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The Week in White House Drama – Controversial Immigration Policies and Manafort in Prison

Remember when separation of church and state used to be a thing?

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This weeks drama surrounded the administration’s policy on immigrants, particularly their justification for separating children from their parents at the border, and the new Walmart turned detention center they created to hold the children. Several members of the staff – Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the President himself – have seen criticism for their statements on the matter. Other drama includes the ever-scandalous Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani at it again, and the President making more controversial comments.

The Big Drama

You know when the news is talking about the President putting children in a tent city it is going to be a dramatic week. While the Trump Administration has not put their idea of having a “tent city” on a Texas military base into action, they have made some other controversial actions to hold the hundreds of immigrant children that are being separated from their parents every week – namely, placing them in a former Walmart covered in murals of former President Obama and President Trump.

While these murals and the prospect of stuffing an increasing number of immigrant children into migrant youth centers after separating them from their parents has proven to be disconcerting, the justification by the White House and cabinet have only made the situation worse.

Both Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the Bible to justify the measures taken by the White House on immigration. Sessions urged Americans to follow the word of the Apostle Paul in Romans 13, which cites that one should follow the laws of government because God has ordained them for order. While this may seem innocuous, the real controversy comes from the historical use of the biblical passage, which was frequently used by Southerners during the Civil War to justify slavery. In the context of the Trump Administration’s strict and inhumane policies on immigrants, this seems to show that Sessions believes oppression is right as long as it is the law.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also used the Bible to defend the immigration policies. When asked about Sessions’ quote about Romans 13, Sanders also stated that the Bible had many passages about following the law, but did not explicitly mention the controversial passage. However, a day in the press room did take a tense turn this week when CNN’s Jim Acosta asked her how she could support the policy that separates children from their parents since she has three children of her own. Sanders’ reply made the room even tenser, firing back that she knew it was “hard for you to understand even short sentences” after she reaffirmed her support.

More Drama Bombs

 After all of the drama following the immigration policies, you would think that the White House could not have any other major losses – and then the Inspector General’s report came out. The Justice Department’s Inspector General examined the role organizations like the Justice Department and FBI played in the 2016 election, including former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to make a statement about investigating Hillary Clinton’s email scandal in the final weeks before election day.

The bottom line: Comey and the FBI made poor procedural decisions, but they were not political or illegal in nature. This directly goes against claims Trump has made about James Comey participating in illegal actions, which would justify his firing. Now, the firing looks even worse and the President is embarrassed by a report – again.

Yet, mere hours after one of the President’s Twitter rants was refuted by the Inspector General’s report, he made another ill-advised statement after his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sent directly to jail after his bail was revoked for witness tampering. Trump stated that the “sentence” given to Manafort was harsh – although he has not yet been to trial and hence has not been sentenced – then once again alluded that Comey and “Crooked Hillary” should be in prison instead.

Other Major Players 

  • Former New York City Mayor and current Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani controversially called for the Justice Department to suspend Special Investigator Robert Mueller, stopping him from completing the Russia investigation. This is a bold move and shows the mindset of the Trump administration towards the investigation.
  • After the controversy Sarah Huckabee Sanders has faced this week, it should come to no surprise that she is considering leaving the White House, which would add yet another staffer to Trump’s list of former staff and cabinet members.
  • Trump stated that he wishes Americans would show deference to him as North Koreans do to Kim Jong Un, then later claimed the comment was a joke. Joke or not, wanting Americans to act like citizens do to a dictator is pretty disconcerting.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Rachael Blandau is a senior political science major at Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky. She enjoys writing about the news and her favorite topic - politics.

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