finally changing as President Trump is moving quicker than anyone in history to build the wall, secure the border, and enact the very immigration policies the American people voted for.”

But what White House officials have walked back as lighthearted suggestions in the past have proven true. In April, Mr. Trump asked Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, to close the southwestern border to migrants, suggesting he could issue a pardon if he encountered any legal trouble. At the time, White House officials said the president might have been joking.

Since his candidacy, Mr. Trump has been deeply engaged on the topic of the border wall, both because it was easy for him to remember in campaign speeches and because he enjoyed how the concept excited his supporters at rallies.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly weighed in with his own thoughts on how the wall should look or what features it should have, publicly suggesting at least once that the border wall should have spikes to deter migrants from climbing the structure.

On Wednesday, a senior administration official said that the president has ordered the border wall to be painted black, because it would be too hot for people to climb in the daytime, and easier for border patrol agents to see through at nighttime.

But the administration’s claims that a border wall is rapidly appearing are overblown. Despite promising to complete 500 miles of border wall in his first term, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private contractors have constructed just 60 miles of vehicle barriers or replacement fencing where existing impediments had been damaged, according to a Customs and Border Protection document.

The Trump administration has not constructed any new extension of the barriers, despite the extreme lengths that the president has gone to in hopes of delivering on his signature campaign promise. In February, Mr. Trump declared a national emergency to access billions of dollars for wall construction that Congress had refused to give him. The president gained a victory last month when the Supreme Court allowed the administration to use $2.5 billion in Defense Department money for the construction of the wall at the southwest border as lower courts considered legal actions to stop it.

The administration began using that funding last week to construct an additional 124 miles of barriers, according to the Customs and Border Protection document. Conservation groups have mounted several legal challenges against the administration, which they have accused of waiving environmental and public health laws to fulfill the president’s promise. Last week, construction on a replacement portion of the wall began in Arizona, with crews beginning work through two miles of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

“It’s astonishing and sad to see Trump’s border wall being built through the most spectacular Sonoran desert ecosystem on the planet,” Laiken Jordahl, the borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Associated Press.

For their part, Democrats in Washington have targeted the administration’s efforts to transfer more resources to the southwestern border. On Tuesday, they assailed the Department of Homeland Security for transferring more than $150 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund to pay for temporary immigration courts at the southwest border.

“Stealing from appropriated funds is always unacceptable, but to pick the pockets of disaster relief funding in order to fund an appalling, inhumane family incarceration plan is staggering,” Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said in a statement, “and to do so on the eve of hurricane season is stunningly reckless.”

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Joe Walsh Says Trump Is ‘Unfit’ to Be President. Some Say the Same About Him.

Joe Walsh, a conservative radio show host and former congressman from Illinois, is challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination on the basis that he represents an alternative to a president who is morally unfit to hold his office.

But in the days since Mr. Walsh officially announced his bid on Sunday, the former Tea Party congressman has been forced to confront his own highly questionable behavior.

In quick succession, Mr. Walsh has acknowledged his history of making racist comments and using slurs, defended his disparaging description of Haiti and learned that his radio show would soon be pulled from the national airwaves.

“He’s off to a bad start,” said Glen Bolger, a leading Republican pollster. “To have it where you don’t really have a message and your various tweets come back to bite you, I don’t think it’s what he was planning.”

Mr. Walsh hasn’t hurt for media coverage. But as he introduces himself to voters, his long trail of racist and anti-Muslim statements, voiced for years on his conservative radio show and on Twitter, have revealed more similarities with Mr. Trump than stark differences in views and temperament.

Mr. Walsh is seeking to challenge Mr. Trump from the right as William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts and another Republican challenger, has quietly campaigned from closer to the center. Like Mr. Weld, Mr. Walsh stands virtually no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. But that has not deterred him from trying to build a case around the idea that Mr. Trump is an “unfit con man” who puts his own interests above those of the country.

In a two-minute video posted on his website, Mr. Walsh spoke of being “tired of a president waking up every morning and tweeting ugly insults at ordinary Americans.”

“I’m a conservative,” Mr. Walsh said. “I’m running because Donald Trump is not who we are. He’s the worst of who we are.”

But like Mr. Trump, Mr. Walsh has promoted conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama’s birthplace and has repeatedly referred to Mr. Obama as a Muslim. He elevated a white nationalist on his radio show after the riot in Charlottesville, Va., that left one counterprotester dead, and has taken to Twitter to defend his right to say “blacks are lazy.” He has repeatedly made Islamophobic statements, once tweeting: “No more Muslims in the US. They want us dead.” In 2014, Mr. Walsh was briefly removed from his own radio show for using racist slurs on air.

Mr. Walsh has not deleted his offending tweets, choosing instead to apologize for some of them. But his long, searchable trail means Mr. Walsh has spent the opening days of his campaign addressing his own record rather than mounting a coherent attack on Mr. Trump.

“I wouldn’t call myself a racist, but I would say, John, I’ve said racist things on Twitter,” Mr. Walsh said in an interview with the MSNBC host John Heilemann on Monday.

The difference between him and the president, Mr. Walsh said in an interview with ABC, is that Mr. Trump has “never apologized for anything he’s done or said.”

But asked by The Washington Post about a tweet in which he deployed an expletive used by Mr. Trump to describe Haiti, Mr. Walsh said that while his word choice was perhaps “a little too provocative,” he stood by his description.

Amid his media blitz, Mr. Walsh received bad news about his own radio broadcast. In a statement Monday, Salem Radio Network announced that it would exercise its right to cancel national distribution of Mr. Walsh’s radio program, effective in 30 days.

A company official said any broadcaster who becomes a bona fide candidate for office must leave the air or risk exposing stations to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision, under which any other declared candidate could demand airtime equal to that afforded to Mr. Walsh.

Mr. Walsh has tried to portray himself as someone who experienced an awakening — a firebrand populist who contributed to a divisive climate that helped elect Mr. Trump, but who was now putting his own career on the line to atone for his role in the Trump ascendancy.

As recently as 2018, however, Mr. Walsh appeared to still be defending Mr. Trump against charges of racism. After Mr. Trump attacked three journalists, all of them black women, Mr. Walsh wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trump treated everyone poorly. “Not just black women,” Mr. Walsh said. “He’s not a racist. He’s a bully.”

Lucy Caldwell, Mr. Walsh’s campaign manager, said that it had received an “overwhelming response” and that the candidate had been upfront about his regret for having made comments he can no longer defend.

“He wants to get to the point where we can really talk seriously about the lack of fitness of the man in White House,” she said in an interview Tuesday night.

“However you feel about Congressman Walsh’s record,” she added, “he’s one of two people who has stepped up and said we cannot have this man in the White House anymore.”

In a tweet late Tuesday, Mr. Trump expressed incredulity that some had chosen to challenge him and labeled Mr. Walsh a “BAD Congressman from Illinois who lost in his second term by a landslide, then failed in radio.”

Those promoting Mr. Walsh’s challenge to Mr. Trump played down the problems with Mr. Walsh’s own checkered history and questioned whether he really believed the things he has said.

“He’s made it through a rough patch and he deserves to have a rough patch, given the things he said,” said William Kristol, the conservative writer and prominent “Never Trump” Republican who has been working over the past year to recruit a challenger. “I think he’s making it through and will be a real problem for Trump, in part because he voted for Trump and he’s a populist conservative.”

Others expressed deeper skepticism of Mr. Walsh’s potential impact on the race.

Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican strategist who supports Mr. Trump, said he did not believe Mr. Walsh to be a viable candidate in part because he said the vast majority of the Republican Party was not actually looking for an alternative to Mr. Trump, and in part because Mr. Walsh was “not a very good messenger.”

“He lacks credibility,” Mr. Rollins said. “In a national scene, no one knows who he is, and those who do recall that he was a controversial member of Congress who was defeated after one term.”

More broadly, strategists noted that defeating an incumbent president was difficult, if not impossible, and required a vast war chest as well as significant support.

“It’s hard to see Walsh having either,” Mr. Bolger said.

“It’s a rough, tough game,” said Mr. Rollins, adding, “He’s not going to be the guy.”

More on Joe Walsh’s Campaign
Joe Walsh Confirms He Will Challenge Trump for Republican Nomination

Aug. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 25walsh-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Walsh Says Trump Is ‘Unfit’ to Be President. Some Say the Same About Him. Walsh, William Joseph United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020
Trolling Trump, Joe Walsh Tries to Recruit George Conway for Nascent Challenge

Aug. 23, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-Conway-1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Walsh Says Trump Is ‘Unfit’ to Be President. Some Say the Same About Him. Walsh, William Joseph United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020

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