Trump: Pelosi’s sub­poena ‘ar­row’ will meet le­gal shield

Trump de­fends ad high­light­ing crime by il­le­gal im­mi­grants

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY DAVE BOYER AND S.A. MILLER BY DAVE BOYER AND S.A. MILLER

Pres­i­dent Trump said Thurs­day that House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi’s threat to weaponize com­mit­tee sub­poena power if Democrats win Congress is il­le­gal and grounds for the ad­min­is­tra­tion to fight any sub­poena all the way to the Supreme Court.

“Pelosi says she’s go­ing to mech­a­nize the speak­er­ship and use it as a great ne­go­ti­a­tion with the pres­i­dent. That’s an il­le­gal state­ment,” Mr. Trump said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The Wash­ing­ton Times.

The pres­i­dent re­mained op­ti­mistic about Repub­li­cans re­tain­ing their House ma­jor­ity, but he fumed about Mrs. Pelosi’s sub­poena threat if Democrats pre­vail in the midterm elec­tions.

He said the threat begged a lengthy court bat­tle.

“That alone takes two years to get it to the Supreme Court — that state­ment — be­fore you do any­thing,” he said, be­com­ing an­i­mated with in­dig­na­tion. “You heard her the other night.”

Mrs. Pelosi made the re­mark last week at CNN’s cam­paign fo­rum.

“Sub­poena power is in­ter­est­ing, to use it or not to use it,” Mrs. Pelosi said in an in­ter­view with Dana Bash. “It’s a great ar­row to have in your quiver in terms of ne­go­ti­at­ing on other sub­jects.”

Mrs. Pelosi’s of­fice did not im­me­di­ately re­spond when The Times re­layed the pres­i­dent’s mes­sage.

Mr. Trump said he wasn’t wor­ried about get­ting im­peached by a Demo­crat-run House, al­though many on the left clamor for the move.

“They can play that game, but I can play that game also,” said Mr. Trump, adding that he hoped Democrats would rather get things done for the coun­try.

In an in­ter­view in the Oval Of­fice, Mr. Trump also told The Times:

State Depart­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert is “un­der strong con­sid­er­a­tion” to re­place Nikki Ha­ley as am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions:

“She’s a tal­ented per­son, with us a long time.”

He would au­tho­rize U.S. troops “in a heart­beat” to use force on the south­ern border to stop il­le­gal im­mi­grants:

“We are go­ing to con­trol the border. If we can do it in a nice way, that would be prefer­able, but re­gard­less we are go­ing to con­trol the border.”

Pres­i­dent Trump re­jected Democrats’ ac­cu­sa­tions Thurs­day that his lat­est cam­paign ad on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion is sim­i­lar to the racially tinged Wil­lie Hor­ton ad of a past pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, and said his team has more po­ten­tial ads high­light­ing bru­tal crimes by im­mi­grants.

“I don’t view it as the Wil­lie Hor­ton ad at all,” the pres­i­dent told The Wash­ing­ton Times in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view. “I think it’s just an ad where some­body is a bad guy, came in il­le­gally, twice, and we can’t do that.”

Democrats have at­tacked the ad as “des­per­a­tion” from Mr. Trump in the days lead­ing up to the cru­cial midterm elec­tions. It shows a twice-de­ported Mex­i­can im­mi­grant laugh­ing in court as he is sen­tenced in 2014 for killing two po­lice of­fi­cers, and it blames Democrats’ lax poli­cies on im­mi­gra­tion and border se­cu­rity for al­low­ing dan­ger­ous im­mi­grants to en­ter the coun­try

He doesn’t ex­pect to an­nounce a trade deal with China at the Group of 20 sum­mit this month, de­spite progress in talks:

“Even­tu­ally, we are go­ing to make a very rea­son­able deal with China. I can tell you they want to make it.”

He said he could “to­tally shut off” Iran and crip­ple its econ­omy with oil sanc­tions but is not ready to go that far:

“I don’t want to to­tally de­stroy their coun­try. I’m not look­ing to dou­ble the price of oil.”

He said Oprah Win­frey’s en­dorse­ment of the Demo­cratic can­di­date for gov­er­nor il­le­gally and prey upon U.S. cit­i­zens.

In the in­ter­view, Mr. Trump de­fended the ad posted on his Twit­ter feed fea­tur­ing Luis Bra­ca­montes, who lived in the U.S. il­le­gally. The ad also com­pares his case to the car­a­vans of mi­grants mov­ing to­ward the U.S. border from Cen­tral Amer­ica and blames Democrats for al­low­ing open bor­ders.

Democrats are livid about the ad, com­par­ing it to the “Wil­lie Hor­ton” ad that Repub­li­cans ran against Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Michael Dukakis in 1988. CNN ran ref­er­ences to the Trump ad dur­ing the day, call­ing it racist.

The ad on be­half of Repub­li­can Ge­orge H.W. Bush three decades ago cited the case of Hor­ton, a black man who was on a re­lease pro­gram from prison in Mas­sachusetts when he com­mit­ted a mur­der. Mr. Dukakis had been gov­er­nor at the time.

Mr. Trump agreed that his new ad is tough, “but cor­rect.”

“It’s well-re­ceived in some ways,” he said. “Some peo­ple think it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate ad; of Ge­or­gia won’t make a dif­fer­ence in the race:

“Oprah can go, and Obama can go. I don’t think it’s go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.”

The pres­i­dent spoke to The Times for nearly 30 min­utes, seated at the Res­o­lute Desk with White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Di­rec­tor Bill Shine.

He spoke at length about his fi­nal cam­paign blitz for Repub­li­cans as he fights the his­tor­i­cal trend of the party in power los­ing seats in the midterms.

Mr. Trump said en­dorse­ments usu­ally some peo­ple don’t like it. They [Democrats] let him in.”

The pres­i­dent noted that the ad also showed a mi­grant in one of the car­a­vans head­ing to the U.S. telling a re­porter he’s hop­ing for a par­don for mur­der.

“A lot of peo­ple like that in the car­a­van,” Mr. Trump said. “Per­haps he won’t get it.”

Mr. Trump said his cam­paign team has nu­mer­ous sim­i­lar video­tapes of im­mi­grants liv­ing in the U.S. il­le­gally who have com­mit­ted ma­jor crimes.

“We have a tremen­dous num­ber of bad tapes. This is just one of them,” he said.

Asked if there will be more such ads, Mr. Trump replied, “Maybe.”

“It adds to the [cam­paign] ar­gu­ment,” he said. “There shouldn’t even be an ar­gu­ment. You’ve got thou­sands of peo­ple pour­ing up. The only thing that’s my fault is I built a great econ­omy. They’re com­ing up for the great econ­omy. We want peo­ple to come in. We need work­ers for all these com­pa­nies mov­ing into our coun­try.” don’t make a dif­fer­ence but that he re­peat­edly has moved the nee­dle in key races by show­ing up and lead­ing one of his mas­sive ral­lies.

“My en­dorse­ments have meant a lot,” the pres­i­dent said.

The in­ter­view was held shortly be­fore Mr. Trump de­parted the White House on a cam­paign trip to Mis­souri for Se­nate can­di­date Josh Haw­ley. It was the sec­ond of 11 ral­lies he is hold­ing across the coun­try in a week­long sprint be­fore Elec­tion Day.

The pres­i­dent said he be­lieves his cam­paign ap­pear­ances and en­dorse­ments are boost­ing many Repub­li­can can­di­dates. He pointed to his rally in Hous­ton last week for Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Repub­li­can, who is in a tight race with Demo­cratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

“Since that time, you haven’t seen one story on Ted Cruz,” the pres­i­dent said. “That was the hot story two weeks ago.”

The ral­lies, which at­tract tens of thou­sands of die-hard sup­port­ers, could make the dif­fer­ence for Repub­li­cans, he said.

The pres­i­dent noted that a Ras­mussen Re­ports track­ing poll Thurs­day showed his job ap­proval rat­ing up to 50 per­cent.

“Even for me, it’s pretty amaz­ing,” Mr. Trump said.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, an­gered Pres­i­dent Trump when she said, “Sub­poena power is in­ter­est­ing, to use it or not to use it. It’s a great ar­row to have in your quiver in terms of ne­go­ti­at­ing on other sub­jects.”

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