President Donald Trump threatens to triple the number of troops he is sending to the U.S.-Mexico border as he concentrates on immigration just days before the 2018 midterm elections. President Trump also criticizes House Speaker Paul Ryan for noting that birthright citizenship cannot be ended with an executive order.
President Trump Focuses on Immigration Ahead of 2018 Midterms
LESTER HOLT, anchor:
We are six days from the midterm election but millions of Americans are having their say now. 24 million early or absentee votes have been cast already eclipsing the total nationwide early vote of four years ago. The enthusiasm fired up by several House, Senate and governor’s races that are virtual dead heats tonight. And with control of Congress at stake and therefore his agenda, President Trump is embarking on a campaign blitz hoping to tip momentum toward Republicans with a closing argument that starts and ends with immigration. The President threatening to send thousands more active duty troops to the southern border and attacking the Republican Speaker of the House who said the President can’t simply order an end to birthright citizenship. Hallie Jackson has the story.
HALLIE JACKSON, reporting:
Tonight, the President is pulling a page from his 2016 playbook working to energize his base on immigration, now threatening to triple the number of troops he is sending to the border.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our military is out. We have about 5,000 on the way. We will go up to anywhere between 10-15,0000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE, and everybody else at the border. Nobody is coming in.
JACKSON: That would be more troops than the U.S. has in Afghanistan. And a little more than two U.S. service members for every migrant or refugee in the caravan, still some 900 miles from the U.S. border. Just six days from the midterms, the President is zeroing in on an issue that fires up his supporters as he fires away at a fellow Republican Paul Ryan who is not even on the ballot. The President is tweeting the House Speaker should focus on holding the majority rather than giving his opinions on birthright citizenship, something he knows nothing about. Why are you attacking Paul Ryan?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Birthright citizenship is a very, very important subject. In my opinion, it’s much less complex than people think.
JACKSON: That comes after Ryan correctly pointed out the President can’t just override the constitution with an executive order to prevent babies born in the U.S. to undocumented parents from becoming citizens.
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Well, you obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.
JACKSON: Even with pushback from his party, the President is not backing off, betting his base will turn out if he keeps the border battle front and center.The President tonight here in Florida is hoping to boost the chances of the Republican candidate locked in a tight race for governor in a state where early voting by Republicans has outpaced Democrats. But Democrats are hoping for their own shot in the arm when a different president, former President Obama visits this state later in the week. Lester, both parties in an all-out final blitz to Election Day.
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