Undocumented workers speak out
Victorina Morales, the undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who works at Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf club, provides a host of details that suggest managers there knew she was not authorized to live in the country and employed her anyway.
The housekeeper, who entered the country illegally almost 20 years ago, was hired at the club in 2013, she told the New York Times in an interview. She said an employee of the course drives her and a group of others to work every day because it is known they can’t get driver’s licenses because of their immigration status.
When she was hired, Morales said she told a supervisor she didn’t have “good papers.” The manager said she should bring the documents she used at a previous job, and she brought a fake green card and social security card.
Last year, a supervisor told her she had to get a new social security and green card since there were problems with the one she had on file. According to Morales, she said she didn’t know where to get the documents, and the manager referred her to a maintenance worker who took her to get a new set of forged papers.
Another worker, Sandra Diaz, told the Times she was undocumented while working at the club for several years. She has since left the job and gained legal status.
Diaz was assigned to clean Trump’s personal residence at the Bedminster club, where she washed Trump’s clothes. She recalled he had an outburst over orange stains on the collar of a white golf shirt, which she said were stains from his makeup that she was unable to get out.
Morales said she knew she could lose her job or get deported for speaking out, but chose to come forward because she was upset by Trump’s disparaging comments about immigrants and abusive treatment by a supervisor that she felt was encouraged by Trump’s rhetoric.
“I ask myself, is it possible that this señor thinks we have papers? He knows we don’t speak English,” she said. “Why wouldn’t he figure it out?”
An undocumented woman who has worked for more than five years as a housekeeper at Donald Trump’s Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. speaks out in an interview with the New York Times.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said today she is not open to approving funding for a border wall in exchange for protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, per Bloomberg.
William Barr is the leading candidate to become Donald Trump’s next attorney general, the Washington Post reports.
Barr served as attorney general under the George HW Bush administration.
The decision is not final. Trump has filled the job, temporarily and controversially, with Matthew Whitaker after pushing out Jeff Sessions.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she is open to the idea of imposing term limits on committee chairs.
“That is a matter before the caucus,” Pelosi said when asked about reports she was warming to the idea of term limits, according to the Washington Times. “I have always been sympathetic to the concerns expressed by our members on that subject.”
Many newly-elected Democrats have expressed support for term limits but they are opposed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Senate has confirmed a controversial Donald Trump pick for an energy agency.
The Senate voted 50 to 49 to approve Bernard McNamee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Hill reported.
Democrats opposed the pick because he has been a vocal defender of fossil fuels, opponent of renewable energy, and does not accept the science of climate change.
“He has lied about how the renewable energies impact the electric grid. He has called support for clean energy ‘organized propaganda,’ and pitched the debate between fossil fuels and renewables in his words as a clash between liberty and tyranny,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday before the vote, according to the Hill.
George HW Bush’s casket is being carried out of a Houston church after funeral services concluded there, as “Hail to the Chief” is played.
He’ll be carried by train to College Station, Texas where he is set to be buried.
The executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party says he’s open to a new election if allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the state’s ninth Congressional district prove true.
“This has shaken us to the core,” executive director Dallas Woodhouse told CNN.
He said he was so upset after watching coverage of the controversy that he threw up.
“We are not ready to call for a new election yet,” Woodhouse said. “I think we have to let the board of elections come show their hand if they can show that this conceivably could have flipped the race in that neighborhood, we will absolutely support a new election.”
He said the Republican candidate in the race, Mark Harris, did not know about the activities of an operative working for him who appears to have been running an illegal operation collecting absentee ballots. There is “no way he knew about this stuff and sanctioned it,” Woodhouse said.
The House passed a two week extension of federal spending legislation to avert a government shutdown, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Senate is expected to pass it later Thursday.
The move postpones by two weeks a deadline to agree on new spending bills, which could lead to a government shutdown because Donald Trump are demanding they include $5 billion for his proposed border wall and Democrats refuse.
A Maine court has ordered the state to roll out a Medicaid expansion by February.
Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy said Thursday that the state has until Feb. 1 to adopt rules implementing Medicaid expansion for eligible Mainers who applied starting July 2, the Associated Press reports.
The expansion was approved by voters, but outgoing Gov. Paul LePage asked for a stay to delay the order, which was denied.
Grandson George P. Bush and former secretary of state James Baker paid tribute to George HW Bush in eulogies at Houston funeral services.
Baker, a close friend as well as cabinet member, called Bush a “charter member of the greatest generation” and said, “His incredible service to our nation and the world are already etched into the marble of time.”
He hailed Bush’s work bringing the cold war to an end, signing nuclear arms control deals, and beating back Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the first Gulf War.
“The world became a better place because George Bush occupied the White House,” he said. “He was not considered a skilled speaker, but his deeds were quite elegant.”
Baker said Bush, who was defeated for re-election by Bill Clinton, is “beyond any doubt our nation’s very best one term president.”
George P. Bush shared the more personal side of the man he knew as “Gampy,” remembering how he made time for his grandkids, organizing horse shoe matchups and fly fishing expeditions and sending them heart-felt letters at school. He would serve of spreads of barbecue, pork rinds with hot sauce, and the “healthy complement” of Blue Bell ice cream and Klondike bars.
“We all grew up in awe of my grandfather,” he said.
Bush hailed his grandfather’s legacy of service, and called him the “most gracious, most decent, most humble man that I will ever know.”
Senators from both parties are meeting Thursday to hash out a deal on legislation to punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The measures could curtail US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, suspend arm sales with Saudi Arabia, CNN reported. And a proposed resolution would officially blame Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for the Washington Post columnist’s murder at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Participating in the meeting were Republicans Bob Corker of Tennessee, Todd Young of Indiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrats Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
“There’s a lot of momentum,” Corker told CNN.
Hillary Clinton is condemning moves by lame duck GOP legislatures in Wisconsin and Michigan to limit the power of incoming Democratic governors.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says the election fraud allegations in a North Carolina Congressional race are “undermining the integrity of our elections,” per Talking Points Memo.
Funeral services are now beginning for former President George HW Bush at Houston’s St Martin’s Episcopal Church.
The service is kicking off with “America the Beautiful.” Watch live here.
Republican senators have introduced a bill to fully fund Donald Trump’s border wall with $25 billion.
The legislation would attempt to raise money toward the total by increasing fines for people caught crossing the border illegally, and tightening requirements to qualify for federal tax credits and welfare benefits, the Hill reports.
Sens. Ted Cruz, John Kennedy, James Inhofe and Mike Rounds are sponsoring the legislation.
Trump has said he’s willing to settle for $5 billion for the wall in the current round of budget negotiations, a demand Democrats are balking at.