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Donald Trump Threatens ‘National Emergency’ Over Border Wall Funding

The paralysis of the administration affected 10 government agencies, including Transportation and Justice, along with dozens of national parks, which are popular tourist attractions

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Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

US President Donald Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency that would allow him to order construction of a border wall with Mexico without Congressional approval of the needed funds.

The President’s remarks came on Friday after he met senior Democrats, who refused his requests for funding, CNN reported. The impasse has seen Trump withhold support for a bill to fully fund the government till he gets money for the border wall.

He said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown — now in its third week — to last years. Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since December 22.

“I can do it if I want,” Trump told a press conference when asked about the possibility of starting construction on the wall without a go-ahead from Congress, due to the Democrats’ refusal to approve its financing.

“We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly… I haven’t done it. I may do it. If we can do it through the negotiating process, we’re giving that a shot.”

Trump considered the idea of building a barrier of “artistically designed steel slats” as an alternative to a cement wall, though he gave no details about that possibility.

He said there was an immediate need for $5.6 billion for the wall because “we’re not talking about games, we’re talking about national security. It’s a problem of terrorists.”

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Donald Trump. VOA

Democrats were equally dug in, saying the matter of a border barrier should only be brought up once the government has reopened. “We cannot resolve this until we open up government and we made that very clear to the President,” Democrat House Speaker Pelosi said after the White House meeting.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: “We told the President we needed the government open. He resisted.”

White House and Congress officials will scheduled to meet later on Saturday in a fresh bid to resolve the standoff.

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Donald Trump said he designated a group of aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, to participate in the weekend discussions, which he described as meant to “determine what we’re going to do about the border”.

The government has been in a partial shutdown since December 22 as negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress remain blocked by Trump’s demand to include in the budget proposal funding for the border wall.

The paralysis of the administration affected 10 government agencies, including Transportation and Justice, along with dozens of national parks, which are popular tourist attractions. (IANS)

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US President Donald Trump Again Slams Google for Manipulating 2016 Election

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints

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US, President, Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 16, 2019, in Washington. VOA

US President Donald Trump has once again lashed out at Google for manipulating millions of votes in the 2016 presidential elections in favour of then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought,” Trump tweeted late Monday.

However, the report Trump mentioned in his tweet was published in 2017 that described there was a bias in Google and other search engines during the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Trump’s tweet citing an old research paper also tagged conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch with his tweet, “perhaps asking them to investigate. It’s also unclear who he thinks should sue the company”, reports TechCrunch.

In a statement, Google said: “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Clinton also responded to Trump: “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The paper was published by Robert Epstein, a psychology researcher who works for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

The CNBC reported that “Trump’s tweet appears to refer to documents leaked to conservative group Project Veritas, but the documents do not appear to contain any outright allegation of vote manipulation or attempts to bias the election”.

Earlier this month, Trump criticized Google CEO Sundar Pichai for alleged ties to election tampering and China’s military.

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“@sundarpichai of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election,” he had tweeted.

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints. (IANS)