Trump claims parents of Korean War veterans begged him for help during the campaign. They'd be at least 100.
In his interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier that aired Wednesday night, President Trump acknowledged that any deal with Kim Jong Un would have to include verification that North Korea was actually destroying its nuclear weapons and infrastructure, but he pointed to one concrete commitment Kim had made: returning the remains of Americans killed or captured during the Korean War. "We have thousands of people who have asked for that — thousands and thousands of people," Trump said. "So many people asked when I was on the campaign. I would say, 'Wait a minute, I don't have any relationship.' But they said, 'When you can, president, we'd love our son to be brought back home — you know, the remains."
Trump claims, preposterously, that parents of Korean War veterans came up to him during the 2016 campaign and said, "when you can, we'd love our son to be brought back home -- you know, the remains."
The Korean War ended in 1953. pic.twitter.com/f4HEHZ22YM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2018
Let's do the math. Say an American solider was 18 when he was sent to North Korea in the war's final year, 1953 — he would have been 80 in 2015; if his parents had given birth to him when they were 18, they would have been 98 in 2015. More realistically, the parents would have been well over 100.
"My grandfather was an Army captain during Korea, died in 2008 at age 80," Brian Beutler recounted. "His mother died 10 years earlier. She would be 122 this year." The Atlantic's James Fallows added: "My dad, who died 10 years ago, was a Navy doctor during the Korean War. His parents — the generation Trump is talking about — were born around 1900." Is it possible lots of centenarians approached Trump during the campaign, calling him "president," and asking him to talk to Kim about the MIA/POW remains? Yes, it is not impossible. But even if you are inclined to trust Trump, you'd probably want verification for this story. Peter Weber
Immigrant children being held in juvenile detention centers in Virginia say they were physically and verbally abused for years, an investigation by The Associated Press found on Thursday.
Children as young as 14 have filed claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton, Virginia, alleging that they were abused after being taken to the facility for crossing the border illegally as unaccompanied minors. Officials accused them of being involved in gangs like MS-13, but AP reports that the children were detained in high-security and often brutal conditions without ever being convicted of any crime. The center has held around 30 children at a time, between ages 12 and 17, since 2007.
The lawsuit alleges that the children were often beaten while handcuffed, left naked in concrete cells in solitary confinement for days, and were shackled to chairs with cloth bags over their heads. A child-development specialist who worked in the facility said the kids would often be bruised and even suffer broken bones, and developed severe psychological problems as a result of the abuse. Shenandoah officials denied all allegations of abuse or misconduct.
A 15-year-old from Mexico said he was handcuffed and put in a chair for punishment. "They took off all of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands and feet to the chair," he said. "They also put a strap across my chest. They left me naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night." He and other detainees recalled attempting suicide at several points during their time in Shenandoah. Read more at The Associated Press. Summer Meza
In a deep-red congressional district like Texas' 31st, Democrats would need a miracle to beat longtime Republican incumbents. The first ad from Air Force veteran and Purple Heart recipient MJ Hegar seems up to the challenge.
Hegar is running as a Democrat against incumbent GOP Rep. John Carter this fall, and she uses her life story to break the mold of a traditional campaign ad. The video is deeply personal, chronicling Hegar's childhood dreams of being a pilot, her harrowing three tours in Afghanistan, her fight against discrimination once she left the military, and all the doors she had to break down on the way. She even name-checks Carter — who apparently turned down a meeting with her during her anti-discrimination fight because she wasn't a donor.
Why am I running for Congress against a Tea Party Republican in Texas? It all started with a door: https://t.co/fuNyjLzIqM
— MJ Hegar for Texas (@mjhegar) June 20, 2018
It's an inspiring story, and Hegar's qualifications likely have Democrats thrilled. But the district, which covers northern Austin and its suburbs, is strongly Republican; the GOP has a 10-point advantage there, per The Cook Political Report. Still, the day Hegar's ad dropped, Cook shifted Texas' 31st District from "solid Republican" to "likely Republican" — and cracked the door a little bit wider for Hegar. Kathryn Krawczyk
MSNBC's Chris Hayes unrelentingly spars with GOP lawmaker over immigration, demands 'evidence' that migrants are 'posing' as families
MSNBC's Chris Hayes insisted that Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) cite his sources on Thursday when the lawmaker doubled-down on his unproven allegation that terrorists and cartel members are "posing as families … trying to cross our borders."
The tense exchange began after Hayes told Marshall, "we've interviewed mothers from Guatemala and Honduras whose sons have been killed by drug cartels who have fled 1,000 miles north risking everything. Are they a national security threat?" Marshall replied by citing a statistic also used frequently by the administration: That immigrants falsely posing as family members have tripled at the border (Marshall claims it's "quadrupled" in speaking with Hayes).
The data being cited, though, "reflects a period of less than two years, making it difficult to draw a meaningful historical comparison," writes The New York Times. "And the instances of fraud make up less than 1 percent of families apprehended at the border." That's part of why Hayes later interrupts to say: "You keep using the word 'posing' … you keep implying that these people are making up stories, that 5-year-olds have been coached, that they've been taken by traffickers. What I'm asking you is to present evidence that that is happening in any systemic way."
Watch the entire exchange, and Marshall's response, below. Jeva Lange
Koko, the western lowland gorilla who was taught sign language by Dr. Francine Patterson in the early 1970s, died this week in her sleep at the age of 46, the Gorilla Foundation said Thursday.
Koko famously appeared on the 1978 cover of National Geographic in a photo she took of herself in a mirror. Koko "revealed the depth and strength of a gorilla's emotional life," NPR writes, mourning her adopted kitten, Ball, when it was hit by a car in 1984. "Cat, cry, have-sorry, Koko-love," Koko had signed to Patterson in response to the question "What happened to Ball?" She reportedly knew some 1,000 signs, and 2,000 words of spoken English, the New York Post reports.
The Gorilla Foundation wrote that Koko's "impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world." Learn more about Koko in the documentary below. Jeva Lange
A food-ordering scandal is rocking Israel, and has resulted in charges against the prime minister's wife
The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu, has been charged with fraud and breach of public trust as part of a food-ordering scandal, The Jerusalem Post reports. The charges stem from a scheme that ran between September 2010 and March 2013, in which Sara Netanyahu and then-Prime Minister's Office Deputy Director-General Ezra Seidoff allegedly lied about employing a cook in order to "circumvent and exploit regulations that stated, 'in a case where a cook is not employed in the [prime minister's] official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed,'" the Post writes. Netanyahu is accused of having ordered more than $100,000 worth of meals while falsely claiming cooks were not on the staff.
There is some historical weight to the charges against Sara Netanyahu; former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin resigned in 1977 when his wife, Leah, was discovered to hold a U.S. dollar bank account, which at the time was illegal.
President Trump got his Time cover, but it probably isn't what he was hoping for.
Trump loves being on the cover of Time so much that he has a fake cover of himself hanging in at least four of his golf courses. The magazine's latest cover, though, is a striking condemnation of his recently revoked policy of separating children from their parents: "Welcome to America" is the only text on the cover other than Time itself.
Take a look at the powerful cover below, and see how New York City's tabloids tackled the same topic here. Jeva Lange
— TIME (@TIME) June 21, 2018
President Trump's supporters have a new chant, and it goes something like SPACE FORCE! SPACE FORCE! While certainly a marked improvement over "lock her up," even the Air Force and Defense secretaries have opposed the creation of the sixth branch of the armed forces, pointing out that space-related military missions already have a home under the Air Force's umbrella.
"We're re-opening NASA. We're going to be going to space," Trump says, though NASA has been open and going to space this whole time, and the crowd chants "SPACE FORCE SPACE FORCE," and it is 2018.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 21, 2018
Still, it does have a pretty cool ring, which Trump himself tested out by repeating "Space Force" thoughtfully back to the crowd. Watch the Space Force enthusiasm below. Jeva Lange
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 21, 2018