Utilizing the National Guard to Deport Investigate, Identify, Apprehend, Arrest, and Detain Undocumented Immigrants

[Correction to title: it’s been pointed out that the National Guard will not necessarily be empowered to actually deport individuals; they can only have “authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain and conduct searches”. The actual deportation (transportation to port or border) would presumably be undertaken by other agencies. MDC 2/18 10:51AM Pacific]

What are the fiscal and economic implications?

From Associated Press:

The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

Staffers in the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal had been discussed as recently as last Friday.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

The non-classified memo is here. Should that document disappear, here is another copy. The relevant text is here:

From NYT today:

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Friday morning that the report by The A.P. was “100 percent not true.”

“It is false,” he said. “It is irresponsible to be saying this.”

He told reporters traveling with the president to an event in South Carolina that “there is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.” He added that “I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.”

An A.P. reporter noted that the news service asked for comment multiple times before the article was published.

I have not been able to obtain cost estimates, which surely depend on the duration of mobilization, and the nature of operations that will be conducted by the National Guard units. I will add cost estimates as they become available.

For discussion of costs of deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, see this post.

Update, 2:30pm: WaPo delves into why the states designated in the memo don’t match up with undocumented immigrants:

Update, 2/18 1:30PM Pacific: Who is left at NSC to fire? From Politico:

The White House abruptly dismissed a senior National Security Council aide on Friday after receiving reports that he had publicly laced into the president and his senior aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump at an event hosted by a Washington think tank.

The aide, Craig Deare, was serving as the NSC’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Earlier in the week, at a private, off-the-record roundtable hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center for a group of about two dozen scholars, Deare harshly criticized the president and his chief strategist Steve Bannon and railed against the dysfunction paralyzing the Trump White House, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Deare was a political appointee who came to the NSC after Trump’s inauguration from National Defense University, where he had served as the dean of administration.

Wow. Just wow. To paraphrase… no one expects the NKVD.

Update, 2/19 3:45PM Pacific: A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates, NYT

67 thoughts on “Utilizing the National Guard to Deport Investigate, Identify, Apprehend, Arrest, and Detain Undocumented Immigrants

  1. Erik Poole

    As far as I can determine from this distant perch, the biggest near-term cost of Trump’s immigration policies could be felt in the US agricultural sector that remains dependent on illegal workers and those guest workers with a H-2A visa.

    1. PeakTrader

      Why not pay domestic workers above their reservation wages to attract them to agricultural jobs?

      I wouldn’t mind paying an extra five cents for a tomato, if it puts idle teens and other idle domestic unskilled labor back to work.

      There are plenty of teens playing video games all day and poor inner city folks who have nothing to do.

      1. Robj

        Maybe you would pick tomatoes for, let’s say, $15/hour as a skilled picker, rather than posting in that spare time when you have nothing to do?

    2. PeakTrader

      For example, lots of prime Oakland real estate is being used for low income housing. The middle class moved to the suburbs, where it’s a lot hotter in the summer, in part, because of the crime. Developers won’t turn Oakland into a great city, because there are too many poor people.

      Oakland needs to take away the low income housing and the state should provide low income housing in the Central Valley, where it’s much cheaper and hotter. The poor people could find jobs and work in the agricultural economy. Without illegal immigrants, they may make $15 an hour.

      1. Sherparick

        Um, isn’t this “state intervention?” Where is the “freedom?” Also, I don’t know how much you know about gardening and agriculture, but these are manual skills, usually learned while living in the country on farms or working on farms. There is also a physical endurance factor if people are not use to this type of labor. You discover sore and painful muscles and joints that you did not know you had. Most urban and suburban poor and lower middle income people in the machine intensive U.S. society do not have those skills and would take a long time to build the endurance.

        You know Peak, the work gang in “Cool Hand Luke” was not seen as the model of way surplus labor should be put to work at the time it was made, no matter your admiration for it.

        1. PeakTrader

          Sherparick, so, you believe people have “freedom” in low income housing in Oakland, but wouldn’t have it in low income housing in the Central Valley?

          I wonder how all those “poor and lower income people” ever made it through boot camp after joining the military, since you believe Americans do not have “skills” in manual or physical labor.

          An agriculture economy consists of much more than picking crops. There are many more physical and dangerous jobs that Americans manage to perform in non-agricultural jobs. If anyone felt they were working in a chain gang, and paid accordingly, they’d quit.

          I don’t know why you want poor people to be lazy obese couch potatoes collecting welfare.

  2. Rob

    Obama deployed National Guard troops in 2010 to help deport illegals rushing across the border. You skinning the wrong cat…….with your fake outrage.

    This AP story is the stuff of CNN VERY Fake news. Nowhere in the memo does it say 100,000 troops, nowhere in the AP story does it say Trump even saw this “memo”. Keep up the good work — you’re turning what used to be a good Econ blog into a fake news site for all the left-wing haters …… like you.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rob aka anon2: Nowhere in my post is there any criticism of the proposal (which I am glad you do not dispute as being real). You are a touchy one…

      1,200 National Guard troops deployed by President Obama is a lot different than 100,000, which is nearly one-third of total Army National Guard troops. 100,000 is presumably the number of national guard troops accounted for by the eleven states.

  3. Joseph

    Every one is mistaken. There are alternate facts. The document that you can see with your own two eyes does not exist, according to Sean Spicer.

  4. Ray LaPan-Love


    I have known and worked with hundreds of illegal workers over a long period of time, and even lived under the same roof with a few. One of the first jobs I ever had was that of building fences on a ranch in a remote part of New Mexico back in the early 1970s, and I spent several months living in the wilderness with 3 young men who were my ‘crew’, and each of them was here illegally.

    Anyway, I’ve lived in the Southwest most of my life, and I speak Spanish (sort of), and I just happened to have worked in a wide range of occupations which nearly always involved illegal workers. So, my “perch” is somewhat the opposite of “distant”. And if could share one little bit of knowledge about the strain of illegal immigrants that I’m familiar with… it is that the common stereotype is not very accurate.

    Yes, a good many of the illegal workers are employed ‘sometimes’ in agricultural jobs, but of course most of that work is seasonal. So, I would guess that more than half of the work done ‘now’ by illegal workers is not agricultural. What has happened over time is that they have created nearly complete communities which include mechanics who commonly have their own shops (auto, stereo, tires), welders, mine workers, accountants, heavy equipment operators, A/C and heater repair business, all types of restaurant and hotel employees, small businesses of just about every type, they sell insurance, and so on; I even know one illegal immigrant who is a lawyer.

    And they all seem to do quite a lot of scavenging, bartering, pilfering, and all things to keep from spending any more than necessary. For example, it would be very unusual for any of them to call a repairman from outside of their circle of acquaintances, for any reason. In fact, I use their services this way too because of course it is cheaper, and someone within their community can fix just about anything, and usually with salvaged parts (they buy salvage cars and refurbish and/or repair these, the flood-damaged Katrina cars for example). They also have access to an extensive array of items that can usually be found with a phone call or two. I can’t say with certainty that these items are always stolen, but I can assure you that no sales taxes are included, lol.

    They are mostly good people though who look out for each other, and who are nearly always connected to a vast network of friends. But, not often the ‘migrant workers’ that the stereotyping suggests.

    1. PeakTrader

      Ray LaPan-Love, have you noticed illegal immigrants work for cash?

      I’ve paid illegal Hispanics in cash for yard work.

      Also, a friend makes easels for flower shops in San Francisco. He told me all the Asian flower shops in Chinatown pay him in cash.

      1. Ray LaPan-Love


        Yea, cash is always the preferred reward, and many illegal immigrants wait at designated places for day work, and that is nearly always cash. Plus, some businesses that do a lot of cash business pay in cash, but most full-time work is done on the books for the write-off, naturally. Notably too, if ICE were to ever get serious about deportation the largest employers would be easy to detect via the long list of employees who have submitted false SS numbers. Currently though, employers are merely notified by mail that the submitted SS numbers don’t match the names given. But of course the Guv could send ICE agents instead of letters, and employers could be charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, and if this were to be done, employers would stop hiring illegal immigrants. Naturally though, the Guv is not really serious and Trump has already softened his rhetoric considerably. Now…he talks about removing just the criminals instead of the tougher talk from the campaign.

        Getting back to the ‘cash issues, most, if not all of the chain-banks are now charging a fee for cashing the checks of THEIR customers, and I suspect that this has at least a little something to do with how many workers don’t have checking accounts (some illegals do have checking accounts though), or the time to wait for a check to clear. But they nearly all use cash for nearly all of their purchases and etc. Much like Americans did 50 years ago and beyond.

  5. 2slugbaits

    Two things about the memo struck me as strange. First, apparently the WH wants us to believe that the memo was only something that came out of a brainstorming sessions. Then why didn’t it contain the “DRAFT” watermark that is supposed to be on all government memoranda until a final version is approved? Do these folks not understand how things are supposed to work in government? Do they not keep track of each document’s history? Is this another rookie mistake?

    The second thing I noticed is that the memorandum does not estimate a cost or provide funding for this little adventure. Rule #1 in government: if you issue a directive you must cite a way to fund it. Ever hear of the Anti-Deficiency Act? Mobilizing 100,000 NG troops is a pretty expensive proposition. It takes people away from their jobs and someone has to foot the bill. It also consumes NG resources that go along with every deployment. Another rookie mistake?

    1. Ray LaPan-Love

      The memo is most likely just a bluff. Many of the illegals will repatriate voluntarily if they are just threatened with the inconveniences of deportation.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I doubt this is true.

        Illegal crossings are in effect a black market problem. Black markets, whether in drugs, alcohol or labor, tend to persist because the price (wage) arbitrage does as well. The gangster era in the US did not come to an end because law enforcement beat the whiskey runners, but because Prohibition was repealed. That’s the model for success here, too.

        I may well do a piece on this for CNBC.

        1. PeakTrader

          Steven, violent crime didn’t increase during prohibition:

          Actually, Prohibition Was a Success
          New York Times
          October 16, 1989

          “What everyone ”knows” about Prohibition is that it was a failure. It did not eliminate drinking; it did create a black market. That in turn spawned criminal syndicates and random violence. Corruption and widespread disrespect for law were incubated and, most tellingly, Prohibition was repealed only 14 years after it was enshrined in the Constitution.

          But the conventional view of Prohibition is not supported by the facts.

          First, the regime created in 1919 by the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, which charged the Treasury Department with enforcement of the new restrictions, was far from all-embracing. The amendment prohibited the commercial manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages; it did not prohibit use, nor production for one’s own consumption. Moreover, the provisions did not take effect until a year after passage -plenty of time for people to stockpile supplies.

          Second, alcohol consumption declined dramatically during Prohibition. Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.

          Arrests for public drunkennness and disorderly conduct declined 50 percent between 1916 and 1922. For the population as a whole, the best estimates are that consumption of alcohol declined by 30 percent to 50 percent.

          Third, violent crime did not increase dramatically during Prohibition. Homicide rates rose dramatically from 1900 to 1910 but remained roughly constant during Prohibition’s 14 year rule. Organized crime may have become more visible and lurid during Prohibition, but it existed before and after.

          Fourth, following the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased. Today, alcohol is estimated to be the cause of more than 23,000 motor vehicle deaths and is implicated in more than half of the nation’s 20,000 homicides. In contrast, drugs have not yet been persuasively linked to highway fatalities and are believed to account for 10 percent to 20 percent of homicides.”

          1. Ray LaPan-Love

            Yes, but that does not mean that a very convincing ‘fake news’ piece might not be based on the ‘perception’ of crime caused by Prohibition, lol. You may be focusing too much on what is true.

  6. Rick Stryker

    I watched Trump’s epic press conference the other day in which he lambasted the press for all its #FakeNews and what do I see upon opening econbrowser–more #FakeNews, confirming Trump’s point yet again.

    Let’s look at the excerpt from the AP report and ask ourselves whether there is any evidence that the main points, which I’ve bolded, are in fact true:

    “The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

    Staffers in the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal had been discussed as recently as last Friday.

    The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

    So, the Trump Administration is considering whether to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants in an unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement, from Portland to New Orleans.

    The AP would have us believe that the Trump Administration is plotting to have as many as 100,000 American soldiers in military uniforms with military weapons going house to house, kicking doors in, demanding to see people’s papers, and ordering crying women to shut up their crying babies? And the AP knows this, how? From the leaked memo? The leaked memo provides no evidence for this and in fact contradicts much of this #FakeNews.

    Let’s break down all the AP’s prevarications.

    First, the Trump Administration can’t “mobilize” the National Guard and the memo makes clear there is no intention to do this. A Presidential Administration can only mobilize the national guard, i.e., put them under federal control, under very restricted circumstances and they can’t be used to enforce federal law (Posse Comitatus Act) except again under very restrictive circumstances. Instead, the proposal in the memo was to use some components of the National Guard under 287(g) agreements, which is a Clinton-era law. These are voluntary agreements requiring the consent of state governors. There is no federal mobilization.

    Second, there is no intention of using “100,000 national guardsman.” 100,000 is nowhere mentioned in the memo, having been made up by the AP. 287(g) agreements allow local law enforcement personnel, with the proper training, to help enforce federal immigration law. This proposal was aimed primarily at military police in the National Guard, who are state rather than federal law enforcement officials. This is a small group, certainly not 100,000.

    Third, these military police are not “rounding up” people and there is no “unprecedented militarization.” In a 287(g) agreement, local law enforcement personnel must complete 4 weeks of training on how to access INS databases, details of federal immigration law, etc. and must operate under the supervision of federal INS officers. The 287(g) agreement with the state determines the scope of the local law enforcement personnel’s enforcement activities. That scope will not include soldiers in uniform kicking in people’s doors.

    Finally, so that the AP’s dishonesty is crystal clear, note that the reference to militarized enforcement from Portland Oregon to New Orleans is no longer in the linked AP report. The AP removed those city references without telling their readers, no doubt because they are brazenly made up.

    Every assertion the AP made is false. Trump is right again. #FakeNews sums up the activities of the progressive, opposition party known as the mainstream media. But we need more descriptors. How should we describe a progressive economist’s promise in his blog to provide estimates based on #FakeNews as we saw above?

    Why #FakeEstimates of course!

    1. 2slugbaits

      Rick Stryker This proposal was aimed primarily at military police in the National Guard, who are state rather than federal law enforcement officials. This is a small group, certainly not 100,000.

      Correct. There’s nothing like 100,000 NG soldiers with a “31B” MOS. However, that can be changed with the stroke of a pen (actually, a few strokes of the keyboard) as was done immediately after 9/11. Tens of thousands of NG soldiers with various MOS’s (truck driver, mechanic, logistician, etc.) were reassigned as MPs.

      I will say that there’s something fishy about the memorandum. It doesn’t read like any internal directive that you typically see in government. And it ain’t even close to the kind of thing supposedly written for a retired general officer’s signature who is now a department head. It reads like a trial balloon that was intended to be “leaked” for political reasons rather than an actual well thought policy statement. It’s certainly easy enough to see why Kelly would like to see this kind of thing fall stillborn.

      1. Rick Stryker


        Yes, it is possible that some national guardsman could be reassigned as MPs so that the number would have been larger. It’s also possible that the Administration planned to use only a fraction of the existing National Guard MPs. We don’t know. And that’s my point. The AP doesn’t know either. They just made up that 100,000 number.

        I agree that the memo is fishy. It doesn’t look legitimate really, which should have given the AP some pause in relying on it as they did. One possibility is that it’s a #FakeMemo put out as leakbait. The way that works is you send out a fake memo to a number of your leak suspects. The memo should be an enticing leak and long enough that it is possible to change one word in each copy given out. When the memo is leaked, you’ve caught your leaker.

        I suspect this is what the Administration did. A memo like that would be expected to create #FakeNews stories in the mainstream press and Trump could say “I told you so.” And they can also catch the leaker.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Rick Stryker: It is notable for an Administration that denies everything including things that are demonstrably true (size of crowds, e.g.), no one has denied the fact that this document was generated in DHS.

          1. Rick Stryker

            Don’t see your point. If the memo is leakbate, it has to have been produced in DHS to catch the leaker. But it would still be illegitimate.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Rick Stryker: Well, wouldn’t the Administration then say, this was a deliberate attempt to catch a leaker?

            By the way, I think “leakbait” would be the right word. Google “leakbate” and you get something I don’t think you want to reference. Or maybe you do?

    2. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: I think you’re using hyperbolic language and attributing to AP so you can say AP “lied”. But everything is correct; mobilize means “marshal, deploy, muster, rally,…” I don’t see anything saying the NG would be Federalized.

      On the other hand, consider this quote: “You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

      Are you seriously trying to make an equivalency between what you interpret as implied in the AP article, and out and out lies that the President is making (I’m not even bringing up the electoral vote wins the President mentioned on Friday, or are those “correct” in your book — but since you believed and fought for 500,000 new jobs/mo as being typical during a recovery, well maybe you do think they are correct).

      Last question — how much does Russian intelligence pay you to troll?

      1. Rick Stryker


        But that’s not my hyperbolic language. I was careful to quote the AP report, bolding their words, not mine. It is the AP who used incendiary terms such as “mobilize,” “100,000,” “round up,” and “unprecedented militarization.” I showed that their hyperbolic #FakeNews story was contradicted point by point by the leaked memo they cited.

        “Mobilize” in the context the AP used the term means exactly what I said it means. See these definitions to clear up your confusion.

        How funny that just after continuing to defend the AP’s #FakeNews story you follow up with a new #FakeNews story: the allegation by the opposition party press that Trump lied when he referred to Sweden in his Florida speech when he said “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

        No Trump didn’t lie. Most people in his audience knew exactly what he was talking about. In his speech on Saturday he was referring to the previous night’s interview on Fox that Tucker Carlson did with documentary filmaker Ami Horowitz. The discussion in that show was about Horowitz’s documentary “Stockholm Syndrome,” which claims that rape and other violent crimes have been aggravated by its immigration policies. I saw that interview and knew what Trump was talking about. You didn’t realize that because you get your news from the #FakeNewspapers.

        Menzie, you and your fellow progressives will continue to get Trump wrong until you recognize a painful reality. Trump is smarter than all of you and he knows more. That’s why he beat Hillary Clinton. When you challenge his knowledge or facts you are going to end up being embarrassed.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Rick Stryker: Here is your text:

          The AP would have us believe that the Trump Administration is plotting to have as many as 100,000 American soldiers in military uniforms with military weapons going house to house, kicking doors in, demanding to see people’s papers, and ordering crying women to shut up their crying babies? And the AP knows this, how? From the leaked memo? The leaked memo provides no evidence for this and in fact contradicts much of this #FakeNews.

          “As many as 100,000”. Is this wrong? If one adds up all national guard members in the 11 designated states, what number do you end up with?
          There is nothing about “kicking in doors” in the memo. But if you read the memo you will see the words “investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, and detain”

          Me embarrassed? This coming from the guy who claimed 500,000 new jobs/mo was typical in a recession, and who claimed there was a disinformation campaign aimed at showing the Trump inaugural crowd was smaller than it actually was?

          1. Rick Stryker


            Those were the images the AP intended to conjure up in people’s minds when they used loaded terms such as “mobilize,” “100,000,” “round up,” and “unprecedented militarization.” The hyperbole came from the AP.

            I’ve already pointed out that 100,000 is wrong. There is nothing in that memo to support the claim that the Trump Administration was considering mobilizing the theoretical maximum. Moreover, since we know they did intend to use 287(g) agreements that require the consent and cooperation of state governors and that are aimed at law enforcement personnel, we have every reason to believe that the intended to use only a fraction of the theoretical maximum. The AP wanted to quote the largest number possible in their #FakeNews story because they wanted to alarm people.

            Your last 2 charges are just rehashed #FakeNews. I never claimed that 500K was typical in a recovery as you well know. And I didn’t say there was a disinformation campaign. However, I do continue to think that the news media, acting as an opposition party, put out photos designed to create the impression that Trump’s crowd was subpar. I’ve already acknowledged that Obama’s crowds were larger for the reasons I suggested. But an objective media would have used the crowd-counting services (that use satellites, etc. ) before it made any claims about Trump’s crowd and it would have compared to previous inaugural crowds. An objective media would have noted that the size of a crowd is not necessarily and indication of widespread report.

            Tweeting that picture was just designed to undermine Trump. It’s just what the DNC would have done if it had a newspaper.

      2. CoRev

        Menzie, it’s clea Rick has hit a nerve when you are left with: “Last question — how much does Russian intelligence pay you to troll?” and claim: “But everything is correct; … I don’t see anything saying the NG would be Federalized.”

        Desperation is evident in the use of a false draft memo as valid news, and then the need to repeat it on a blog(s).

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          CoRev: 1. I’ve asked Rick twice, he’s never denied. Maybe you should let him respond. 2. Where are the words “draft” on the document. Even if it is draft, then we should want to know (and if the Administration ever says it was a “draft” memo, I’d be glad to amend the post; but so far, Mr. Spicer has only said that the assertion that national guard units would be involved is 100% false).

  7. Ray LaPan-Love

    From the WaPo this Sunday morning:

    “Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.”
    “In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.”

  8. dilbert dogbert

    A thought popped into the pea brain. Using the NG’s from the border states would mean lots of Hispanics would be in the force. I wonder if they would be enthusiastic about their duties.

  9. bean

    Some has to explain to me why this isn’t a violation of https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1385. If the federal government pays for activated National Guard troops, how are they still operating under USC title 32 authority? If the National Guard conducts law enforcement under Federal authority isn’t that a violation of the Posse Comitatus act [above].

    1. Rick Stryker


      I made that point in my comment above. The AP story can’t be right since mobilizing that national guard and using them to enforce federal immigration law is a violation of the posse comitatus act. That’s not a problem under a 287(g) agreement since the national guard is not mobilized.

  10. Joseph

    Ha, ha, ha. Rick Stryker on his “fake news” crusade again defending Trump. And as usual making a fool of himself. Note that the very document that Rick Stryker is so carefully (and wrongly) parsing is a document that Trump sent out his press secretary to declare doesn’t exist.

    Most recently he made a fool of himself defending Trump’s “fake news” claims about the size of his inauguration crowd. I don’t think Rick can ever live down that embarrassment.

    1. Rick Stryker


      If the memo is fake, doesn’t that mean the AP has produced an even worse #FakeNews story? The AP relied on this leaked memo to produce their story, and, as I showed, the memo contradicts everything they say. This is even funnier if they based their #FakeNews story on a #FakeMemo.

  11. Sherparick

    Trump sends a thrill up “Rick Stryker’ Libertarian (for rich white people)/authoritarian (for all the Black and Brown people)’s troll leg. Don’t go out in the sunlight Rick, you may turn to stone.

    1. Rick Stryker

      Can you rebut one point I’ve made? That AP story is false in all essential respects. If you had an answer, you wouldn’t be throwing out your ad hominems.

  12. Joseph

    Trump: “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

    In case you were wondering what “incident” happened in Sweden last night, Trump clarified today. He had viewed a segment on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News which included a right-wing nut claiming the Swedish government is covering up rape crimes in order to protect vulnerable migrants.

    So that’s how the president it making policy now. He listens to Fox News and Tucker Carlson and then goes and makes a speech repeating what he just heard on Fox News. He has time for Tucker Carlson, but doesn’t have time for the daily security briefing.

    The report is that Trump will not schedule any meeting before 9AM. He has to watch all the morning talk shows, especially Morning Joe Scarborough. And then he has to quit promptly at 6:30 PM so he can spend all evening and into the early morning hours watching what the news channels say about him. Around 3AM he goes into twitter attack mode, calling any negative report “fake news.”

    Seriously, this man is not mentally well. This is no way to run a country.

    1. Rick Stryker

      No, Trump didn’t clarify his remarks about Sweden. His remarks were clear to his supporters and they were clear to me in particular, since I saw the Tucker Carlson interview as well.

      Trump is rather demonstrating his point again. The mainstream media outlets had been putting out the #FakeNews story that Trump lied about a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened. Trump busted them on it. Now the mainstream media, to hide their incompetence, is saying that he “clarified his remarks.” But it’s just journalism 101 to do an investigation before you run with the story that the President lied about a key fact. A very basic investigation would have revealed that Trump was talking about the Tucker Carlson interview. But the media didn’t bother to do that basic investigation.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Rick Stryker His remarks were clear to his supporters and they were clear to me in particular, since I saw the Tucker Carlson interview as well.

        First, you have my sympathies that someone forced you to watch Tucker Carlson. Were you being held hostage? As Trump would say, “SAD.” With that out of the way, don’t you think it’s a bit strange that Trump is still only speaking in dog whistles to his supporters? That was one thing when he was “candidate Trump,” but he’s President now and he’s supposed to speak to all Americans.

        It’s weird how you don’t have any problems piling onto the AP because in your mind their story didn’t dot every “it” or cross every “t.” But when Trump tells something that is flat out wrong, then you are ever at the ready to explain away Trump’s goofs. Now you’re probably right that he was referring to something about the high crime rate for immigrants in Sweden. But that’s not what Trump said. He specifically and pointedly referred to an incident in Sweden that supposedly happened the previous night. That’s a very specific claim. Some of us have better things to do with our lives than watch Fox Noise 24/7, so I think we can be forgiven for wondering what in the hell Trump was talking about.

        But let’s take Trump at his (revised) word and agree that he was thinking about the Tucker Carlson show. What does this tell us about Trump? For one thing it tells us that this man watches entirely too much television. What? He can’t find “Big Bang Theory” reruns on the local cable? Who knows, maybe “Penny” could be trophy wife #4 after he dumps trophy wife #3. This episode also tells us that Trump is actually a very old man with a failing memory. Yet more evidence that he’s got a screw loose. Not right in the head. No wonder so many general officers are quietly agonizing over the possibility that they might have to “disobey an illegal order” (translation: stage a “silent coup”).

    2. PeakTrader

      Trump knows the mainstream broadcast and print media is pro-Democrat and anti-Republican. Trump wants an honest and moderate mainstream media. It would certainly benefit him in 2020, unlike against Hillary, which Wikileaks helped expose.

      1. baffling

        i guess the juggernaut that is faux news does not count in your description of mainstream broadcast news. you believe faux news is an honest and moderate media source? what a joke your comments are peak.

    3. Jeffrey J. Brown

      Excellent speech by Bret Stephens, with the WSJ:



      think it’s important not to dismiss the president’s reply simply as dumb. We ought to assume that it’s darkly brilliant — if not in intention than certainly in effect. The president is responding to a claim of fact not by denying the fact, but by denying the claim that facts are supposed to have on an argument.
      He isn’t telling O’Reilly that he’s got his facts wrong. He’s saying that, as far as he is concerned, facts, as most people understand the term, don’t matter: That they are indistinguishable from, and interchangeable with, opinion; and that statements of fact needn’t have any purchase against a man who is either sufficiently powerful to ignore them or sufficiently shameless to deny them — or, in his case, both.

      If some of you in this room are students of political philosophy, you know where this argument originates. This is a version of Thrasymachus’s argument in Plato’s Republic that justice is the advantage of the stronger and that injustice “if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice.”

      Substitute the words “truth” and “falsehood” for “justice” and “injustice,” and there you have the Trumpian view of the world. If I had to sum it up in a single sentence, it would be this: Truth is what you can get away with.

      If you can sell condos by claiming your building is 90% occupied when it’s only 20% occupied, well, then—it’s 90% occupied. If you can convince a sufficient number of people that you really did win the popular vote, or that your inauguration crowds were the biggest—well then, what do the statistical data and aerial photographs matter?

      1. Jeffrey J. Brown

        Note that first sentence of the Stephens’ excerpt should read as follows:

        “I think it’s important not to dismiss the president’s reply simply as dumb.”

        In any case, I am reminded of the stream of anti-Obama missives that I received from Oil Patch guys in West Texas in years past.

        I observed that about 90% of said missives tended to be completely false. About 9% were a mixture of falsehoods, with some truth. Maybe 1% were factually correct. It seemed to me that the issue was not whether the stories were actually true or not, but from their point of view, it seemed to the senders that the stories should be true. And of course, this is Trump’s base.

  13. CoRev

    Joseph et al: “In case you were wondering what “incident” happened in Sweden last night, Trump clarified today. He had viewed a segment on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News which included a right-wing nut claiming the Swedish government is covering up rape crimes in order to protect vulnerable migrants.”

    This common perception is prevalent in a ?sub?set of Swedish society. Its pretty similar to the hatred shown to our current president in a SUBset of our own society.

    Please read more, and talk to residents of other countries to learn. Maybe next time election results won’t be so surprising.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: So, I cannot understand what you are getting at. Are you saying that because at some indeterminate time in the past, there has been allegation of some crimes, that were reported on the night before the President spoke, that that makes it all okay for the President to cite the existence of a specifically time-dated non-existent event? My mind reels, even considering the nature of your previous comments on this blog.

  14. Joseph

    Rick Stryker: “If the memo is fake, doesn’t that mean the AP has produced an even worse #FakeNews story?”

    Rick, Rick, Rick. Get a grip on yourself and take off your tinfoil hat. The DHS has already confirmed that the memo is authentic. They claim that it was only an early draft, but they don’t dispute it’s authenticity.

    You really should turn off the Fox News and Breitbart. You are drowning in a toxic stew of conspiracy stories. The terrorist jet-ski ninjas on Lake Erie. The NYT lying about crowd size at the inauguration. The millions of fraudulent voters costing Trump the popular vote. The thousands bused from Boston into New Hampshire costing Trump that state. Sweden becoming a refugee hellhole. And now, the AP reporting on a fraudulent memo (that the DHS has already confirmed is authentic).

    You are looking as nutty as your Dear Leader.

    1. Rick Stryker


      But you claimed in your first comment that the memo was fake. You claimed that Trump sent his press secretary out to say the document doesn’t exist. I was merely pointing out that if that were true, what the AP did was even worse.

      But you are now claiming that the Administration is saying it’s not fake. You really need to get this question straight in your head.

      Obviously, I’ve been saying all along that the memo was produced in DHS. The question is whether it actually represented policy that had been reviewed and signed off at senior levels. The AP can’t know that and so should not have used the memo to produce their #FakeNews story.

      But I also speculated that the memo, while produced in DHS, might have been leakbait. That is, not only was National Guard proposal not official policy, but it was designed to get leaked so they could identify the leaker.

    2. CoRev

      Joseph, Menzie et al “You are drowning in a toxic stew of conspiracy stories. ” Fake news, alternative facts all get frequent, often front page, presentation. The need to find some thing(s), no matter how important or validated/supported with sourcin, to rant and raved about is beyond rational. The frequency and noise levels just confirm to most conservatives how foolish are liberal minds.

      The administration’s results at end of the 1st year should be interesting to. Few expect the end of the continued howls from the big city liberal crowd. Elections in two years are going to be more than just interesting.

      Menzie, as for Sweden, we have friends with whom we converse frequently, and they confirm the increased crime and sexual issues by immigrants. Swedish culture is interesting in that it is very consensus limited (that’s PC limited) to the outsider. Late in 2016 the consensus has shifted to much more anti-immigrant. They are in the process of deporting ~80,000 immigrants. Much of that consensus shift is due to events seldom openly reported, but well known among the native Swedes.

      1. 2slugbaits

        CoRev as for Sweden, we have friends with whom we converse frequently, and they confirm the increased crime and sexual issues by immigrants.

        You’re missing the point. There certainly is evidence that Sweden is having a crime problem with immigrants. That’s not what we’re talking about here. The issue is why President Trump made a specific reference to some incident supposedly happening the previous night when no such incident occurred. The WH revised version is that Trump was referring to a rise in the crime rate in Sweden…but if that’s what he meant, then why did blather some nonsense about an incident the previous night that never happened? Look, you and others who got conned by Trump don’t want to discuss the big elephant in the room. The reason this is an issue is because Trump isn’t playing with a full deck. He’s ADD to the nth degree. He’s in love with his own voice. He shows obvious signs of dementia. He can’t distinguish reality from crap he watches on television. His memory is shot. His speeches are rambling, solipsistic stream-of-consciousness rants and their only purpose is to make him feel like a rock star. He’s a mess. The issue isn’t whether or not Sweden has a crime problem with immigrants. The issue is the mental capacity of the President.

  15. Rick Stryker


    To reply to your comment, no they wouldn’t necessarily acknowledge publicly that the memo was leakbait. They may not want the leaker to know they know. Also, there is probably more than one leaker and they might not want to reveal their tactics.

    1. baffling

      it is sad and pathetic that trump has created an administration with such leak problems less than a month into his presidency. and creating such public leakbait on such important national issues is also troublesome, as it indicates a lack of concern the impact of such falsehoods have on the people in this country. this is not how a professional administration should be run. this is how wars and riots can be started-all with the president denying any involvement. it is this attempt to denigrate facts and reality which is problematic. trump does this. milo is such a player. is this what the conservative movement has become?

  16. Joseph

    Rick Stryker, nowhere did I say the memo was fake. It is you and the White House who seem to be in denial.

    When the AP report first came out, Trump sent Sean Spicer to flatly deny the existence of the memo. Later, the DHS, a department of the administration, confirmed the authenticity, contradicting Spicer’s denial. The DHS confirmed the authenticity, but says it was an early draft and not yet signed off by Kelly. But the memo does exist contrary to Spicer’s denial.

    I can see why you would be confused. The White House says one thing and the DHS says another. It isn’t clear which side you have chosen to believe. At one point you seem to take Trump’s side and suggest it might be fake. Then you also carefully parse the memo suggesting you believe DHS and think Trump is a liar.

    I can see why it’s tough being a Trump supporter.

    1. Rick Stryker


      Then what are you saying then? What is your argument? Why do I have to guess what it is you mean? Is it because you don’t know yourself?

      You claim that Spicer denied the existence of the memo? Why is that relevant to my analysis showing the AP put out a #FakeNews story? Do you have a link backing up your claim? I heard Spicer deny the conclusions that the AP drew from the memo, but not the existence of the memo itself.

      Then you say that the DHS confirmed the memo’s authenticity. Again, why is that relevant? I never denied the authenticity of the memo in my analysis. I did question whether it was a serious policy proposal or leakbait though.

      1. baffling

        its typical trump strategy. create the environment where nobody really understands what is true, what is fiction, what is hearsay, what is fact and what is opinion. then you can casually make any statement you want, and easily defend it as hyperbole, fact or opinion depending on the needs of the day or hour. trump enjoys creating the environment where nobody knows what is going on. he creates the “fake news” environment, where his actions and statements actually create fake news situations. then blames others.

        this is fine when you want to pull a fast one on a business adversary. this should not be the behavior of the leader of the free world. unfortunately, people will follow his example. it is now acceptable to lie in order to achieve your goals.

        1. Corev

          Baffled. ” it is now acceptable to lie in order to achieve your goals.” You conveniently forget “You can keep your Dr.” You can keep your insurance ” …. Need we add to the long list from just the last administration?

          It appears Trump is using the same steps Dems have used for years.

          1. baffling

            that is such a boring argument. if an insurance company wants to drop a doctor from its network, should the government mandate the doctor stay in the network? you would howl at the notion. nevertheless, obama would have preferred consumers to be able to keep their doctors.

            on the other hand, every other word out of the donald’s mouth is a lie and falsehood. this is either intentional or pathological.

            no, what the donald does, and rick stryker endorsed, is knowingly making falsehoods to get what you want. there is a bid difference. if you cannot understand the simple distinction, perhaps you are part of the problem.

          2. CoRev

            Baffled, liberals are so transparently illogical. Lies by Dem a Prez when repeated as arguments are “boring”, but, misrepresentation, exaggerations and out right lies of what Trump said is “either intentional or pathological.”

            The elections in two years will tell the tale. It is MY suspicion that Dem politicians and journalists will be further marginalized.

          3. baffling

            corev, it is the enormous number of lies that flow from trump and his administration that is the problem. you seem to think the two sides balance out. they are not equal at all. obama has acknowledged he used a poor choice of words. accept that and move on. but you have acknowledged acceptance of lying as a natural course to get what you want. big difference. be careful of the outcome.

          4. baffling

            no corev. what comes out of the trump camp is not a poor choice of words. it is a deliberate choice of words. it is an honest attempt at a lie. hopefully that changes in the months ahead. but based on the trump data thus far, there is little concern for facts or truth coming out of the trump administration. if you do not want to acknowledge the difference, then you are probably another political hack.

  17. CoRev

    Baffled, you rally areconfused. “poor choice of words”????? was a partial quote from you referring to your excusing the Obama lies re: the ACA. When in doubt liberals call others names: “political hack.” or more commonly racist or … (well this list is long).

    1. baffling

      corev, as i said. you cannot use the excuse “poor choice of words” with what trump says. does not apply. that did apply to obama. you need to get over obama and the ACA. that is a raindrop compared to the flood coming out of the trump administration. and its not name calling when i classify somebody as a political hack. it is an observation of behavior. many take it as a badge of honor-are you embarrassed to be a political hack?

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