A shouting match erupted inside the White House between two of President Trump’s top advisers. While angry arguments are typical in the world of stressful, high-stakes White House decision-making, this one has true revelatory potential: It opens a window into two festering lies. The first is that immigration to the United States is fundamentally a malicious, destructive force that Americans should feel taken advantage of or menaced by. The second is that it can be dealt with primarily through “toughness.” Those lies feed each other: If immigration represents a zero-sum threat, in which migrants or their countries of origin are merely driven by a desire to prey on Americans and America, then a “tough” response will overwhelm that predatory motive. Respond “weakly” and you’re a sucker, a victim.
Bloomberg reports that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton got into a furious argument over immigration. Bolton sided with Trump, who has raged at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for failing to stop families trying to cross the border. Kelly defended her.
The New York Times adds this crucial detail: “The two men also differed over how aggressively to push Central American countries to do more to discourage their citizens from seeking refuge in the United States.”
Trump has been in a seething fury over a recent spike in migrant families trying to cross the border, and more specifically over a caravan of Central American migrant families moving towards the U.S.
National security leaders now fear that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on his way out — and that Donald Trump’s next Pentagon chief will be far more subservient to the presit’s unilateral whims.
Mattis was instrumental in pulling back on Trump’s vow to “carpet bomb” ISIS or pull troops from Afghanistan. He moderated the U.S. military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and openly opposed Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal. Mattis is widely expected to depart his post sometime after the November elections, according to multiple Pentagon and administration officials with knowledge of personnel discussions. And that’s fueling anxiety among officials of both parties who have viewed him for almost two years.
Mattis might be the most significant loss for the global interests of America. With the loss of Mattis as national security adviser, and Nikki Haley as the UN Ambassador , the future of America is uncertain and potentially in jeopardy!