web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 35)

Is Trump’s America Tougher on Asylum Than Other Western Countries?

BERLIN — The Supreme Court this week allowed the Trump administration to move forward with a plan to bar most migrants, particularly Central Americans, from seeking asylum in the United States.

Under President Trump’s plan, migrants cannot apply for asylum unless they have already tried — and failed — to receive it in one of the countries they passed through on their way to the United States. Guatemalans would be sent back to Mexico, for example, while people from El Salvador and Honduras would be returned to Guatemala.

Given how unsafe those countries can be for their own citizens — much less for migrants — the move has been portrayed by critics as another deviation from global rights standards under Mr. Trump. It follows his frequent attempts to expand barriers along the United States-Mexico border, as well as a deterioration in the treatment of migrants after they reach America.

But Mr. Trump’s plan is also in keeping with a wider international trend of curtailing the right to asylum, as Western nations try to curb migration from the global south, where the overwhelming majority of displaced people live.

To stifle record levels of migration to Europe in 2015 and 2016, the continent’s big powers reached deals with neighboring countries like Turkey to keep migrants from European shores. Australia, determined to stop maritime migration from Indonesia, now deports asylum seekers to its neighbors in the Pacific Ocean. Israel tried to send African migrants to Rwanda.

“It is currently the objective of most countries of the global north to prevent migrants” from entering their territory, said François Crépeau, a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on migrant rights and an expert on international refugee law at McGill University.

“Probably the U.S. are taking actions a bit further from what the Europeans are doing,” said Mr. Crépeau. “But the Europeans have also been very good at getting neighboring countries to do their dirty work.”

The United Nations refugee convention of 1951 provides the basis for American asylum laws. Unlike the Trump plan, it does not prevent refugees from traveling through several countries before landing in the United States and seeking asylum.

But it does ban signatories to the convention, like the United States, from deporting asylum seekers to countries where their safety is at risk, a process formally known as “refoulement.”

Most Western countries have usually interpreted this in a broad sense — refusing to deport people to countries that may not be at war, but still do not provide refugees with most of the protections required by the 1951 convention. Countries like Guatemala and Mexico, where homicide rates are high and migrants are often especially vulnerable to extortion, kidnapping and violence, could fall into that category, some experts say.

“There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the countries of the Northern Triangle and Mexico itself are not safe, and that the people passing through those countries are at risk of human rights violations,” said Jeff Crisp, an expert on migration at Chatham House, a London-based research group, referring to the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

“Returning people to those countries could be considered in violation of the non-refoulement principle,” Dr. Crisp added.

Even so, there is no international court or authority that can overrule Mr. Trump’s plan. The Supreme Court’s ruling is provisional, and it is expected to take up the case again. But that will take many months.

The Trump administration is also pushing Mexico and Central American countries to agree to accept migrants. Guatemala has, but the plan must still be ratified by the Guatemalan Congress.

Mexico, by contrast, has said it won’t sign a so-called safe third country agreement with the United States to accept asylum claims from migrants who arrive on its soil, even if they are hoping to reach the United States.

“The court’s decision is astonishing,” Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Thursday about the Supreme Court ruling.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_114968270_fdd7b984-a0f2-4b3b-8fb2-5882dd053269-articleLarge Is Trump’s America Tougher on Asylum Than Other Western Countries? United States United Nations Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Spain Refugees and Displaced Persons Politics and Government Morocco Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration European Union Europe Australia Asylum, Right of Africa

One of the compounds of the Offshore Processing Center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.CreditAshley Gilbertson for The New York Times

Since 2012, most asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat have been deported to processing centers in the nearby countries of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, where they are held while their asylum applications are assessed.

Rights groups like Amnesty International say that asylum seekers at these centers face severe abuse. And even if granted asylum, the migrants are still barred from resettlement in Australia. Instead, they must live in Nauru, Papua New Guinea or, in a few cases, Cambodia.

Last year, Israel was forced to cancel a comparable deal with Rwanda, in which African asylum seekers would be deported from Tel Aviv to Kigali, after a public backlash.

The concept was pioneered in 1990s by Presidents George Bush and his successor, President Clinton, who authorized American Coast Guard vessels to intercept boats loaded with Haitian refugees and take them to Guantánamo Bay for processing.

Afghan migrants among the makeshift tents just outside Moria in the Greek Island of Lesbos.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times

European politicians have often spoken of sending migrants for processing in non-European countries, but the plan has never been successfully enacted.

In 2015 and 2016, more than one million migrants reached Greece from Turkey, most of them making their way to wealthier countries like Germany.

To stop this, the European Union pledged more than $6 billion to Turkey. In return, Turkey tightened up its border restrictions — and agreed to take back every migrant who subsequently landed in Greece.

Turkey did cut migration flows to Europe drastically, but only a small proportion of migrants who continued to land in Greece have been sent back. Migrants still have the opportunity to apply for asylum in Greece, or for relocation to other European countries, and many do so successfully. The Greek asylum system operates independently and is not beholden to the political agreement between the European Union and Turkey.

Meanwhile, migrants reaching Italy from Libya, another major gateway to Europe, are not returned because the country is still at war and does not recognize the 1951 convention.

People trying to reach Spain through its enclaves in North Africa are often forced back to Morocco without being given the chance to apply for asylum. But those who manage to cross the border into the enclaves undetected are usually allowed to lodge an asylum claim in Spain, though they are often sent back once their applications are rejected months later.

In theory, migrants are supposed to lodge an asylum claim as soon as they reach one of the 28 member states of the European Union. Those who don’t are liable to be returned to the country where they first entered the bloc — usually Greece, Italy or Spain — because European Union members theoretically trust one another to uphold the 1951 convention and treat refugees fairly.

But again, the system doesn’t quite work like that in reality. Sometimes it’s hard to prove that applicants passed through Greece on their way to, say, Germany. And in recent years, countries like Germany and Sweden have suspended returns to some members of the European Union, like Hungary and Greece, because of concerns about the fairness of their asylum systems.

Asylum seekers at the United Nations compound in Niamey, Niger.CreditDmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

If migrants reach Europe from Libya, they are allowed to lodge an asylum claim on European soil. But some people who haven’t left Libya yet have been encouraged to fly instead to Niger, where they can apply for asylum in Europe from a country of relative safety. A similar arrangement was recently brokered with Rwanda, but has yet to formally begin.

The process is ostensibly a humanitarian one: It aims to help migrants escape war-torn Libya, where they are often prey to kidnapping, conscription, air raids, abuse and forced labor, without needing to brave the dangerous sea crossing to Italy.

But critics argue that few of them will in practice be ever resettled in Europe.

Like Mr. Trump, European governments have also sought to curb migration by building physical barriers along their borders. Greece has a fence lining its border with Turkey. Spain has several on its enclaves’ borders with Morocco. And Hungary built one on its border with Serbia.

In addition to its deal with Turkey, the European Union and its members have often paid third parties with checkered rights records to stop migrants from reaching Europe. The bloc pays Niger to throttle migration. Spain has a deal with Morocco. And Italy enlisted Libyan militias to stifle migration across the Mediterranean.

Asylum seekers in Greece and Hungary are also mostly confined in squalid facilities. On the Greek island of Lesbos, over 10,000 people are housed in a camp built for 3,100. In Hungary, officials have repeatedly denied food for several days to dozens of asylum seekers, including children.

One notable difference between Mr. Trump and his European counterparts is the way they speak publicly about migrants. With the exception of Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s former interior minister, European government officials have largely avoided using provocative language to stir xenophobia — while still trying to block migrants from European territory.

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

Trump Inspires California Lawmakers to Go on Offense

When President Trump flies into San Francisco next week for his first visit to the Bay Area as president he will set down in a state that has never fully welcomed him.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, a member of the Republican National Committee and a host of a fund-raising luncheon on Tuesday where seats for a couple at the president’s table go for $100,000, likened his visit to a trip “behind enemy lines.”

Behind those lines, Mr. Trump’s detractors have been remarkably active, as Democrats have been energized by anger against the president to enact a sweeping liberal agenda that in almost every way offers a counternarrative to the deregulation, anti-immigrant stance and conservative policies of the Trump administration.

Just in recent days, California has approved statewide rent control and moved to reshape the gig economy by forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, setting new labor standards that could give momentum to similar efforts in other states.

Almost three years into his presidency, Mr. Trump has catalyzed California into moving more aggressively to the left, providing an alternative vision, although with mixed results, to almost everything the Trump presidency has stood for.

“Donald Trump has been the impetus for putting everything on warp speed,” said Garry South, a Democratic political strategist in California. “It has pushed Democrats in California to take actions that might otherwise have been viewed as a little less urgent if we had a Democrat in the White House.”

On perhaps the two biggest issues animating political life in America today — immigration and climate — the two sides are pushing in opposite directions. While Mr. Trump champions his border wall and imposes new restrictions on asylum seekers, California is expanding medical care for undocumented immigrants and recently passed a new law outlawing private prisons, including detention facilities run by federal immigration authorities. And when California negotiated its own deal with four major automakers to set emissions standards and combat climate change, the Justice Department opened an antitrust inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160646310_d67bccad-c559-4009-97dd-f5b28e98de9d-articleLarge Trump Inspires California Lawmakers to Go on Offense Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) House of Representatives California

Vendors in the MacArthur Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, which is predominantly Latino. CreditJessica Pons for The New York Times

During the first two years of the Trump presidency, Democrats in California coalesced around their role as leaders of the resistance, an idea that quickly became a bumper sticker and social media rallying cry. But more recently, lawmakers have channeled that energy into legislation, making California a showcase of what progressive governance looks like in the era of Trump.

At the same time, Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, has filed 59 lawsuits against the Trump administration, on issues ranging from immigration to health care to environment policy.

With a Democratic supermajority in both legislative houses in Sacramento, and a new governor, Gavin Newsom, determined to push a liberal agenda buoyed by a nearly $21 billion budget surplus, California, more than ever, feels like a place unto its own.

But in at least one way, California and Mr. Trump are bound together: with both of their futures resting on the economy. A recession would wipe out the budget surplus that has propelled new spending on social services in California, and threaten Mr. Trump’s re-election bid in 2020.

For his part, Mr. Trump has seen California as a perfect foil, a liberal haven rife with problems — homelessness, income inequality, gun violence — he can use to taunt his opponents and energize his base. The problems Mr. Trump cites are real: For all of California’s liberal politics and its rhetoric of tolerance and diversity, the state has the highest poverty rate in the nation and there are more homeless people in California than anywhere else in the country.

When Mr. Trump was in Japan over the summer for the G20 summit, he drew a contrast between the cleanliness of Japanese cities and the filth and the number of homeless people on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, saying it was a problem that started two years ago even though it has been an issue that has confounded generations of California leaders.

This week, a delegation of White House aides visited Los Angeles to see the homeless problem up close, and an article in The Washington Post suggested the administration might try to clear the streets of the homeless and move them to federal facilities.

There are more homeless people in California than anywhere else in the country.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

At a swanky event in Downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Eric M. Garcetti said he was dumbfounded when he saw the story. He said he began texting other mayors across the state, as well as Mr. Newsom. “Sweep people up?” Mr. Garcetti told an audience on Tuesday at the California Club. “What does that even mean?”

Mr. Garcetti was there to discuss the 2020 census, another front in the battle between California and the Trump administration. Much of the discussion centered on how California could push back against efforts officials see here as designed to lower participation in the count, like a failed bid by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question. The efforts could lead to an undercount of the number of immigrants, and thus affect California’s representation in Congress and its share of federal funds. California has appropriated nearly $200 million to bolster outreach efforts in the state, and ensure that undocumented immigrants participate in the census.

“There’s nothing Trump would like to see more than a diminished voice in California,” said Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, at the event.

As California has become more liberal, the state Republican Party has been deeply diminished. Hillary Clinton beat Mr. Trump in California by more than four million votes, and there are now more Californians who identify as independents than Republicans. Last year, the Democratic Party flipped seven congressional seats, including several in historically conservative Orange County, helping the party retake a majority in the House of Representatives.

But Mr. Trump does have powerful allies in the state, and pockets of California, including in the Central Valley, are deeply conservative and supportive of the president. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from the Central Valley and the House minority leader, has been a consistent defender of the president in the face of his critics, including most recently when Mr. McCarthy said he saw no concerns with government and military officials staying at Trump hotels.

While Mr. Trump, who sold his Beverly Hills mansion earlier this year, won’t find much electoral support in California, he still raises money here. According to an analysis by Cal Matters, an independent news outlet, the president has raised more than $3 million in California this year, more than most Democratic presidential candidates.

California has moved to reshape the gig economy by forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, setting new labor standards that could give momentum to similar efforts in other states.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

At the Republican Party’s recent state convention near Palm Springs, Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said, “the Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades.” But the cloud of Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in California hung over the convention, and a successful resolution pushed by Chad Mayes, a Republican lawmaker and critic of the president, that called on the party to condemn racism and xenophobia was seen as a rebuke of the president.

Mr. Trump himself has a checkered history with California. Hollywood never warmed to him as an entertainer, and in the 1990s he failed to build what he promised would be the world’s tallest building in Los Angeles. After becoming president, a flash mob of protesters descended on his golf resort in Palos Verdes, spelling the word “resist.” And during several campaign stops in April and June 2016, before the Republican primary, he drew thousands of supporters to rallies — and also hundreds of protesters.

In April of that year, protesters temporarily blocked Mr. Trump from entering the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame, Calif., where he was scheduled to speak at the state Republican convention. He was forced to exit his motorcade and make his way off Highway 101 by foot. “That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” he told the audience. “I felt like I was crossing the border.”

But when he came to visit after the wildfires last year, he was welcomed to Paradise, Calif., by former Gov. Jerry Brown, Mr. Newsom and local officials.

Last year, Manuel Pastor, a sociologist and professor at the University of Southern California, wrote a book about the conflict between Mr. Trump and California, called “State of Resistance.”

Asked how he would update his book now, he said, “the conflict between the federal government, the Trump administration, has deepened. And California has gotten increasingly better at being able to defend itself and resist. And the Trump administration has gotten increasingly creative about ways that it could shortchange California.”

A mural by Lucía Gonzalez Ippolito titled “Women of the Resistance” in San Francisco.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

In his work, Mr. Pastor has drawn parallels between the political polarization of America today and 1990s California, when demographics were changing to become more Latino and when the state enacted harsh measures against immigrants.

Although California is today perceived as an inveterate, deep-blue state, the overwhelming control that Democrats currently have over both the legislative and executive branches is a historical anomaly. Since 1900, there have been nearly three times as many Republican governors in California as Democrats. And when Mr. Newsom succeeded Jerry Brown as governor in January it was the first time a Democrat had followed a fellow Democrat since 1887.

Now, however, momentum is clearly with the Democrats, as anger over Mr. Trump’s presidency has unleashed a legislative fervor.

Chris Lehane, a former political adviser to President Bill Clinton, said progressives in California were in the midst of a “renaissance in a belief in government.” He described Mr. Trump’s election as being the action that helped spur a liberal reaction — he called it “political physics.” Mr. Lehane said he was struck not only by the number of progressive laws coming out of Sacramento this session but by their breadth and ambition. “I think the tempo is really at a different level,” he said. “Now you see California playing offense.”

But he cautioned that the Democrats’ success, and their renewed faith in government, was predicated on government being able to solve the state’s many social ills — its lagging educational system and housing crisis, among them. “We live in a world where technology is moving so fast it’s really so difficult for society to adapt,” he said. “Is government able to move fast enough to be able to address these issues? And ultimately if government can’t, then who does?”

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

Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier

WASHINGTON — After becoming the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, Representative Liz Cheney, the sharp-tongued lawmaker from Wyoming, wasted little time establishing her reputation as one of her party’s most combative partisan brawlers.

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, routinely lashes out at Democrats and detractors of President Trump. She branded Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of two Muslim women in Congress, “an anti-Semitic socialist who slanders US troops.” She said anti-Trump texts sent by F.B.I. agents “could well be treason.” She asked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”

Now, the tough-talking congresswoman, who is pondering a run for Senate, has laced into a fellow Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a nasty and deeply personal clash — with multigenerational undertones — over Afghanistan policy and the firing of John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser. The feud, which began on Twitter and has continued on television, has cemented Ms. Cheney’s reputation as the most combative Cheney in Washington.

At a time when the president’s hold on the Republican Party is as strong as ever, it comes down to a contest between Ms. Cheney and Mr. Paul over who is Trumpier.

Ms. Cheney, an unapologetic proponent of using the United States’ military might around the globe, is a backer of Mr. Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration with her father. Mr. Paul, a libertarian whose own father, former Representative Ron Paul, has called the Bush-Cheney approach a “crazed neocon foreign policy,” is among the most vocal opponents in Congress of armed foreign intervention.

Their back-and-forth has gotten downright nasty.

Ms. Cheney has invoked Mr. Paul’s 2016 Republican presidential primary loss to Mr. Trump, calling the senator “a big loser (then & now),” and resurfaced a four-year-old Trump tweet likening Mr. Paul to “a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.” Mr. Paul shot back, suggesting that Ms. Cheney “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”

On Friday, at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, Ms. Cheney took a victory lap.

“I enjoyed it,” she said wryly. “I thought it was an enlightening exchange. Here I had been thinking the Senate was dull.”

A lawyer, former State Department official, onetime Fox News pundit and mother of five, Ms. Cheney, 53, has had a stunning ascent in Washington. Some view her as a possible House speaker, though she may be setting her sights across the Capitol. She is weighing a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Michael B. Enzi, a Republican whom she briefly sought to oust in 2014 in a campaign that ended in disaster for her.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158699361_25d9f14f-c9d8-440f-bfe1-f607679a4b39-articleLarge Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier Wyoming United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Paul, Ron Paul, Rand Midterm Elections (2018) House of Representatives Conservatism (US Politics) Cheney, Liz Cheney, Dick

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, shot back at Ms. Cheney, suggesting that she “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We have a problem in our conference where a lot of our members fear engagement with the media because of the media bias that we all believe to exist,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida. “Liz seems to understand the importance of doing a lot of media and also doing hostile media.”

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, said Ms. Cheney “hasn’t been afraid to call out some of the most radical members of the socialist Democrats.” But her tendency to name-check her opponents makes at least some colleagues uncomfortable.

“I think we have to get away from personalities,” said Representative Tom Emmer, Republican of Minnesota and the chairman the party’s campaign arm, in June, long before Ms. Cheney’s spat with Mr. Paul. “From a messaging standpoint, I think it’s a mistake — you don’t use names. This is not about the people — this is about their ideas. We need to have a battle of ideas in this country.”

Ms. Cheney’s meteoric rise has injected the politics of the personal into the highest levels of congressional leadership in a way not seen since Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker whose political action committee instructed Republicans to “learn to speak like Newt” by describing Democrats using words like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame.

“I think that she’s been very effective when she’s been on TV,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview. “I think she is personable, knowledgeable and assertive without being hostile.”

And in a party where 90 percent of House Republicans are white men, Mr. Gingrich said, Ms. Cheney is a huge asset in Republicans’ efforts to demonize three liberal freshman Democrats — Representative Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota, Ms. Omar and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who have become lightning rods on the right, fueling Republican fund-raising.

“You need a woman member to do that,” he said.

Ms. Cheney’s supporters say she pushes back hard at Democrats because she is deeply concerned about the direction in which the party, particularly the progressive left, would take the country. And they say she has drawn a sharp line against hateful speech, no matter where it comes from. When Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, seemed to embrace white supremacy, Ms. Cheney was among the first to condemn him.

But she also knows that tough talk wins elections. After Republicans took a drubbing in the 2018 midterms, losing control of the House, she complained the party had been too tame.

“We’ve got to change the way that we operate and really, in some ways, be more aggressive, have more of a rapid response,” she told The Associated Press at the time.

Ms. Cheney grew up around politics, handing out fliers and politicking for her father, who was elected to the House in 1978, when she was still a teenager. He once was the No. 3 House Republican; when Ms. Cheney’s colleagues voted her into the same post last year, the former vice president sat in the front row, wearing a silent smile, those in attendance said.

Ms. Cheney with her father, Dick Cheney, as he was sworn in as vice president in 2001.CreditGetty Images

“The vice president has a great line: He says, ‘I’m conservative and I’m not mad about it,’” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “I think that’s the attitude Liz has had. She’s defending conservative Republican principles, she’s doing it with a smile on her face, and she’s doing it in an aggressive fashion.”

In 2013, after moving from suburban Washington to Wyoming, Ms. Cheney announced she would challenge Mr. Enzi, a genial and well-liked incumbent, in a Republican primary race.

It was an audacious move, and the campaign did not go well. Ms. Cheney was branded a carpetbagger; “Cheney for Virginia” bumper stickers sprung up around the state. Her ambitions divided the Wyoming Republican Party, splitting old alliances and friendships. It also created a rift within the Cheney family. Ms. Cheney came out in opposition of same-sex marriage, angering her sister, Mary Cheney, and Mary’s wife, Heather Poe.

She withdrew from the race in January 2014, citing “serious health issues” in her family. But in 2016, when Representative Cynthia Lummis announced her retirement, Ms. Cheney sought her seat and won. Now Ms. Lummis has announced her candidacy for Mr. Enzi’s seat, promising a “barn burner” of a race if Ms. Cheney challenges her.

A Lummis-Cheney matchup would be “very difficult to handicap,” said Tucker Fagan, a former aide to Ms. Lummis. Mr. Fagan said Ms. Cheney’s high profile in Washington and her combative style are assets.

“Here our representative is being interviewed on national television,” he said. “So we’re not just the flyover state. We’re somebody to contend with.”

In the House, Ms. Cheney’s policies are as bellicose as her messaging. She has led an unsuccessful charge against a resolution, sponsored by Mr. Gaetz and Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, barring federal money from being used for war with Iran. She has also argued forcefully against a withdrawal of troops from Syria.

That is the root of her disagreement with Mr. Paul, which seems to have begun Sunday after Mr. Trump disclosed that he had canceled peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David to end the war in Afghanistan. Ms. Cheney tweeted that he was right to do so.

That prompted Mr. Paul to tweet a Washington Examiner op-ed article from Wyoming legislators upbraiding Ms. Cheney for opposing the president’s push to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The tit-for-tat escalated, with the senator blasting the #NeverTrumpCheneys — a double swipe at the congresswoman and her father — and accusing Ms. Cheney of “pro-Bolton blather.”

On Friday, she seemed determined to have the last word.

“They’re issues that surround whether or not you put America first, as President Trump does,” Ms. Cheney told reporters, referring to her foreign policy disagreements with Mr. Paul, “or blame America first, as Rand Paul does and has for years.”

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

Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier

WASHINGTON — After becoming the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, Representative Liz Cheney, the sharp-tongued lawmaker from Wyoming, wasted little time establishing her reputation as one of her party’s most combative partisan brawlers.

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, routinely lashes out at Democrats and detractors of President Trump. She branded Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of two Muslim women in Congress, “an anti-Semitic socialist who slanders US troops.” She said anti-Trump texts sent by F.B.I. agents “could well be treason.” She asked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”

Now, the tough-talking congresswoman, who is pondering a run for Senate, has laced into a fellow Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a nasty and deeply personal clash — with multigenerational undertones — over Afghanistan policy and the firing of John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser. The feud, which began on Twitter and has continued on television, has cemented Ms. Cheney’s reputation as the most combative Cheney in Washington.

At a time when the president’s hold on the Republican Party is as strong as ever, it comes down to a contest between Ms. Cheney and Mr. Paul over who is Trumpier.

Ms. Cheney, an unapologetic proponent of using the United States’ military might around the globe, is a backer of Mr. Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration with her father. Mr. Paul, a libertarian whose own father, former Representative Ron Paul, has called the Bush-Cheney approach a “crazed neocon foreign policy,” is among the most vocal opponents in Congress of armed foreign intervention.

Their back-and-forth has gotten downright nasty.

Ms. Cheney has invoked Mr. Paul’s 2016 Republican presidential primary loss to Mr. Trump, calling the senator “a big loser (then & now),” and resurfaced a four-year-old Trump tweet likening Mr. Paul to “a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.” Mr. Paul shot back, suggesting that Ms. Cheney “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”

On Friday, at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, Ms. Cheney took a victory lap.

“I enjoyed it,” she said wryly. “I thought it was an enlightening exchange. Here I had been thinking the Senate was dull.”

A lawyer, former State Department official, onetime Fox News pundit and mother of five, Ms. Cheney, 53, has had a stunning ascent in Washington. Some view her as a possible House speaker, though she may be setting her sights across the Capitol. She is weighing a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Michael B. Enzi, a Republican whom she briefly sought to oust in 2014 in a campaign that ended in disaster for her.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158699361_25d9f14f-c9d8-440f-bfe1-f607679a4b39-articleLarge Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier Wyoming United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Paul, Ron Paul, Rand Midterm Elections (2018) House of Representatives Conservatism (US Politics) Cheney, Liz Cheney, Dick

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, shot back at Ms. Cheney, suggesting that she “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We have a problem in our conference where a lot of our members fear engagement with the media because of the media bias that we all believe to exist,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida. “Liz seems to understand the importance of doing a lot of media and also doing hostile media.”

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, said Ms. Cheney “hasn’t been afraid to call out some of the most radical members of the socialist Democrats.” But her tendency to name-check her opponents makes at least some colleagues uncomfortable.

“I think we have to get away from personalities,” said Representative Tom Emmer, Republican of Minnesota and the chairman the party’s campaign arm, in June, long before Ms. Cheney’s spat with Mr. Paul. “From a messaging standpoint, I think it’s a mistake — you don’t use names. This is not about the people — this is about their ideas. We need to have a battle of ideas in this country.”

Ms. Cheney’s meteoric rise has injected the politics of the personal into the highest levels of congressional leadership in a way not seen since Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker whose political action committee instructed Republicans to “learn to speak like Newt” by describing Democrats using words like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame.

“I think that she’s been very effective when she’s been on TV,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview. “I think she is personable, knowledgeable and assertive without being hostile.”

And in a party where 90 percent of House Republicans are white men, Mr. Gingrich said, Ms. Cheney is a huge asset in Republicans’ efforts to demonize three liberal freshman Democrats — Representative Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota, Ms. Omar and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who have become lightning rods on the right, fueling Republican fund-raising.

“You need a woman member to do that,” he said.

Ms. Cheney’s supporters say she pushes back hard at Democrats because she is deeply concerned about the direction in which the party, particularly the progressive left, would take the country. And they say she has drawn a sharp line against hateful speech, no matter where it comes from. When Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, seemed to embrace white supremacy, Ms. Cheney was among the first to condemn him.

But she also knows that tough talk wins elections. After Republicans took a drubbing in the 2018 midterms, losing control of the House, she complained the party had been too tame.

“We’ve got to change the way that we operate and really, in some ways, be more aggressive, have more of a rapid response,” she told The Associated Press at the time.

Ms. Cheney grew up around politics, handing out fliers and politicking for her father, who was elected to the House in 1978, when she was still a teenager. He once was the No. 3 House Republican; when Ms. Cheney’s colleagues voted her into the same post last year, the former vice president sat in the front row, wearing a silent smile, those in attendance said.

Ms. Cheney with her father, Dick Cheney, as he was sworn in as vice president in 2001.CreditGetty Images

“The vice president has a great line: He says, ‘I’m conservative and I’m not mad about it,’” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “I think that’s the attitude Liz has had. She’s defending conservative Republican principles, she’s doing it with a smile on her face, and she’s doing it in an aggressive fashion.”

In 2013, after moving from suburban Washington to Wyoming, Ms. Cheney announced she would challenge Mr. Enzi, a genial and well-liked incumbent, in a Republican primary race.

It was an audacious move, and the campaign did not go well. Ms. Cheney was branded a carpetbagger; “Cheney for Virginia” bumper stickers sprung up around the state. Her ambitions divided the Wyoming Republican Party, splitting old alliances and friendships. It also created a rift within the Cheney family. Ms. Cheney came out in opposition of same-sex marriage, angering her sister, Mary Cheney, and Mary’s wife, Heather Poe.

She withdrew from the race in January 2014, citing “serious health issues” in her family. But in 2016, when Representative Cynthia Lummis announced her retirement, Ms. Cheney sought her seat and won. Now Ms. Lummis has announced her candidacy for Mr. Enzi’s seat, promising a “barn burner” of a race if Ms. Cheney challenges her.

A Lummis-Cheney matchup would be “very difficult to handicap,” said Tucker Fagan, a former aide to Ms. Lummis. Mr. Fagan said Ms. Cheney’s high profile in Washington and her combative style are assets.

“Here our representative is being interviewed on national television,” he said. “So we’re not just the flyover state. We’re somebody to contend with.”

In the House, Ms. Cheney’s policies are as bellicose as her messaging. She has led an unsuccessful charge against a resolution, sponsored by Mr. Gaetz and Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, barring federal money from being used for war with Iran. She has also argued forcefully against a withdrawal of troops from Syria.

That is the root of her disagreement with Mr. Paul, which seems to have begun Sunday after Mr. Trump disclosed that he had canceled peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David to end the war in Afghanistan. Ms. Cheney tweeted that he was right to do so.

That prompted Mr. Paul to tweet a Washington Examiner op-ed article from Wyoming legislators upbraiding Ms. Cheney for opposing the president’s push to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The tit-for-tat escalated, with the senator blasting the #NeverTrumpCheneys — a double swipe at the congresswoman and her father — and accusing Ms. Cheney of “pro-Bolton blather.”

On Friday, she seemed determined to have the last word.

“They’re issues that surround whether or not you put America first, as President Trump does,” Ms. Cheney told reporters, referring to her foreign policy disagreements with Mr. Paul, “or blame America first, as Rand Paul does and has for years.”

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

Salvadorans, Washington’s Builders, Face Expulsion Under Trump

A few minutes before going to work deep beneath Washington’s streets, the Salvadoran construction workers checked off the projects they had built for the city’s residents: storm water tunnels, new Metro lines and train stations, and shuttles at Dulles International Airport.

Now these workers are at risk of losing their jobs and being removed from the United States. They are among 400,000 immigrants from six nations whose legal immigration status, based on violence or environmental disaster in their native lands, was revoked last year by the Trump administration, which argues that conditions there have improved enough for them to return.

The administration’s decision will cause economic ripples in other cities, but few will feel it more directly than Washington. Roughly a fifth of the capital’s construction workers are in the United States because of the program, known as temporary protected status.

Already facing labor shortages, contractors warn that projects will face delays and that costs could rise if the workers are sent home or end up staying illegally. Most are from El Salvador, with smaller numbers from Honduras and Nicaragua.

“If we lose them, it’s not going to be easy to replace them,” said Rick DiGeronimo, a vice president at Independence Excavating, a construction firm based in Cleveland that has several projects in the Washington area. About one-third of its workers have temporary protected status. “We’d struggle to finish some of our jobs because there aren’t workers of this quality out there,” he said.

Construction appealed to new arrivals from El Salvador because the jobs did not require special skills or knowledge of English, said Abel Núñez, the executive director of Carecen, a social services organization for Latino immigrants. “The construction industry was booming and these people wanted to work,” he said.

Temporary protected status does not provide a path to citizenship, but most of these workers never thought they would face deportation. They have been in the United States legally, for nearly two decades in many cases. Some have bought homes and cars and have settled into middle-class lives. Many have children who are American citizens.

There are nearly 46,000 people under the program in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal group that opposes the Trump administration’s move. Over all, the Washington area is home to nearly 200,000 Salvadorans, the largest group of foreign-born residents in the region.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Alexander Garray, who has temporary protected status and spends his days 120 feet below Washington, boring a huge tunnel for water and sewage that will result in cleaner rivers in the region. “I pay taxes, I’ve never had a problem with the law, and I own a home. I don’t understand why they are trying to kick us out.”

Construction is not the only industry that relies heavily on immigrants with a tenuous foothold in the United States. They make up much of the work force in chicken processing, meatpacking, garment manufacturing and food services. In August, federal immigration enforcement agents raided several poultry plants in Mississippi, arresting nearly 700 people on the suspicion that they were undocumented.

The decision to deport workers who have been in the country legally with temporary protected status strikes Dennis Desmond, a union official, as ironic because some of them have been hired to work at sensitive locations like Fort Meade, Md., the headquarters of the National Security Agency.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00construction1-articleLarge Salvadorans, Washington’s Builders, Face Expulsion Under Trump washington dc Trump, Donald J Labor and Jobs Immigration and Emigration Homeland Security Department Foreign Workers El Salvador Building (Construction)

“I don’t understand why they are trying to kick us out,” said Alexander Garray, who has made more than $80,000 a year for the past several years as a construction worker in the Washington area.CreditJustin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

“They’ve been allowed to work on these critical projects but now it’s like they are not fit to remain in the country,” said Mr. Desmond, the business manager of Local 11 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. He estimated that 20 percent of his union’s members were in the United States under the temporary protected status program.

The origins of the program can be traced to American support for El Salvador’s right-wing government during the country’s civil war in the 1980s, said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts.

A congressional staff member at the time, he helped to draw up the legislation that created the program as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. “We were supporting a government and a military responsible for much of the violence,” Mr. McGovern said. “There was a feeling we weren’t doing enough to help the people caught in the middle.”

With the end of the civil war in 1992, protected status expired, but it was renewed after a series of devastating earthquakes hit El Salvador in 2001.

Natives of the Central American country now constitute 60 percent of beneficiaries of temporary protected status, according to the Congressional Research Service.

El Salvador was the first, but the program was eventually extended to citizens of 10 countries, mostly in Central America, the Middle East or East Africa. Applicants have to be in the United States to qualify when people from their countries are designated for protected status.

The program was extended periodically by Republican and Democratic administrations, and those who had temporary protected status typically renewed it every 18 months.

But last year, the Trump administration moved to end protected status for immigrants from six of the countries — El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan — arguing that it was never meant to provide a permanent haven. In the case of El Salvador, the Department of Homeland Security concluded in January 2018 that the conditions that prevailed starting in 2001 “no longer exist.”

“Many reconstruction projects have now been completed,” the department said. “Schools and hospitals damaged by the earthquakes have been reconstructed and repaired, homes have been rebuilt, and money has been provided for water and sanitation.”

The workers, however, say that it is unthinkable for them and their children to leave for El Salvador, which is mired in poverty and gang violence, and the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network persuaded a federal judge in San Francisco to issue a preliminary injunction in October blocking their deportation.

The Trump administration has appealed the ruling, and legal experts say the issue could end up before the Supreme Court. At a federal appellate-court hearing last month, protected-status holders packed a courtroom in Pasadena, Calif., and judges had tough questions for both sides.

For now, any action by the government to deport the protected workers can’t happen before next year.

“The statute is clear that the administration has the authority” to end temporary protected status, said Tom Jawetz, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress. “But it is also clear what factors must be considered in making those determinations. The plaintiffs have made a strong argument that this administration is looking for a predetermined outcome.”

Lorenzo Flores, a construction worker, could be deported after the Trump administration moved to end Salvadorans’ eligibility for temporary protected status.CreditJustin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

In June, the House approved legislation that would allow those already covered by the program to apply for permanent residency, but the bill is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Ever Guardado, 38, came to the United States from El Salvador illegally through Mexico in 2000 after he was unable to find work at home. When the government offered protected status for Salvadorans the next year, he signed up.

Mr. Guardado said the administration’s decision to end his protected status had put his life in limbo. “I never thought they would take it away,” he said. “Now I’m scared every day.”

Although he had no experience in construction — he had worked on farms back home — other Salvadoran immigrants helped him find jobs on building sites. “I could see I could make money,” Mr. Guardado said.

“I thought I would be secure forever,” he said. He earns nearly $30 an hour working on transportation projects, owns a home in Sterling, Va., and has three children, who are United States citizens.

Nationally, construction is the second-largest employer of those in the program, employing some 44,000 people. Only companies that do building-and-grounds maintenance have more.

Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America, said that construction in Houston, another center of Salvadoran immigration, would also be threatened if the program were terminated. Nationally, he said, more than three-quarters of construction firms say they cannot find enough workers.

“We don’t want our children to work in construction, but we don’t want people to come from overseas and do it either,” he said. “You can’t have it both ways.”

Mr. Garray, the tunnel worker, came from El Salvador in 2000 on a tourist visa to visit his sister and mother. There were few job opportunities to go home to, and he soon found work in construction in Washington.

When Salvadorans became eligible for temporary protected status the next year, Mr. Garray signed up. Since then, he has worked his way up from laborer to equipment operator, and he now earns $32 an hour.

With overtime and double shifts, he has made more than $80,000 a year for the last several years, enough to buy a home and help raise his two daughters, both United States citizens.

By contrast, his mother, an American citizen, earns $8.50 as a housekeeper at a Virginia hotel. Unlike him, she does not face deportation, a prospect that gnaws at him.

“I think about it all the time,” Mr. Garray said before heading back into the tunnel. “Morning, noon and night. Even in my dreams.”

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

Attacks on Biden in Debate Highlight Divide Over the Obama Legacy

HOUSTON — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. clung tightly to the legacy of the Obama administration in a Democratic primary debate on Thursday, asking voters to view him as a stand-in for the former president as an array of progressive challengers, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, brandished more daring policy promises and questioned Mr. Biden’s political strength.

Facing all of his closest competitors for the first time in a debate, Mr. Biden, the Democratic front-runner, repeatedly invoked President Barack Obama’s name and policy record as a shield against rivals who suggested his own record was flawed, or implied his agenda lacked ambition. On health care, immigration, foreign wars and more, Mr. Biden’s central theme was his tenure serving under Mr. Obama.

By constantly invoking Mr. Obama, a popular figure among Democrats, Mr. Biden sought to mute the ideological and generational divisions that have left him vulnerable in the primary race. To voters who might see him as a candidate of the past, Mr. Biden seemed to counter that the past was not so bad.

In an early exchange over health care, Mr. Biden referred to Ms. Warren’s support for Mr. Sanders’s “Medicare for all” plan. “The senator says she’s for Bernie,” Mr. Biden said. “Well, I’m for Barack — I think the Obamacare worked.”

Explaining his preference for more incremental health care improvements, like the creation of an optional government-backed plan, Mr. Biden challenged Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders to defend the cost of their plans, warning that they would require tax increases on middle-income Americans.

Mr. Biden was steadier in what was his third debate of the primary contest, rattling off statistics and parrying attacks with good cheer, though he still rambled at other moments. And despite their criticism, none of the nine other candidates onstage appeared to significantly damage his candidacy.

But Mr. Biden’s challengers were undeterred by his embrace of Mr. Obama, and the progressive candidates made clear the choice before primary voters.

Several of them argued — some subtly, some stridently — that the party needed to move well beyond the policies of the last Democratic president. And if Mr. Biden appealed to voters’ sense of nostalgia, his rivals pressed the case for broader change.

Ms. Warren, of Massachusetts, argued that her and Mr. Sanders’s approach would build upon Mr. Obama’s legacy rather than unraveling it. She credited Mr. Obama with having “fundamentally transformed health care,” but said the next president had to go further.

“The question is, how best can we improve on it?” Ms. Warren said, promising: “Costs are going to go up for giant corporations, but for hard-working families across this country, costs are going to go down.”

[Here are the highlights from the September Democratic debate.]

Mr. Sanders sidestepped the mention of Mr. Obama altogether, asserting to Mr. Biden that a single-payer system would save consumers money by breaking the influence of insurers seeking to “protect their profits.”

“Americans don’t want to pay twice as much as other countries,” Mr. Sanders, of Vermont, said.

Other challengers in the 10-candidate field were less diplomatic in demanding a break from the center-left policy framework that guided the Obama administration. Julián Castro, who served as Mr. Obama’s housing secretary, echoed the news anchor Jorge Ramos in questioning the Obama administration’s record of deporting millions of illegal immigrants. When Mr. Ramos pressed Mr. Biden to say whether he had made any mistakes on immigration as vice president, Mr. Biden pleaded personal loyalty.

“We didn’t lock people up in cages, we didn’t separate families,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “The president did the best thing that was able to be done.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160693980_f4e43032-4185-4955-a33f-617ee3be05c7-articleLarge Attacks on Biden in Debate Highlight Divide Over the Obama Legacy Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Obama, Barack Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) Castro, Julian Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Jorge Ramos, the Univision anchor, pressed Mr. Biden with questions on immigration.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

But pressed by Mr. Ramos about his own role, Mr. Biden deflected: “I’m the vice president of the United States,” he said. That prompted an impatient reaction from Mr. Castro, who repeated a criticism previously leveled at Mr. Biden by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

“Every time something good about Barack Obama comes up, he says, ‘Oh, I was there, I was there, I was there, that’s me, too,’” said Mr. Castro, who was the most aggressive combatant against Mr. Biden on Thursday. “And then every time somebody questions part of the administration that we were both part of, he says, ‘Well, that was the president.’”

Mr. Biden, he said, “wants to take credit for Obama’s work, but not have to answer to any questions.”

Mr. Biden responded as if Mr. Castro was asserting that Mr. Biden was insufficiently defensive of the former president.

“I stand with Barack Obama all eight years,” Mr. Biden said. “Good, bad and indifferent.”

Mr. Biden’s fealty to Mr. Obama, throughout the debate, was consistent with his overall approach to the campaign. He has staked out a position, unapologetically, as a candidate of the Democratic center, building a sizable but far from dominant base of support, anchored in the admiration of moderates, older voters and African-Americans. But he has yet to expand his appeal beyond that base, which appears to make up between a quarter and a third of the Democratic electorate.

Julián Castro, far right, questioned Mr. Biden during a fiery exchange early in the debate.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

His resilience, though, has prompted some of his rivals to recalibrate their approach as the race enters the fall. After unleashing one of the contest’s toughest attacks against Mr. Biden in the first debate, Senator Kamala Harris of California steadfastly avoided critiquing the former vice president or any of her Democratic opponents.

Ms. Harris used her opening statement to speak directly to, and criticize, President Trump. During the health care contretemps she lamented that “not once have we talked about Donald Trump.” And when she made the case for using executive action to overcome legislative gridlock, she turned to Mr. Biden, let out a laugh and borrowed Mr. Obama’s signature line. “Hey Joe, let’s say ‘yes we can,’” she said.

Ms. Harris’s attempt at a strategic makeover was hard to miss, but other candidates also tried to show voters a fuller version of themselves. Ms. Warren stayed true to her vision for sweeping policy proposals, but she also used a debate that was held in the city where she went to college to talk more about her personal story, which many voters are only dimly aware of. She recalled her Oklahoma youth, repeatedly cited her brothers’ military service and talked about being a public school teacher.

If Ms. Warren seemed determined to unfurl her biography, Mr. Sanders came prepared to take on Mr. Biden. The Vermont senator was assertive about drawing contrasts between his progressive credentials and Mr. Biden’s far more varied record. Where Mr. Sanders shied away from direct conflict when he shared a debate stage with Mr. Biden in June, this time he sought out areas of sharp disagreement, including over the NAFTA trade deal and the war in Iraq. Mr. Biden supported both; Mr. Sanders opposed them.

The Democratic Party’s lively, sometimes heated internal disagreements were on vivid display throughout the night, on subjects as diverse as gun control, trade with China, the war in Afghanistan and the Senate filibuster. And if the clearest philosophical gulf separated Mr. Biden from the prominent populists who flanked him — Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren — the debate made plain that the party was in the midst of a far more complex process of defining its identity.

The remaining field of candidates arrayed themselves around the same philosophical dividing line, most of them aligning more closely with Mr. Biden. And for the first time in this primary race, a few of the trailing contenders sharpened their attacks.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota derided Mr. Sanders’s single-payer health care bill as a “bad idea,” while Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., accused Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren of seeking to take away choice from consumers.

“I trust the American people to make the right choice for them,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “Why don’t you?”

A harshly contentious clash between Mr. Biden and Mr. Castro provided one of the most heated exchanges of the evening, at least in terms of political theatrics. Seizing on a moment in which Mr. Biden described his health care proposals imprecisely, Mr. Castro questioned Mr. Biden’s memory — a charged subject for the former vice president, who is 76.

“Are you forgetting already what you said two minutes ago?” Mr. Castro said, prodding insistently before boasting, “I’m fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama and you’re not.”

Mr. Biden shot back, “That would be a surprise to him.” (The former vice president did, however, show his fondness for a bygone era later in the forum when he dropped in a reference to record players.)

Julián Castro, far right, the former housing secretary, questioned Mr. Biden during a fiery exchange early in the debate.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

There was more consensus on the stage when it came to praising the leadership of former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas in the aftermath of the mass shooting last month in El Paso, his hometown. And Mr. O’Rourke won a booming ovation from the audience when he was asked whether he would try to confiscate some weapons.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.”

Mr. Booker, who lives in Newark, said the outrage over gun violence was long overdue. “I’m sorry that it had to take issues coming to my neighborhood or personally affecting Beto to suddenly make us demand change,” he said. “This is a crisis of empathy in our nation. We are never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action.”

From left, Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., during the debate.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

There were, though, plenty of lighter moments in Houston.

Mr. Booker, a vegan, assured viewers he would not push Americans away from eating meat.

“First of all I want to say: No,” he said, before adding with a touch of comedic timing, “I want to translate that into Spanish: No.”

Ms. Harris drew titters for saying Mr. Trump “reminds me of that guy in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” adding that “when you pull back the curtain, it’s a really small dude.”

And Andrew Yang left many of his competitors onstage all but speechless when he used his opening statement to unveil a new gambit aimed at drawing attention to his proposal to offer Americans a universal basic income.

“My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families, someone watching this at home right now,” he said. “If you believe that you can solve your own problems better than any politician, go to yang2020.com and tell us how $1,000 a month will help you do just that.”

More coverage of Democrats and Debates
Amy Klobuchar Is Tired of Debate Questions About Other Candidates

Sept. 11, 2019

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden Will Finally Debate. Here’s What to Expect.

Sept. 11, 2019

Bernie Sanders Went to Canada, and a Dream of ‘Medicare for All’ Flourished

Sept. 9, 2019

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

Inside the Military’s Five-Star Layovers at a Trump Resort

TURNBERRY, Scotland — The middle-aged golfers had finished their last single-malt whiskies late one night this July, and the bartenders were closing up.

Then a bus pulled up to the Trump Turnberry hotel on Scotland’s west coast with a load of new guests, several staff members said. The doormen, dressed in kilts with long feathers protruding from their berets, ushered in more than 50 uniformed American military service members.

After gawking at a fountain encircled by stone horses and classical statues, the troops piled their duffel bags around the table of orchids under the crystal chandeliers of the wood-paneled lobby, checked into their rooms and headed to the bar to begin ordering some whisky of their own.

Throughout President Trump’s term, officials said this week, the American military has been paying his money-losing Scottish golf resort to provide five-star accommodations to United States military flight crews and other personnel during refueling stops on trips to and from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other locations.

The chairman of the House Oversight committee has questioned if the spending at Turnberry is a violation of a constitutional prohibition on government payments to the president outside of his salary — a provision known as the emoluments clause. Other House Democrats have said they expect the matter will now figure in their investigation of a possible impeachment.

But an examination of military layovers at Turnberry, including a two-day stay by a reporter at the resort, reveals a more complicated picture.

There is little evidence of a systematic scheme to enrich Mr. Trump. But the military bookings at Turnberry are the latest in a series of episodes in which the president’s private businesses have intersected with his public position in ways that he can profit from.

The pattern also raises questions about how military officials failed to anticipate the questions that would accompany a large number of American military personnel marching into the opulent halls of one of the president’s golf resorts at public expense.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160617279_e471b65c-e2cd-491e-8b75-60a9243897d9-articleLarge Inside the Military’s Five-Star Layovers at a Trump Resort United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Turnberry (Scotland Golf Resort) Trump, Eric F (1984- ) Trump, Donald J Trump Organization Scotland Presidential Election of 2016 Conflicts of Interest

A United States Air Force plane at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Wednesday. The bookings for American military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the airport.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s defenders note that American military jets have been stopping in the region since long before Mr. Trump’s election. A decision by the Pentagon to have its flights stop more frequently at the local airport was made under the Obama administration.

The military says the vast majority of American military personnel who have passed through since 2016 have stayed at other area hotels, not Mr. Trump’s. On Thursday, the Air Force said in a statement that it had found 659 instances when its flight crews stayed overnight in the area in the past four years. Of those stays, the Air Force estimated that 6 percent, or about 40 — far more than had previously been identified publicly — went to Mr. Trump’s property. Trump Turnberry was closed for renovations from 2015 until mid-2016.

Those who did stay there paid a discounted rate of as little as $130 a night, compared to a typical price of about $380 a night.

“To me, it was honestly just a hotel, a place to sleep,” said Nathan Wendzel, 33, a helicopter pilot, who spent a night at the Trump Turnberry last September, along with about 35 other members of his Iowa National Guard unit, on their way back to the United States from a trip to Kosovo. “It is better than a tent with no air conditioning.”

Neither Mr. Trump’s company nor the United States military has disclosed how much government money has been spent at the Trump resort. But a dozen Trump Turnberry staff members, all speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the military stays have been a regular occurrence and, often, encompass surprisingly large groups.

Buses like the one that arrived in July periodically turn up at midnight or 2 a.m. carrying dozens of soldiers or Marines, several hotel staff members said. Less expensive hotels, like a TraveLodge and a Premier Inn, are next to the airport — the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.

The bookings for United States military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which has an incentive to curry favor with Mr. Trump. The airport has become economically reliant on the military refueling flights, creating at least the appearance of a motive to steer business to the American commander in chief.

Michael Matheson, the Scottish transport minister, told the Scottish Parliament this week that the Turnberry is one of 13 hotels the airport uses and that “Turnberry is generally booked only if other hotels are unavailable or if customers specifically request it.”

But critics say that the military stays at Trump Turnberry still underscore recurring questions that have grown out of Mr. Trump’s singular decision to remain the owner of the business that bears his name while holding high office.

Mr. Trump and his family gave a press conference during the reopening of the Turnberry resort in June 2016, while he was running for president.CreditJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Long stays by lobbyists and foreign officials at the Trump International hotel in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence’s recent stay at a Trump resort in Ireland, and the president’s highly publicized outings to his own golf clubs have all raised similar issues. At times Mr. Trump has appeared to promote his hotels at the same moment that he denies steering them government money.

“NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Mr. Trump tweeted this week in all capital letters about the military stays his Turnberry resort, before adding in parenthesis, “They have good taste!”

Even some guests at Turnberry questioned the arrangement. “It is completely inappropriate,” said Bennett Rodick, a Chicago lawyer watching the sunset from the hotel lobby with his wife. “You don’t want him commingling his business interests with his government interests.”

The United States military has been using Prestwick as a stopover since at least World War II, in part because of the extremely long runway the airport offers, and its reputation for being largely free of fog.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sometimes landed there, and after the war Scotland gave him permanent use of an apartment in a medieval castle not far from Turnberry that he frequently visited. In March 1960, Elvis Presley, then wrapping up his military service, stopped at the airport for a few hours and was mobbed by his fans.

But the last decade brought trying times to the airport. The United States military’s stopovers declined with the end of the war in Iraq and the pullback of troops from Afghanistan. And commercial air traffic shifted to the larger Glasgow International Airport. The situation got so desperate that in 2013 the Prestwick airport, deep in debt, was sold to the Scottish government for a little more than $1.

Mr. Trump entered the picture the next year, when he bought the Turnberry hotel and its storied golf course — it was one of the courses that had hosted the British Open — from a company owned by the emirate of Dubai, reportedly for about $55 million. Soon after he flew with great fanfare into Prestwick airport on his Boeing 757.

He announced that his resort was forming a cross-promotion deal with the airport. To make Turnberry “the finest resort anywhere,” he told reporters in 2014, “we need an airport.”

There would be “people coming in from New York, high level people from all over the place — a lot of private aircraft will be landing with groups and individuals and we expect to be using Prestwick quite a bit,” Mr. Trump promised.

The town of Ayr, near Glasgow Prestwick Airport. There are less expensive hotels near the airport, while the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

Trump executives also began negotiating with Prestwick airport officials to try to ensure that they would refer visiting aircrews to the hotel, emails first obtained by The Guardian in 2017 show. Details of the House Oversight Committee investigation into the military stays at the resort were reported last week by Politico.

But at least for Prestwick, almost none of Mr. Trump’s predictions came true. The majority of the resort’s customers are affluent North Americans, along with a smaller number of Asians and others who come on package golf tours. Few arrive via Prestwick.

These days its cavernous main passenger terminal is often almost deserted. The only airline that still flies into Prestwick is the discount carrier Ryanair. Only a handful of its flights come in each day, mainly from relatively small European markets. No flights arrive from London, Dublin or North America.

“Years ago we had more flights and other airlines, but it is very quiet now,” said Margaret Vincent, 57, pulling down the gates Thursday afternoon to close the empty airport bookstore next to the empty cafe, empty bar and empty foreign currency exchange desk.

But on the opposite side of the airport, the United States military has brought back at least some of the business.

The Defense Logistics Agency signed a formal refueling and aviation services contract with Prestwick in August 2016, under President Barack Obama. The contract began being used in a major way the following year, after Mr. Trump took office. Through June, federal contracting records show, it has made at least 925 fuel purchases at the airport, worth $17.3 million.

An American military aircraft — often a C-130 Hercules transport plane — lands or takes off almost every day, according to local airplane enthusiasts who wait by the airfield to watch them.

In part because of the refueling agreement, the level of American military air traffic has surged during the Trump presidency. After 145 stopovers in 2016, there were 257 last year and 259 in the first eight months of this year, the Pentagon said.

The number of stopovers with overnight stays, entailing booking rooms at hotels, has climbed from 75 in 2016 to 208 last year and 220 this year through August, according to the Defense Department figures.

Mr. Trump arrived in a private helicopter for his 2016 visit to Turnberry. During the visit, his staff handed out “Make Turnberry Great Again” hats.CreditOli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Trump Turnberry can seem like incongruous housing for military personnel. The white walls and red roof of the main hotel stretch along a high ridge overlooking the rocky coast of the Irish Sea.

The windows look out over stone steps descending through rolling hills to the golf course, with the historic Turnberry castle and lighthouse in one direction and the surreal dome of the granite Ailsa Craig protruding from the sea in the other. Each night at sunset, a bagpiper — also in a kilt — parades past the lobby windows, right in front of the helicopter pad.

Several of the military visitors complained that the resort was not a particularly convenient place. It is far from any restaurants or even a pub. A burger costs almost $26 at current exchange rates, 21 pounds, and blended whisky starts at nearly $10 a glass. A day ticket for hotel guests to play on the signature golf course costs $495.

Mr. Trump visited during the 2016 presidential campaign and his staff passed out baseball hats with the slogan “Make Turnberry Great Again.” Since his election, Mr. Trump and his family have also brought additional federal spending to the resort. He stayed at the hotel and played a round of golf there in July 2018, accompanied by diplomats, advisers and his Secret Service detail.

“I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf — my primary form of exercise!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter during that visit. “The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible!”

Eric Trump, who helps oversee its operations, visits frequently, along with his own Secret Service detail. Asked Thursday about the stays by military personnel, Eric Trump declined to comment but praised his family’s property.

Records show payments of at least $64,000 to Trump Turnberry by the State Department in the last two years, although part of that money might have been refunded, the records suggest, after the trips ended. The Trump Organization said it refunds to the government any payments made to Turnberry for those visits by federal government employees after accounting for the resort’s costs, but declined to provide details.

President Trump, after he was elected, transferred ownership of his resorts, golf courses and other properties to a trust that is controlled by his sons and company executives. But Mr. Trump still benefits financially.

The resort lost $4.2 million in 2017, according to an annual filing in Britain, continuing a string of losses reported since Mr. Trump bought it.

The club had revenue of $23.4 million in 2018, according to a financial report filed in the United States, its best year since the Trumps’ ownership. The company has not filed the resort’s profit or loss statement for 2018.

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

Inside the Military’s 5-Star Layovers at a Trump Resort in Scotland

TURNBERRY, Scotland — The middle-aged golfers had finished their last single-malt whiskies late one night this July, and the bartenders were closing up.

Then a bus pulled up to the Trump Turnberry hotel on Scotland’s west coast with a load of new guests, several staff members said. The doormen, dressed in kilts with long feathers protruding from their berets, ushered in more than 50 uniformed American military service members.

After gawking at a fountain encircled by stone horses and classical statues, the troops piled their duffel bags around the table of orchids under the crystal chandeliers of the wood-paneled lobby, checked into their rooms and headed to the bar to begin ordering some whisky of their own.

Throughout President Trump’s term, officials said this week, the American military has been paying his money-losing Scottish golf resort to provide five-star accommodations to United States military flight crews and other personnel during refueling stops on trips to and from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other locations.

The chairman of the House Oversight committee has questioned if the spending at Turnberry is a violation of a constitutional prohibition on government payments to the president outside of his salary — a provision known as the emoluments clause. Other House Democrats have said they expect the matter will now figure in their investigation of a possible impeachment.

But an examination of military layovers at Turnberry, including a two-day stay by a reporter at the resort, reveals a more complicated picture.

There is little evidence of a systematic scheme to enrich Mr. Trump. But the military bookings at Turnberry are the latest in a series of episodes in which the president’s private businesses have intersected with his public position in ways that he can profit from.

The pattern also raises questions about how military officials failed to anticipate the questions that would accompany a large number of American military personnel marching into the opulent halls of one of the president’s golf resorts at public expense.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160617279_e471b65c-e2cd-491e-8b75-60a9243897d9-articleLarge Inside the Military’s 5-Star Layovers at a Trump Resort in Scotland United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Turnberry (Scotland Golf Resort) Trump, Eric F (1984- ) Trump, Donald J Trump Organization Scotland Presidential Election of 2016 Conflicts of Interest

A United States Air Force plane at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Wednesday. The bookings for American military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the airport.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s defenders note that American military jets have been stopping in the region since long before Mr. Trump’s election. A decision by the Pentagon to have its flights stop more frequently at the local airport was made under the Obama administration.

The military says the vast majority of American military personnel who have passed through since 2016 have stayed at other area hotels, not Mr. Trump’s. On Thursday, the Air Force said in a statement that it had found 659 instances when its flight crews stayed overnight in the area in the past four years. Of those stays, the Air Force estimated that 6 percent, or about 40 — far more than had previously been identified publicly — went to Mr. Trump’s property. Trump Turnberry was closed for renovations from 2015 until mid-2016.

Those who did stay there paid a discounted rate of as little as $130 a night, compared to a typical price of about $380 a night.

“To me, it was honestly just a hotel, a place to sleep,” said Nathan Wendzel, 33, a helicopter pilot, who spent a night at the Trump Turnberry last September, along with about 35 other members of his Iowa National Guard unit, on their way back to the United States from a trip to Kosovo. “It is better than a tent with no air conditioning.”

Neither Mr. Trump’s company nor the United States military has disclosed how much government money has been spent at the Trump resort. But a dozen Trump Turnberry staff members, all speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the military stays have been a regular occurrence and, often, encompass surprisingly large groups.

Buses like the one that arrived in July periodically turn up at midnight or 2 a.m. carrying dozens of soldiers or Marines, several hotel staff members said. Less expensive hotels, like a TraveLodge and a Premier Inn, are next to the airport — the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.

The bookings for United States military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which has an incentive to curry favor with Mr. Trump. The airport has become economically reliant on the military refueling flights, creating at least the appearance of a motive to steer business to the American commander in chief.

Michael Matheson, the Scottish transport minister, told the Scottish Parliament this week that the Turnberry is one of 13 hotels the airport uses and that “Turnberry is generally booked only if other hotels are unavailable or if customers specifically request it.”

But critics say that the military stays at Trump Turnberry still underscore recurring questions that have grown out of Mr. Trump’s singular decision to remain the owner of the business that bears his name while holding high office.

Mr. Trump and his family gave a press conference during the reopening of the Turnberry resort in June 2016, while he was running for president.CreditJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Long stays by lobbyists and foreign officials at the Trump International hotel in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence’s recent stay at a Trump resort in Ireland, and the president’s highly publicized outings to his own golf clubs have all raised similar issues. At times Mr. Trump has appeared to promote his hotels at the same moment that he denies steering them government money.

“NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Mr. Trump tweeted this week in all capital letters about the military stays his Turnberry resort, before adding in parenthesis, “They have good taste!”

Even some guests at Turnberry questioned the arrangement. “It is completely inappropriate,” said Bennett Rodick, a Chicago lawyer watching the sunset from the hotel lobby with his wife. “You don’t want him commingling his business interests with his government interests.”

The United States military has been using Prestwick as a stopover since at least World War II, in part because of the extremely long runway the airport offers, and its reputation for being largely free of fog.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sometimes landed there, and after the war Scotland gave him permanent use of an apartment in a medieval castle not far from Turnberry that he frequently visited. In March 1960, Elvis Presley, then wrapping up his military service, stopped at the airport for a few hours and was mobbed by his fans.

But the last decade brought trying times to the airport. The United States military’s stopovers declined with the end of the war in Iraq and the pullback of troops from Afghanistan. And commercial air traffic shifted to the larger Glasgow International Airport. The situation got so desperate that in 2013 the Prestwick airport, deep in debt, was sold to the Scottish government for a little more than $1.

Mr. Trump entered the picture the next year, when he bought the Turnberry hotel and its storied golf course — it was one of the courses that had hosted the British Open — from a company owned by the emirate of Dubai, reportedly for about $55 million. Soon after he flew with great fanfare into Prestwick airport on his Boeing 757.

He announced that his resort was forming a cross-promotion deal with the airport. To make Turnberry “the finest resort anywhere,” he told reporters in 2014, “we need an airport.”

There would be “people coming in from New York, high level people from all over the place — a lot of private aircraft will be landing with groups and individuals and we expect to be using Prestwick quite a bit,” Mr. Trump promised.

The town of Ayr, near Glasgow Prestwick Airport. There are less expensive hotels near the airport, while the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

Trump executives also began negotiating with Prestwick airport officials to try to ensure that they would refer visiting aircrews to the hotel, emails first obtained by The Guardian in 2017 show. Details of the House Oversight Committee investigation into the military stays at the resort were reported last week by Politico.

But at least for Prestwick, almost none of Mr. Trump’s predictions came true. The majority of the resort’s customers are affluent North Americans, along with a smaller number of Asians and others who come on package golf tours. Few arrive via Prestwick.

These days its cavernous main passenger terminal is often almost deserted. The only airline that still flies into Prestwick is the discount carrier Ryanair. Only a handful of its flights come in each day, mainly from relatively small European markets. No flights arrive from London, Dublin or North America.

“Years ago we had more flights and other airlines, but it is very quiet now,” said Margaret Vincent, 57, pulling down the gates Thursday afternoon to close the empty airport bookstore next to the empty cafe, empty bar and empty foreign currency exchange desk.

But on the opposite side of the airport, the United States military has brought back at least some of the business.

The Defense Logistics Agency signed a formal refueling and aviation services contract with Prestwick in August 2016, under President Barack Obama. The contract began being used in a major way the following year, after Mr. Trump took office. Through June, federal contracting records show, it has made at least 925 fuel purchases at the airport, worth $17.3 million.

An American military aircraft — often a C-130 Hercules transport plane — lands or takes off almost every day, according to local airplane enthusiasts who wait by the airfield to watch them.

In part because of the refueling agreement, the level of American military air traffic has surged during the Trump presidency. After 145 stopovers in 2016, there were 257 last year and 259 in the first eight months of this year, the Pentagon said.

The number of stopovers with overnight stays, entailing booking rooms at hotels, has climbed from 75 in 2016 to 208 last year and 220 this year through August, according to the Defense Department figures.

Mr. Trump arrived in a private helicopter for his 2016 visit to Turnberry. During the visit, his staff handed out “Make Turnberry Great Again” hats.CreditOli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Trump Turnberry can seem like incongruous housing for military personnel. The white walls and red roof of the main hotel stretch along a high ridge overlooking the rocky coast of the Irish Sea.

The windows look out over stone steps descending through rolling hills to the golf course, with the historic Turnberry castle and lighthouse in one direction and the surreal dome of the granite Ailsa Craig protruding from the sea in the other. Each night at sunset, a bagpiper — also in a kilt — parades past the lobby windows, right in front of the helicopter pad.

Several of the military visitors complained that the resort was not a particularly convenient place. It is far from any restaurants or even a pub. A burger costs almost $26 at current exchange rates, 21 pounds, and blended whisky starts at nearly $10 a glass. A day ticket for hotel guests to play on the signature golf course costs $495.

Mr. Trump visited during the 2016 presidential campaign and his staff passed out baseball hats with the slogan “Make Turnberry Great Again.” Since his election, Mr. Trump and his family have also brought additional federal spending to the resort. He stayed at the hotel and played a round of golf there in July 2018, accompanied by diplomats, advisers and his Secret Service detail.

“I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf — my primary form of exercise!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter during that visit. “The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible!”

Eric Trump, who helps oversee its operations, visits frequently, along with his own Secret Service detail. Asked Thursday about the stays by military personnel, Eric Trump declined to comment but praised his family’s property.

Records show payments of at least $64,000 to Trump Turnberry by the State Department in the last two years, although part of that money might have been refunded, the records suggest, after the trips ended. The Trump Organization said it refunds to the government any payments made to Turnberry for those visits by federal government employees after accounting for the resort’s costs, but declined to provide details.

President Trump, after he was elected, transferred ownership of his resorts, golf courses and other properties to a trust that is controlled by his sons and company executives. But Mr. Trump still benefits financially.

The resort lost $4.2 million in 2017, according to an annual filing in Britain, continuing a string of losses reported since Mr. Trump bought it.

The club had revenue of $23.4 million in 2018, according to a financial report filed in the United States, its best year since the Trumps’ ownership. The company has not filed the resort’s profit or loss statement for 2018.

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

With Trade Talks Looming, U.S. and China Move to Relax Tensions

Westlake Legal Group 12DC-CHINATRADE-promo-facebookJumbo With Trade Talks Looming, U.S. and China Move to Relax Tensions United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Soybeans International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Customs (Tariff) China Agriculture and Farming

WASHINGTON — The trade war between the United States and China showed signs of easing on Thursday, as China reportedly made its first large purchase in months of American soybeans after President Trump agreed to briefly delay his next round of tariffs.

A trade deal between the two sides is not imminent, and deep divisions remain. But after weeks of escalating tariffs that have pushed the bilateral relationship to its rockiest point in decades, both countries appeared eager this week to try to calm tensions before a new round of talks next month.

Mr. Trump said on Thursday that China would resume purchases of American farm goods, and Beijing confirmed that Chinese companies were making inquiries about buying products including pork and soybeans.

The president’s announcement, made on Twitter on Thursday morning, followed a day of cooling tensions, in which China announced that it would grant some limited exemptions to its tariffs for American products, and Mr. Trump responded by promising to delay his next tariff increase by two weeks to Oct. 15.

“It is expected that China will be buying large amounts of our agricultural products!” the president said in his announcement.

Jim Sutter, the chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, said he learned on Thursday that China had made a large soybean purchase. Mr. Sutter said that between 12 and 20 cargo ships containing 600,000 to 1 million metric tons of soybeans were being purchased from export terminals in the Pacific Northwest for October shipments to China.

“We’re quite happy to see this apparent thaw in the relationship,” Mr. Sutter said. “We wish we could get trade back to normal.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce said some Chinese companies were beginning to make inquiries about resuming purchases of American agricultural products. “Soybeans and pork are all within the scope of inquiry,” said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry. “I hope that China and the United States will move in the same direction and create favorable conditions for consultations.”

American and Chinese negotiators plan to meet in person in early October, before Mr. Trump increases tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods to 30 percent from 25 percent. Expectations for quickly resolving the significant differences between the two sides remain modest. But the recent de-escalation increases the likelihood that the next round of tariffs might be averted, perhaps eventually opening a path to an agreement that would smooth relations between the countries.

Markets, which have gyrated with every twist and turn in the trade war, rose on the potential that the two sides could ultimately reach a deal. U.S. stock indexes climbed before paring back some of their gains. The S&P 500 index was up 0.29 percent at the close of the day, while the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.17 percent.

Relations between the countries have worsened since May, when China backed away from a nearly complete deal that would have required it to codify the agreement into Chinese law, which Beijing said would infringe on its sovereignty. Since then, Mr. Trump has placed tariffs on an additional $112 billion of Chinese products and threatened further tariff increases in October and December.

China has responded to the escalation by increasing tariffs on $75 billion of American goods. Chinese state-owned companies have also suspended their purchases of American soybeans, pork and other products, a severe hit to American farmers who have already lost markets because of the trade clash.

Although Mr. Trump’s advisers publicly insist that the trade war is having no effect on the American economy, many of them are eager to calm tensions. They have been reviewing ways to avoid planned tariff increases that would result in the United States taxing nearly every Chinese toy, sneaker and computer by the end of this year.

The president pushed back on reports Thursday that he was vying for an interim deal with China that would resolve only some issues. “I’d rather get the whole deal done,” he said, before adding, “It’s something we would consider, I guess.”

The administration has been weighing whether a deal with China would be a boon or liability to the president’s re-election. His advisers have been working for months to secure an agreement strong enough to dodge criticism from both Democrats and Republicans that Mr. Trump is folding to America’s biggest economic competitor.

Some White House officials, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have argued that the president does not need to seal a deal with China to win over voters. Mr. Kushner and others argue that if the administration can deliver other trade successes, like passing the revised North American trade agreement and announcing a trade deal with Japan, that will be enough to help rally the base, according to people familiar with their thinking.

But economic advisers like Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow have been more attuned to the whipsawing financial markets and some flagging economic indicators and have advocated trying to reach a deal with China.

Discussions between the two countries have revolved around China strengthening its protections for American intellectual property, opening up its markets to competition from American firms and making large purchases of American products, like natural gas and soybeans.

The Trump administration has also pressed China to make more structural changes, for example rolling back the influence of state-owned enterprises in its economy. China has balked at making any concessions it sees as compromising its ability to manage its economy, or signing a deal it perceives as uneven. China has demanded that Mr. Trump remove the tariffs placed on $360 billion of Chinese products, as well as grant leniency for Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant the United States has cut off from purchasing American supplies.

Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute who is advising the Trump administration in its negotiations, said the Chinese had been paving the way to better relations by toning down their formerly strident criticism of Mr. Trump and announcing several changes, including proposing more free trade zones around China that would feature open financial markets and better access for American companies.

“One swallow does not make a summer,” Mr. Pillsbury said, quoting a proverb. “But these gestures are now more and more numerous.”

Mr. Trump’s economic officials have also said the delay in tariffs could smooth relations.

Mr. Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Thursday that Mr. Trump was making a “good gesture” by agreeing to move the deadline by two weeks so that it did not conflict with China’s celebration on Oct. 1 of its founding 70 years ago.

“The president delayed it because of a request from the vice premier,” Mr. Mnuchin said on CNBC. “The optics of us raising the tariffs on Oct. 1, which is their 70th anniversary, caused them grave concern on the symbolism.”

Mr. Mnuchin would not comment on the whether the United States and China were discussing an agreement smaller in scope than they originally hoped. But asked about thorny issues, he made clear that the unrest in Hong Kong would not be part of the trade talks.

“Hong Kong is definitely not on the table,” he said. “That’s an issue for the secretary of state to deal with. That’s not a trade issue.”

Mr. Mnuchin did not address whether Huawei would be discussed. He said the critical issues in the negotiations remained the protection of American intellectual property, an end to China forcing American companies into joint ventures, currency manipulation and increased purchases of American agricultural products.

“We expect and we want them to buy agriculture,” he said. “We view that as a personal attack on our farmers.”

Some White House officials played down the significance of Mr. Trump’s reprieve on Thursday.

“It’s a small thing in the scheme of things,” Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, said on CNN, noting that the delay was for only two weeks. “The Chinese are paying the tariffs anyway.”

Mr. Navarro accused the Chinese of economic aggression and stealing American intellectual property. He also pushed back against Republican lawmakers, such as Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, who have been voicing their frustration about the tariffs.

“He’s waving the white flag, not the American flag,” Mr. Navarro said of Mr. Toomey.

Mr. Navarro also seemed skeptical that China would actually step up its purchases of American agricultural products.

“Let’s see if the Chinese fulfill their commitments,” he said. “The problem we’ve always had with the Chinese is that they don’t necessarily honor their commitments.”

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

For Military Personnel, Trump’s Turnberry Hotel Is ‘Better Than a Tent’

TURNBERRY, Scotland — The middle-aged golfers had finished their last single-malt whiskeys late one night this July, and the bartenders were closing up.

Then a bus pulled up to the Trump Turnberry hotel on Scotland’s west coast with a load of new guests, several staff members said. The doormen, dressed in kilts with long feathers protruding from their berets, ushered in more than 50 uniformed American military service members.

After gawking at a fountain encircled by stone horses and classical statues, the troops piled their duffel bags around the table of orchids under the crystal chandeliers of the wood-paneled lobby, checked into their rooms and headed to the bar to begin ordering some whiskey of their own.

Throughout President Trump’s term, officials said this week, the American military has been paying his money-losing Scottish golf resort to provide five-star accommodations to United States military flight crews and other personnel during refueling stops on trips to and from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other locations.

The chairman of the House Oversight committee has questioned if the spending at Turnberry is a violation of a constitutional prohibition on government payments to the president outside of his salary — a provision known as the emoluments clause. Other House Democrats have said they expect the matter will now figure in their investigation of a possible impeachment.

But an examination of military layovers at Turnberry, including a two-day stay by a reporter at the resort, reveals a more complicated picture.

There is little evidence of a systematic scheme to enrich Mr. Trump. But the military bookings at Turnberry are the latest in a series of episodes in which the president’s private businesses have intersected with his public position in ways that he can profit from.

The pattern also raises questions about how military officials failed to anticipate the questions that would accompany a large number of American military personnel marching into the opulent halls of one of the president’s golf resorts at public expense.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160617279_e471b65c-e2cd-491e-8b75-60a9243897d9-articleLarge For Military Personnel, Trump’s Turnberry Hotel Is ‘Better Than a Tent’ United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Turnberry (Scotland Golf Resort) Trump, Eric F (1984- ) Trump, Donald J Trump Organization Scotland Presidential Election of 2016 Conflicts of Interest

A United States Air Force plane at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Wednesday. The bookings for American military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the airport.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s defenders note that American military jets have been stopping in the region since long before Mr. Trump’s election. A decision by the Pentagon to have its flights stop more frequently at the local airport was made under the Obama administration.

The military says the vast majority of American military personnel who have passed through since 2016 have stayed at other area hotels, not Mr. Trump’s. Those who did stay there paid a discounted rate of as little as $130 a night, compared to a typical price of about $380 a night.

“To me, it was honestly just a hotel, a place to sleep,” said Nathan Wendzel, 33, a helicopter pilot, who spent a night at the Trump Turnberry last September, along with about 35 other members of his Iowa National Guard unit, on their way back to the United States from a trip to Kosovo. “It is better than a tent with no air conditioning.”

Neither Mr. Trump’s company nor the United States military has disclosed how much government money has been spent at the Trump resort. But a dozen Trump Turnberry staff members, all speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the military stays have been a regular occurrence and, often, encompass surprisingly large groups.

Buses like the one that arrived in July periodically turn up at midnight or 2 a.m. carrying dozens of soldiers or Marines, several hotel staff members said. Less expensive hotels, like a TraveLodge and a Premier Inn, are next to the airport — the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.

The bookings for United States military personnel staying at the Trump resort are made by employees of the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which has an incentive to curry favor with Mr. Trump. The airport has become economically reliant on the military refueling flights, creating at least the appearance of a motive to steer business to the American commander in chief.

Michael Matheson, the Scottish transport minister, told the Scottish Parliament this week that the Turnberry is one of 13 hotels the airport uses and that “Turnberry is generally booked only if other hotels are unavailable or if customers specifically request it.”

But critics say that the military stays at Trump Turnberry still underscore recurring questions that have grown out of Mr. Trump’s singular decision to remain the owner of the business that bears his name while holding high office.

Long stays by lobbyists and foreign officials at the Trump International hotel in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence’s recent stay at a Trump resort in Ireland, and the president’s highly publicized outings to his own golf clubs have all raised similar issues. At times Mr. Trump has appeared to promote his hotels at the same moment that he denies steering them government money.

Mr. Trump and his family gave a press conference during the reopening of the Turnberry resort in June 2016, while he was running for president.CreditJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

“NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Mr. Trump tweeted this week in all capital letters about the military stays his Turnberry resort, before adding in parenthesis, “They have good taste!”

Even some guests at Turnberry questioned the arrangement. “It is completely inappropriate,” said Bennett Rodick, a Chicago lawyer watching the sunset from the hotel lobby with his wife. “You don’t want him commingling his business interests with his government interests.”

The United States military has been using Prestwick as a stopover since at least the World War II, in part because of the extremely long runway the airport offers, and its reputation for being largely free of fog.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sometimes landed there, and after the war Scotland gave him permanent use of an apartment in a medieval castle not far from Turnberry that he frequently visited. In March 1960, Elvis Presley, then wrapping up his military service, stopped at the airport for a few hours and was mobbed by his fans.

But the last decade brought trying times to the airport. The United States military’s stopovers declined with the end of the war in Iraq and the pullback of troops from Afghanistan. And commercial air traffic shifted to the larger Glasgow International Airport. The situation got so desperate that in 2013 the Prestwick airport, deep in debt, was sold to the Scottish government for a little more than $1.

Mr. Trump entered the picture the next year, when he bought the Turnberry hotel and its storied golf course — it was one of the courses that had hosted the British Open — from a company owned by the emirate of Dubai, reportedly for about $55 million. Soon after he flew with great fanfare into Prestwick airport on his Boeing 757.

He announced that his resort was forming a cross-promotion deal with the airport. To make Turnberry “the finest resort anywhere,” he told reporters in 2014, “we need an airport.”

There would be “people coming in from New York, high level people from all over the place — a lot of private aircraft will be landing with groups and individuals and we expect to be using Prestwick quite a bit,” Mr. Trump promised.

Trump executives also began negotiating with Prestwick airport officials to try to ensure that they would refer visiting aircrews to the hotel, emails first obtained by The Guardian in 2017 show. Details of the House Oversight Committee investigation into the military stays at the resort were reported last week by Politico.

The town of Ayr, near Glasgow Prestwick Airport. There are less expensive hotels near the airport, while the Trump Turnberry resort is about a 40-minute drive.CreditMary Turner for The New York Times

But at least for Prestwick, almost none of Mr. Trump’s predictions came true. The majority of the resort’s customers are affluent North Americans, along with a smaller number of Asians and others who come on package golf tours. Few arrive via Prestwick.

These days its cavernous main passenger terminal is often almost deserted. The only airline that still flies into Prestwick is the discount carrier Ryanair. Only a handful of its flights come in each day, mainly from relatively small European markets. No flights arrive from London, Dublin or North America.

“Years ago we had more flights and other airlines, but it is very quiet now,” said Margaret Vincent, 57, pulling down the gates Thursday afternoon to close the empty airport bookstore next to the empty cafe, empty bar and empty foreign currency exchange desk.

But on the opposite side of the airport, the United States military has brought back at least some of the business.

The Defense Logistics Agency signed a formal refueling and aviation services contract with Prestwick in August 2016, under President Barack Obama. The contract began being used in a major way the following year, after Mr. Trump took office. Through June, federal contracting records show, it has made at least 925 fuel purchases at the airport, worth $17.3 million.

An American military aircraft — often a C-130 Hercules transport plane — lands or takes off almost every day, according to local airplane enthusiasts who wait by the airfield to watch them.

In part because of the refueling agreement, the level of American military air traffic has surged during the Trump presidency. After 145 stopovers in 2016, there were 257 last year and 259 in the first eight months of this year, the Pentagon said.

The number of stopovers with overnight stays, entailing booking rooms at hotels, has climbed from 75 in 2016 to 208 last year and 220 this year through August, according to the Defense Department figures.

Trump Turnberry can seen like incongruous housing for military personnel. The white walls and red roof of the main hotel stretch along a high ridge overlooking the rocky coast of the Irish Sea.

Mr. Trump arrived in a private helicopter for his 2016 visit to Turnberry. During the visit, his staff handed out “Make Turnberry Great Again” hats.CreditOli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The windows look out over stone steps descending through rolling hills to the golf course, with the historic Turnberry castle and lighthouse in one direction and the surreal dome of the granite Ailsa Craig protruding from the sea in the other. Each night at sunset, a bagpiper — also in a kilt — parades past the lobby windows, right in front of the helicopter pad.

Several of the military visitors complained that the resort was not a particularly convenient place. It is far from any restaurants or even a pub. A burger costs almost $26 at current exchange rates, 21 pounds, and blended whiskey starts at nearly $10 a glass. A day ticket for hotel guests to play on the signature golf course costs $495.

Mr. Trump visited during the 2016 presidential campaign and his staff passed out baseball hats with the slogan “Make Turnberry Great Again.” Since his election, Mr. Trump and his family have also brought additional federal spending to the resort. He stayed at the hotel and played a round of golf there in July 2018, accompanied by diplomats, advisers and his Secret Service detail.

“I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf — my primary form of exercise!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter during that visit. “The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible!”

Eric Trump, who helps oversee its operations, visits frequently, along with his own Secret Service detail. Asked Thursday about the stays by military personnel, Eric Trump declined to comment but praised his family’s property.

Records show payments of at least $64,000 to Trump Turnberry by the State Department in the last two years, although part of that money might have been refunded, the records suggest, after the trips ended. The Trump Organization said it refunds to the government any payments made to Turnberry for those visits by federal government employees after accounting for the resort’s costs, but declined to provide details.

President Trump, after he was elected, transferred ownership of his resorts, golf courses and other properties to a trust that is controlled by his sons and company executives. But Mr. Trump still benefits financially.

The resort lost $4.2 million in 2017, according to an annual filing in Britain, continuing a string of losses reported since Mr. Trump bought it.

The club had revenue of $23.4 million in 2018, according to a financial report filed in the United States, its best year since the Trumps’ ownership. The company has not filed the resort’s profit or loss statement for 2018.

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