Here's what's happening in the political world Saturday, June 16, 2018.
Trump lashes out at Democrats over family separations at border
-- President Trump lashed out at Democrats on Twitter Saturday morning, blaming lawmakers for a policy that has led to children of illegal immigrants crossing the border to be separated from their guardians.
"Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November," Trump tweeted. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!"
Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2018
Speaking on "Fox and Friends" Friday, Trump rejected a compromise brokered by GOP leaders that included a provision meant to stop family separations at the border.
"I'm looking at both of them. I have wouldn't sign the moderate bill. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that," Trump replied.
The White House later said Trump misunderstood the question and "fully supports" the two bills.
The DHS confirmed Friday that about 2,000 children had been separated from their guardians at the U.S.-Mexico border during a six-week period this year.
Ethics branch wants to expand investigation into EPA's Pruitt
-- The Office of Government Ethics has requested the EPA expand its investigation into Scott Pruitt to include "newly alleged conduct."
The agency says Pruitt may have "misused his position." Specifically, "recent reports raise additional questions regarding the Administrator's use of subordinates' time to search for housing and furniture for the Administrator," a letter signed by Office of Government Ethics acting Director David Apol read.
Pruitt is currently the subject of more than a dozen reviews of his ethics and spending while at the EPA.
Prosecutors obtain encrypted messages from Cohen's phone
-- Federal prosecutors have reportedly obtained a trove of encrypted messages stored on President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen's phones.
The Friday court filing detailed the messages, though not the specific content of them:
“The Government was advised that the FBI’s original electronic extraction of data from telephones did not capture content related to encrypted messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and Signal,” the government’s filing reads. “The FBI has now obtained this material. There are approximately 731 pages of messages, including call logs, which were also produced today.”
Prosecutors added they have completed the reconstruction of at least 16 pages of material recovered during raids from a shredding machine.
Cohen has not been charged with any crimes but is under federal investigation for potential criminal violations around personal business dealings.