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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a campaign stop Wednesday said China is not a threat for the United States, putting him at direct odds with President Donald Trump.

“They can’t even figure out how to deal with the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the east, I mean in the west,” Biden joked in front of a crowd in Iowa City. “They can’t figure out how they are going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”

China is growing three times as fast as the U.S. economy, and its GDP is projected to be larger than America’s by 2028, Bloomberg reported last May. Beijing has also outlined strategies to lead world innovation by 2050 and is pouring time and money into doing so, including into fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

The Trump administration is in the throes of a trade war with China, and has repeatedly warned the country is taking advantage of the U.S. with its tariff policy.

FBI Director Christopher Wray last Friday said China poses a “multilayered threat” to America.

“Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder at our expense,” Wray told Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Source: NewsMax

Rachel Prager, 34, poses with a sign against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York
Rachel Prager, 34, poses with a sign against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

May 21, 2019

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of abortion-rights campaigners, including Democrats seeking their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, rallied in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to protest new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

Many of the restrictions are intended to draw legal challenges, which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation’s top court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

“We are not going to allow them to move our country backward,” U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the two dozen Democrats running for president, told the crowd through a megaphone.

The rally is one of scores scheduled for Tuesday around the country by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights group. The protests are a response to laws passed recently by Republican state legislatures that amount to the tightest restrictions on abortion seen in the United States in decades.

Alabama passed an outright ban last week, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, unless the woman’s life is in danger, while other states, including Ohio and Georgia, have banned abortions absent a medical emergency after six weeks of pregnancy or after the fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, which can occur before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court waved signs saying “We won’t be punished” and “Protect Safe, Legal Abortion” and were joined by Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor who also is vying for the 2020 nomination.

“My entire campaign is about freedom,” he said in a brief interview.

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley also was a featured speaker, telling the crowd: “This nation was built on the backs and grown in the wombs of women, and our rights are not up for debate.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican who opposes abortion, has seized on the issue as one likely to fire up his core supporters.

The restrictive new laws are contrary to the Roe v. Wade ruling, which affords a woman the right to an abortion up to the moment the fetus would be viable outside the womb, which is usually placed at about seven months, or 28 weeks, but may occur earlier.

The bans have been championed by conservatives, many of them Christian, who say fetuses should have rights comparable to those of infants and view abortion as tantamount to murder. The Supreme Court now has a 5-4 conservative majority following two judicial appointments by Trump.

A federal judge in Mississippi on Tuesday heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the state’s new fetal-heartbeart abortion law. District Judge Carlton Reeves asked questions suggesting he thought the new law to be even more unconstitutional than the state’s 15-week abortion ban he struck down last year, USA Today reported.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker in Washington; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

The Nevada Senate approved Tuesday a National Popular Vote bill on a party-line vote, sending the legislation aimed at upending the Electoral College to the governor.

Assembly Bill 186, which passed the Senate on a 12-8 vote, would bring Nevada into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between participating states to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote.

If signed as expected by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, Nevada would become the 16th jurisdiction to join the compact, along with 14 states and the District of Columbia. The compact would take effect after states totaling 270 electoral votes, and with Nevada, the total would reach 195.

While the effort has been billed by organizers as bipartisan, Democrats have embraced the NPV in the aftermath of President Trump’s 2016 victory, which saw the Republican win the electoral vote but not the popular vote.

Leftist groups like Common Cause, Indivisible and Public Citizen cheered the Nevada vote.



“The movement to abolish the electoral college is winning,” tweeted Public Citizen.

The NPV would not eliminate the Electoral College, but would render it irrelevant by requiring electors to vote for the national vote-winner instead of the candidate capturing the most votes in their states.

Supporters argue that it would shift the focus of presidential elections away from a handful of swing states, while critics say it would concentrate power in states like California and New York with the largest population centers.

“If we go to a national popular vote, why would they even bother coming here? Our constitution says we’re a republic, not a democracy,” said Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler during last month’s debate. “I voted ‘no’ on the national popular vote because I don’t want Nevada to be a flyover state.”

Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico joined the compact in the 2019 legislative session, and other Democrat-controlled states are poised to follow.

Last week, the Maine Senate approved an NPV bill, sending it to the House. The Oregon bill has been approved by the Senate, and a House committee held a hearing Monday on the measure.

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President Trump threatened to destroy Iran in a tweet sent in the wake of reports that a rocket was fired into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone less than a mile away from the US Embassy.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

It’s unclear exactly what promoted Trump’s posting, but news outlets reported explosions in Iraq’s capital and that a rocket launcher was discovered in eastern Baghdad, an area that is home to Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

Roads leading into the Green Zone were briefly closed and no casualties were reported.

Amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran there have been concerns that Iraq, where Iranian forces and about 5,000 American troops are stationed, could become entangled in the standoff.

A Saudi Arabian diplomat said his country doesn’t want to go to war with Iran but but will defend itself after two Saudi oil tankers were targeted by acts of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last week.

No group has claimed responsibility for the sabotage but US officials in reports signaled that Iran encouraged Iraq-based Iranian militants to carry it out.

Riyadh also accused Tehran of being behind a drone attack on two oil pumping stations in the Kingdom, which Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that… but at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens and its interests,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Abel al-Jubeir told reporters.

The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s elite fighting force, echoed the same sentiments through state media on Sunday.

“Iran is not looking for any type of war, but it is fully prepared to defend itself,” said Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami.

Tensions have been heightened between Washington and Tehran after reports said Iran was planning to carry out attacks on American troops and ships in the region.

Earlier this month, the White House sent warships and bombers into the Persian Gulf to counter any threats from Iran and evacuated non-emergency personnel from Iraq.

The US Navy said the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group conducted exercises in the Arabian Sea over the weekend in a show the US military’s “lethality and agility to respond to threat” and to protect US interests.

Trump has employed such bluster before including when he was negotiating with North Korea to ditch its nuclear weapons program.

Responding to reports that North Korea had succeeded in attaching nuclear warheads to ballistic missiles, Trump warned leader Kim Jong-un not to threaten the US.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump told reporters in August 2017. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

With Post wire services


(CBS4) – A controversial billboard advertising Colorado as a safe space for abortions has some applauding the state for its progressive views, while others are left worried that it implies Colorado condones murder. The billboard, paid for by “Keep Abortion Safe,” is featured along I-70 eastbound, for those visiting Colorado from Utah.

(CBS)

The billboard reads “Welcome to Colorado, where you can get a safe, legal abortion.”

Keep Abortion Safe co-founder Fawn Bolak said her organization paid for the billboard in hope that it would encourage those in neighboring states to consider Colorado for any of their reproductive medical needs.

“The goal of the billboard was meant to be a bold message to our neighbors coming in. That they are now entering a state that respects and allows them to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions,” Bolak said. “We also have instances of folks traveling from all over the country to come to Colorado for the access we have.”

(CBS)

However, the billboard was not accepted by all Coloradans. Bob Enyart, a local pastor and radio host, said the organization “Colorado Right to Life” did not support the message behind the sign.

“Welcome to Colorful Colorado. Red is a beautiful color, but not abortion red,” Enyart said. “You have to hate God to want to advertise to kill innocent children. To dismember them. We need to be known as a state for life and not for death.”

(CBS)

The billboard is one of many throughout the state that encourage drivers to seek different journeys when it comes to pregnancy.

While some encourage expecting parents to do what is best for them and their health, others encourage the same people to explore opportunities to support life. There are also some billboards supporting pro-life messages encourage resource centers and others in the Denver area that encourage expecting fathers to love their children and support them.


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Trump #MAGA Vs Pelosi #FakeNews : Trump Is DONE Negotiating With @DNC Snakes, If You Were Trump Would You? #Impeach?! For What?!!

Trump #MAGA Vs Pelosi #FakeNews : Trump Is DONE Negotiating With @DNC Snakes, If You Were Trump Would You? #Impeach?! For What?!!

Pelosi-Trump war paralyzes government; 'American Taliban' to be released from prison

Government paralyzed: Trump calls for end to 'phony investigations' after Pelosi accuses him of engaging in a 'cover-up'
The very public rift between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday illustrated of how much the Russia ... See More collusion investigation -- and what Trump supporters would call Democrats' obsession with ousting him from the Oval Office -- have paralyzedthe government. The meeting between Trump and Democratic leaders Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was cut short and any plans to rebuild America's infrastructure were put on hold after Pelosi accused of the president of engaging in a "cover-up." Trump, in a Rose Garden statement, said that Democrats must end their "phony investigations” before he'll negotiate with them on issues like infrastructure.

So, right now, both sides remain at a standstill. Trump and the White House insist Democrats can't accept the findings of no collusion in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report and want "do-overs" with numerous congressional investigations. Democrats show no signs of easing up on their investigations and insist Trump is obstructing justice by instructing witnesses to defy subpoenas and be uncooperative.

'Catastrophic' tornado damage reported in Missouri capital
Jefferson City, the capital city of Missouri, has taken a direct hit from a tornado and suffered possibly “catastrophic” damage, according to reports. According to the National Weather Service, a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City at 11:43 p.m., moving northeast at 40 mph. The twister appeared to have traveled through the center part of town, the Jefferson City News-Tribune reported. "We are currently identifying the location of damages and searching for injured residents," Lt. David Williams of the city's police department said in a statement to the News-Tribune. "The primary need at this time is for those not affected to stay clear of the impacted areas so that Emergency personnel can assist those in need."

'American Taliban' to be released from prison Thursday
John Walker Lindh, the Islamic militant who became known as the infamous "American Taliban," is set to be released from a U.S. federal prison Thursday despite lawmakers' concerns. Lindh, who has been behind bars in Terre Haute, Ind., is set to be discharged several years before he would complete the 20-year prison sentence he received for joiningand supporting the Taliban. The former Islamist fighter and enemy combatant was arrested in 2001, just months after the Sept. 11 attacks and the start of the war in Afghanistan, along with a group of Taliban fighters who were captured by U.S. forces.

In a letter last week to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, lawmakers expressed concerns about the "security and safety implications" of freeing an unrepentant terrorist who officials say continues to "openly call for extremist violence." They also sought details on how the agency is working to prevent prisoners such as Lindh from committing additional crimes after their release and asked which other "terrorist offenders" are next in line to be freed.

Avenatti's legal troubles continue to mount
Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday charged embattled attorney Michael Avenatti with defrauding adult-film star Stormy Daniels, the client who propelled Avenatti into the national spotlight. Avenatti, 48, faces one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted of those charges. Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford) is not named in the indictment, but a federal law enforcement official confirmed to Fox News that she is the client prosecutors claimed Avenatti defrauded.

Avenatti rocketed to fame representing Daniels when she sued to be released from a non-disclosure agreement involving an alleged tryst with President Trump in 2006. He parlayed his notoriety into numerous cable news appearances and even was floated as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.

Former staffer for Michelle Obama evades subpoena in Smollett case
Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, declined Wednesday to be served with a subpoena by a retired Illinois judge seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case, according to the process server. In an email to former Illinois appellate judge Sheila O'Brien obtained by Fox News, the process server wrote that a security guard at the Chicago law firm where Tchen is a partner "called up to her and spoke with her and she said that she in [sic] never going to accept service and to not allow me up to their Law firm." The subpoena would have required Tchen to appear at a May 31 hearing on O'Brien's request for a special prosecutor and provide "any and all documents, notes, phone records, texts, tape recordings made or received at any time, concerning your conversations with [Cook CountyState's Attorney] Kim Foxx in re: Jussie Smollett."

TODAY'S MUST-READS
Ben Carson hits back at Ilhan Omar after she knocks his performance during House hearing
Trump administration fights back against lone judges nixing policies'with the stroke of the pen.'
John Cusack defends not standing 'fast enough' for Wrigley Field military salute.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Antitrust chief undecided on T-Mobile-Sprint as White House voices support and DOJ staff looks to nix merger.
Credit, debit cards found to be 'dirtiest payment method’ versus cash, coins, study says.
Worst product failures, from Coca-Cola’s New Coke to Microsoft's Zune.

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Trump: Dem Leaders ‘Tearing the United States Apart’

President Donald Trump followed up his fiery Rose Garden speech Wednesday with a series of tweets that took aim at Democrats on Capitol Hill and their continued investigations of him and his administration.

Shortly after his hastily scheduled press conference, Trump continued to assail his political enemies on Twitter.

"So sad that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will never be able to see or understand the great promise of our Country. They can continue the Witch Hunt which has already cost $40M and been a tremendous waste of time and energy for everyone in America, or get back to work…." Trump wrote.

"....But they really want a do-over! You can't investigate and legislate simultaneously - it just doesn't work that way. You can't go down two tracks at the same time. Let Chuck, Nancy, Jerry, Adam and all of the rest finish playing their games…." he wrote in a follow-up.

"....In the meantime, my Administration is achieving things that have never been done before, including unleashing perhaps the Greatest Economy in our Country's history…." Trump added.

He closed by writing, "....Democrat leadership is tearing the United States apart, but I will continue to set records for the American People – and Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!"

Pelosi, the speaker of the House, said she was praying for Trump after he "took a pass" on working with Democrats for infrastructure legislation.

Source: NewsMax

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NY Legislators OK Congressional Access to Trump Tax Returns

New York state lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow President Donald Trump's state tax returns to be released to Democrats in Congress.

The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo after final passage Wednesday in the Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly.

The bills don't target Trump by name but would allow the leaders of three congressional committees to access any New York returns filed by elected officials and top appointed officials.

A bill that originally passed the Senate would have allowed Congress to request any state taxpayer's returns. The measure was later narrowed, prompting the Senate to vote again Wednesday.

New York Republicans have denounced the legislation as a politically motivated attack on privacy.

The proposed changes to state law were made amid a battle going on in Washington over Trump's federal returns.

Source: NewsMax

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Trump vows no more legislation while under investigation…

President Donald Trump abruptly walked out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the White House on Wednesday, telling reporters moments later that he would not negotiate on legislation with Democrats while he was still under investigation by several committees.

Wednesday's meeting was supposed to be the second official sit-down between the president and Democratic congressional leadership specifically focused on infrastructure.

"I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, 'I want to do infrastructure' ... but we can't do it under these circumstances," Trump said at a last-minute Rose Garden event.

Trump's anger appears to have been sparked by comments Pelosi made earlier in the day when she said, "We believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up" by blocking White House aides from giving testimony and responding to document requests from ongoing congressional investigations.

"I don't do cover-ups," Trump insisted Wednesday.

According to a White House official who spoke to CNBC on condition of anonymity, the meeting in the Cabinet room lasted only about seven minutes. Trump effectively said to the visiting Democrats that he wanted to do infrastructure, "'but you're focused on investigating. When you're done we can talk. Meeting over,'" Trump said, and then he left, the official said.

"I knew the president was not serious about infrastructure and would find a way out," Pelosi said to her Democratic colleagues after Trump's exit, according to a Democratic aide who spoke to NBC News.

It appeared as though Trump's abrupt walkout had been planned in advance, given that the White House had prepared a sign to adorn the presidential lectern, and handouts that were given to reporters following the Rose Garden statement.

President Donald Trump discusses Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election in the Rose Garden at the White House May 22, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Speaking to journalists at the Capitol shortly afterward, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said there had been "high drama in the Cabinet room. We were all invited, Democratic leaders, for the follow-up meeting on infrastructure, everyone showed up, sat in their chairs, the president walked in the room and announced he was not going to go forward with the meeting, he was cancelling it."

Trump "objected to the continued investigation of obstruction of justice, he said he cooperated and gave his side of the story, as we've heard before," Durbin said, calling the outcome of the meeting, "a setback to our country's progress."

Following the president's remarks, Pelosi and Schumer held an impromptu event on Capitol Hill where Schumer said Trump's actions at the meeting "would make your jaw drop."

In late April, a similarly billed meeting proved to be an unexpected success, with both Trump and Democrats saying the two sides agreed that an infrastructure package would need to contain about $2 trillion in funding and investments.

Since then, however, there had been little additional clarity as to what the next steps forward might be, or where this money would come from.

"Let them finish up" their investigations, Trump said at the end of his remarks in the Rose Garden, "and we'll be all set."

Later in the day, Trump reiterated his position in a series of tweets, claiming, "You can't investigate and legislate simultaneously - it just doesn't work that way."

White House officials declined to say precisely which legislative efforts would be halted as long as Democrats continued their investigations, and which ones might proceed regardless of Trump's anger at the myriad probes underway into his administration. 

— CNBC's Eamon Javers contributed to this report.

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DNC Lags Far Behind RNC in Donations

The Democratic National Committee raised only $6.6 million in April, lagging well behind the Republican National Committee, which had $15.9 million in donations during the month, The Daily Caller reported Wednesday.

The numbers were even worse for the Democrats related to debt and cash on hand, with the DNC $6.2 million in debt and only with $7.6 million on hand, according to Red State.

The RNC, meanwhile, has no debt and $34.7 million cash on hand.

The situation is so dire for the DNC that while Republicans can expand their reach by offering all their candidates data for free, Democrats are charging $175,000 merely for access.

An RNC spokesman explained the significance, saying "Chairwoman [Ronna] McDaniel's fundraising allows the RNC to build the necessary infrastructure and permanent data-driven ground game to benefit Republicans up and down the ballot."

For the Democrats, the RNC spokesman said, "A cash-strapped DNC is in no position to offer their eventual nominee significant resources after they conclude their costly primary battle."

Source: NewsMax

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500 MILES BY END OF YEAR?

Trump has built less than 2 miles of new wall with $1.57 BILLION Congress handed him for this year but insists 'demolition and rebuilding' should count too

  • Letter to a federal judge from the House of Representatives' top lawyer spells out how little this year's congressional appropriation has bought
  • Trump claims he should get credit for replacing older walls that are ineffective
  • He promised Monday night that he would have 500 miles of wall built by next year, but so far it's just 1.7 miles
  • Nearly all the wall construction under contract  from the Army Corps of Engineers is for replacements where barriers already existed
  • Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday that 'close to 115 miles' have been builtbut a Fox News interviewer didn't askher if that was 'new' or 'replacement' barriers

The Trump administration has built less than 2 miles of new border barriers using the $1.57 billion Congress allocated to the project for the fiscal year that will end September 30, according to a letter filed Tuesday in federal court.

House of Representatives general counsel Douglas Letter made that revelation to Judge Haywood Gillam, citing information the administration provided to Congress about its efforts through the end of April. 

'Based on that updated information, it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding,' Letter wrote. 

President Donald Trump fired back Wednesday on Twitter, defending what he said has been 'a complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers with a brand new Wall and footings.'

'Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed,' he added.

President Donald Trump played defense on Wednesday after a lawyer for Congress told a federal judge that his administration has made little progress building a border wall despite getting $1.57 billion in funding for it this year

President Donald Trump played defense on Wednesday after a lawyer for Congress told a federal judge that his administration has made little progress building a border wall despite getting $1.57 billion in funding for it this year

On Tuesday the House of Representatives' general counsel told a judge that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 'has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing' with the $1.57 billion it received for the project in the fiscal year that ends September 30

On Tuesday the House of Representatives' general counsel told a judge that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 'has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing' with the $1.57 billion it received for the project in the fiscal year that ends September 30

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday on TV that the administrationwill have 500 miles of wall built by year's end and would be twice as far along if Democrats were helping instead of pushing back

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday on TV that the administrationwill have 500 miles of wall built by year's end and would be twice as far along if Democrats were helping instead of pushing back

'Also, tremendous work is being done on pure renovation – fixing existing Walls that are in bad condition and ineffective, and bringing them to a very high standard!' Trump concluded.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman told DailyMail.com in March that it had not erected any walls at all to protect previously unbarricaded sections of America's southern border. 

'The first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April,' CBP spokesman Roger Maier said at the time. He identified Hidalgo County as the construction project's location, a border zone along a meandering 50-mile stretch of the Rio Grande.

CBP said last year that it was 'designing and constructing approximately 25 miles of levee wall system' in that county, whose anchor is the the border city of McAllen.

Maier did not immediately respond to a question on Wednesday about whether the Hidalgo County project has proceeded. 

CBP wrote in March, after DailyMail.com reported Maier's comments, that it had 'built 38 miles of new border wall system in CA NM & TX—providing new capability by replacing ineffective infrastructure, like Normandy-style barriers designed only to stop vehicles, not people on foot.'

Trump blasted the 'haters' who point to a lack of action at the border, claiming that he should get credit for 'demolition and rebuilding' of ineffective border barriers

Trump blasted the 'haters' who point to a lack of action at the border, claiming that he should get credit for 'demolition and rebuilding' of ineffective border barriers 

Trump said Monday night during a rally in Pennsylvania that 'the wall is being built as we speak.'

'We'll have almost 500 miles of wall by the end of next year,' he boasted, inviting an audience member on stage who was wearing a suit made of brick wall-print fabric.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders upper the ante Wednesday morning, saying the administration will hit that landmark by the end of 2019 and that Letter cited 'an incorrect number.'

'I know that there have been – there's over 100 miles, I think it's close to 115 miles that have been finished,' she said on 'Fox & Friends.' 

'We feel comfortable and confident that we're on track to get right around 500 finished by the end of the year,' Sanders insisted.

Letter's letter doesn't address the possibility that the Trump administration has used money for wall-building other than the funds Congress appropriated for this year.

The president has rediirected billions of dollars to the project through a national emergency declaration, while claiming at the same time that the project has long been underway. 

Both houses of Congress voted to rescind that declaration with a resolution that the president vetoed in March.

Nearly all of the documented border wall construction the Trump administration has engaged in so far has consisted of replacing some existing barriers and reinforcing others with secondary fencing

Nearly all of the documented border wall construction the Trump administration has engaged in so far has consisted of replacing some existing barriers and reinforcing others with secondary fencing

Customs and Border Protection says it has replaced 'dilapidated' border barriers that consisted of Normandy-style vehicle barriers like these, shown in April 2018 between Santa Teresa, New Mexico and Ciudad Mexico

Customs and Border Protection says it has replaced 'dilapidated' border barriers that consisted of Normandy-style vehicle barriers like these, shown in April 2018 between Santa Teresa, New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

The administration has awarded contracts for just 244 miles of barriers so far, and more than half of the money required to pay for those projects is earmarked from emergency-declaration funds that court battles have, at least temporarily, put out of reach.

Of those 244 miles' worth of contracted walls, 230 would be replacements to barriers that existed when Trump became president in January 2017.

Judge Gillam presides over two separate lawsuits aimed at stopping Trump from using emergency-declaration money to fund construction that Congress has refused to pay for. 

California and 19 other states brought one suit. Plaintiffs in the other include the Sierra Club and the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Trump has boasted in the past that '[w]e have already built large new sections' during his time in the White House. 

But border barriers erected between the U.S. and Mexico since Inauguration Day 2017 have consisted almost exclusively of supplements to existing walls and replacements for outmoded or decreipt barriers. 

Maier said in March that CBP had 'constructed approximately 38 of 40 miles of wall in place of outdated designs,' using funds Congress appropriated for fiscal 2017. 

Those replacements are up in San Diego and El Centro, California; Santa Teresa, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas. 

'This barrier replaced dilapidated infrastructure, half of which was Normandy-style vehicle barrier,' he said.


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