President Trump is facing massive protests in London today, where he’s meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May only hours after he criticized her handling of Brexit in an explosive interview with Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid The Sun.
President Donald Trump: “If they do a deal like that, it will most likely—because we’ll be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal with—if they do that, their trade deal with the U.S. is—will probably not be made. I did give Theresa, who I like—I did give her my views on what she should do and how she should negotiate. And she didn’t follow those views. I would—I would actually say she probably went the opposite way.”
Murdoch is a Trump supporter. During the interview, Trump also praised former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan, London’s first-ever Muslim mayor, one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in Europe. Massive protests are greeting President Trump during his two-day trip to Britain—including a 20-foot-long giant blimp depicting Trump as an angry orange baby wearing a diaper and clutching a cellphone, ready to tweet. We’ll go to Britain for more on Trump’s visit and the protests after headlines.
Trump’s trip to Britain comes after a contentious NATO summit in Brussels, after which Trump claimed, without evidence, that he’d convinced other NATO countries to dramatically increase their military spending.
President Donald Trump: “The people have stepped up today like they’ve never stepped up before. And remember the word $33 billion more they’re paying, and you’ll hear that from the secretary general in a little while. He thanked me, actually. He actually thanked me. And everybody in the room thanked me. There’s a great collegial spirit in that room that I don’t think they’ve had in many years.”
French President Emmanuel Macron refuted Trump’s claims, saying countries had not agreed to increase military spending beyond the 2 percent increase by 2024, a plan that had already been brokered under the Obama administration.
In immigration news, only 57 of the more than 100 children under the age of 5 whom immigration officials separated from their parents have been reunited, despite a Tuesday court-imposed deadline requiring all of these young children be reunited. On Thursday, the Trump administration said it could not reunite 46 children because their parents have been accused of crimes, because the children were not related to the people they were separated from, or, in at least a dozen cases, because U.S. immigration authorities had already deported their parents. In total, about 3,000 separated children are detained in facilities across the United States. A federal judge has ordered all separated children be reunited with their parents by July 26.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has announced a new asylum policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, which instructs immigration officers to immediately reject asylum seekers who say they are fleeing gangs or domestic violence. It also instructs immigration officers to consider whether asylum seekers crossed the border outside legal ports of entry and to weigh that against their asylum claims. Border Patrol agents have been stationed on the Mexico side of the bridges at legal ports of entry up and down the border, prohibiting asylum seekers from entering “legally,” forcing many to cross at unauthorized entry points.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, says a Mexican immigrant named Efrain De La Rosa has died by suicide while detained in Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. The for-profit detention center is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. De La Rosa is at least the eighth person to die in ICE custody so far this year.
Doctors Without Borders says over 600 people have drowned or disappeared while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in the last four weeks. This comes after Italy’s new right-wing government banned rescue boats from docking in Italy.
In Washington, D.C., it was 10 hours of fireworks in Congress as FBI agent Peter Strzok faced off with House Republican lawmakers Thursday during a hearing convened by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Peter Strzok oversaw the opening of the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election. He also briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. He was removed from this team after the release of a series of personal text messages he had exchanged with a senior FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair, in which Strzok expressed his personal opposition to Trump. This is Strzok responding to Republican lawmakers questioning him about one of the messages.
Peter Strzok: “That was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero. And my presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. It was, in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process.”
Ireland is slated to become the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels, after the lower house of Parliament voted to require the government to divest its $10 billion investment fund from coal, oil and gas. 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted, “Ireland’s decision to divest from fossil fuels staggers me. It’s one of the landmark moments in what has become the largest campaign of its kind in history. Such thanks to all who fought.”
The Justice Department has reopened the investigation into the brutal 1955 murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American boy whose killing in Money, Mississippi, 63 years ago remains one of the most horrific examples of racial terror in the Jim Crow South. Till was abducted, beaten and shot after a white female store clerk named Carolyn Bryant initially claimed Till wolf-whistled at her, though she has since recanted this claim. After Bryant made the false accusation, Till was kidnapped from his uncle’s farm on August 28, 1955. His corpse was found three days later in the Tallahatchie River with a bullet hole in his head, barbed wire wrapped around his neck and a cotton-gin fan weighing down his body. Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, held an open-casket funeral for her son in Chicago, and the published images of his brutalized body galvanized the civil rights movement. Store clerk Carolyn Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were tried and acquitted for Till’s murder by an all-white, all-male jury that fall. The two later confessed to the murder but have since died.
And Carlos Russell, one of the major figures in the black liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s, has died. He was a Panamanian-born educator who was one of the co-founders of Black Solidarity Day. He also served as Panama's ambassador to the United Nations. Carlos Russell died Tuesday night at Maimonides hospital here in New York City.