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Friday, April 07, 2017

Is Trump outsourcing the killing of journalists?

by digby

Remember this?
In one notable exchange on Friday, Trump appeared to shrug off MSNBC host Joe Scarborough repeatedly telling him that Putin "kills journalists." Trump doubled down on his position on Sunday as ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos confronted him on the issue.

But Trump maintained at his Monday-night rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that it was a "good thing" for Putin to call him "very talented," among other things.

"He said, 'Trump is brilliant. He's great. He's a leader. He's the leader of the parties.' And he said nice things. ... All of a sudden I'm hearing things like, 'Oh, isn't it terrible that Putin is saying that,'" Trump recalled. "That's not terrible. That's good. That's like a good thing — not a bad thing."

Trump then turned to the allegations that Putin uses killings to intimidate his political opposition, including hostile reporters.

"They said he's killed reporters. And I don't like that. I'm totally against that. And by the way, I hate some of these people. But I would never kill them. I hate them," Trump joked as his supporters cheered and laughed in approval. "These people — honestly, I'll be honest, I'll be honest — I would never kill them. I would never do that."

The business mogul then defended Putin from the allegations, which he suggested were without merit. Trump also said that his critics haven't named any of Putin's alleged victims, though Stephanopoulos named one such journalist, Anatoly Belousov, during his interview with Trump.

"I would never kill them and anybody that does I think would be despicable," Trump said of reporters at his Monday rally. "They say, 'He killed reporters.' I said, 'Really? He says he didn't. Other people say he didn't. Who did he kill?' [They say,] 'Well, we don't know, but we hear that.' I said, 'Tell me, who did he kill!?'"

Trump added: "It would be so great if we could get Russia on our side, and other countries on our side, and knock the hell out of ISIS."

Donald Trump on reporters: 'I would never kill them'

The Republican front-runner -- who frequently lambasts the media as "scum" or "horrible" -- reassured reporters at rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday that he had no desire to execute the press who cover him. "I hate some of these people, I hate 'em," Trump told the crowd.

That's nice. But he never promised not to send foreign reporters back to be killed in their own country. A "rendition" if you will:
A Mexican journalist who was beaten by the country’s federal police for his reporting has been denied asylum in the United States as a result of Trump administration policy and faces deportation back to Mexico.

Martin Mendez Pineda, 25, is currently incarcerated in an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement holding facility in El Paso, Texas. Pineda met a U.S. lawyer at the El Paso border crossing on Feb. 5 and turned himself over to ICE seeking asylum. Pineda underwent a “credible fear” interview with Citizenship and Immigration Services who deemed his life would be in danger if he returned to Mexico, according to Pineda’s attorney, Carlos Spector.
Yet ICE denied Pineda parole, and instead of asylum he now waits for a court hearing where deportation proceedings will begin, Spector said.

An ICE official said the decision to deny Pineda parole was made “upstairs,” according to Spector, who took it as a code for officials in Washington. On Jan. 25, Trump signed an executive order that called for fewer people to be released into the United States after detention (the so-called “catch and release policy). A February memo from the Department of Homeland Security telling law enforcement how to carry out Trump’s order requires either ICE’s deputy or the deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol to personally sign off on nearly all decisions to grant parole to immigrants.

ICE told The Daily Beast in a statement that “parole determinations… are made on a case-by-case basis taking into account all aspects of the case, including safety considerations and any sensitivities involving the case.”

Pineda’s case was one of the apparent few to make it to officials in Washington, according to Spector.

“An ICE officer who I know personally told me that the decision went ‘upstairs’ to Washington,” Spector said. “So the folks in Washington had the letter from RSF asking for [Pineda] to be granted political asylum, and they had all the evidence of why Martin was in danger, and they still denied him.”
Click over to the original piece to see what he was reporting on.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that this was ordered by Sessions himself. He wants no Mexicans in this country at all. For any reason. And sending a reporter back to a certain death is a great way to send a message.