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Cristina Cabrera

Cristina Cabrera is the social media editor at TPM based in New York. Previously, she worked for Vocativ and interned at USA Today and New York 1 News. She received her B.A at NYU. Follow her on Twitter @crismcabrera

Articles by Cristina

Pastor Paula White, chair of President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, defended Trump’s child separation policy earlier this week by claiming that Jesus did not live in Egypt illegally, and that “he would not have been our Messiah” if he’d broken the law.

After gushing over how “amazing” the child detention center she visited was, White addressed immigration advocates’ point that Jesus himself was a refugee.

“Yes, he did live in Egypt for three-and-a-half years,” the televangelist told CBN News. “But it was not illegal.”

“If he had broken the law, then he would have been sinful and he would not have been our Messiah,” White added.

In fact, Jesus was famously crucified specifically for breaking the law by claiming to be the son of God. Before that, he was persecuted by religious leaders and the Romans for violating laws like resting on the Sabbath.

Several Christian leaders weren’t having it with White’s take:

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Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday declined to endorse the incumbent Democrat running for Congress against a neo-Nazi GOP candidate, instead calling for the Nazi to drop out of the race.

Arthur Jones, who describes the Holocaust as “the biggest, blackest lie in history,” is running against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a moderate pro-life Democrat.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Jones as a “bigoted fool” on Friday, and called on voters to either write in another candidate or vote for Lipinski.

When WCIA reporters asked Rauner if he would do the same, the answer was “no.”

“The one thing I will say is the person, that guy, Johnson or whatever his name is, should not be on the ballot,” said the Illinois governor.

Rauner is locked in a tough fight to keep his seat against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzer. The governor first condemned Jones back in February, saying that “there is no room for Neo Nazis in American politics.”

After state Republicans failed recruit anyone to challenge Jones in the primary and missed several other opportunities to kick him off the ticket, the neo-Nazi crowed over his victory.

“I snookered them,” he told Politico.

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A woman called the police on Oregon state representative Janelle Bynum (D) as she was canvassing in a neighborhood in her district, according to Bynum’s Tuesday Facebook post.

“Big shout out to Officer Campbell who responded professionally to someone who said that I was going door to door and spending a lot of time typing on my cell phone after each house — aka canvassing and keeping account of what my community cares about!” Bynum wrote in her post.

The legislator said she asked the policeman to connect her to the person, whose race is unknown, who called 911. Bynum wrote that “the officer called her, we talked and she did apologize.”

Later, Bynum told the Oregonian that while she understood the woman’s concern, “when people do things like this, it can be dangerous for people like me.”

In several recent incidents, bystanders have called the police to report on black people engaging in innocuous activities including holding a barbecue in a public park, waiting in a Starbucks, and, in the case of one eight-year-old girl, selling water.

Read Bynum’s full post below:

Live from the mean streets of Clackamas!!! Big shout out to Officer Campbell who responded professionally to someone who…

Posted by Janelle Bynum on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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President Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that he “never” told House Republicans to vote for either of the immigration bills that failed to pass this week – despite telling them merely three days ago in all-caps to do exactly that.

The bill Trump referred to in Wednesday’s tweet was a second immigration bill crafted by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) that offered a so-called “compromise” on immigration between conservative and moderate Republicans. It would’ve provided a path to citizenship to undocumented young people brought to the country as children, but it would’ve also eliminated several paths to legal immigration while giving $25 billion dollars to build Trump’s infamous border wall.

Like Goodlatte’s more conservative bill last week, the “compromise” bill went down in flames on Wednesday.

A GOP deputy whip who asked to not be identified blamed Trump for the second bill’s demise, complaining that his tweet was “24 hours too late.”

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Thousands of people across the country are participating in Saturday’s “Families Belong Together” marches to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has led to family separations at the border.

MoveOn, one of the chief organizers of the event, writes: “On June 30, we’re rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to permanently end the separation of kids from their parents. End family internment camps. End the ‘zero-humanity’ policy that created this crisis. And reunify the children with their parents.”

TPM’s Alice Ollstein was present at the D.C rally.

At one point, kids read aloud their letters to immigrant children who’ve been torn from their parents. “You are not alone,” said one girl. “And if you ever feel alone, just think of me and all the other people in the world that want to help you and your family get back together.”

Rallies were also held in other cities across the nation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made an appearance at the Boston march, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) attended the one in Los Angeles.

After widespread backlash to the family separation policy, President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to stop the separations.

However, over 2,000 migrant children remain separated from their families in detention centers, and toddlers as young as three years old are being forced go to deportation court proceedings alone.

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U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has secretly upped fuel production for its nuclear weapons arsenal, according to NBC.

Over a dozen unnamed officials told NBC reporters Courtney Kube, Ken Dilanian and Carol E. Lee that intel analysts’ findings show the regime’s increased efforts to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons – all while trying to milk as many concessions out of the Trump administration as it can.

“There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.,” said one official.

“Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” said another.

The report directly contradicts President Donald Trump’s claim that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Trump made the declaration after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during which the President promised Kim to stop the “war games” by ending U.S. military exercises with South Korea.

Trump has since repeated claims of “total denuclearization” of North Korea and showered praise upon the country’s dictator.

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President Donald Trump flatly rejected Democrats’ push to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on Saturday morning, saying there is “zero chance” it will happen.

In a series of tweets, Trump praised the agency as “one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” while falsely claiming that ICE “liberated” towns from MS-13.

In a following tweet, he says abolition will “never happen!”

As scrutiny of the agency grows while it carries out the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, several Democrats, including those eyeing a 2020 presidential bid, have heeded activists’ calls to get rid of ICE entirely.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday, “I believe you should get rid of [ICE], start over, reimagine it, and build something that actually works.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), another possible 2020 Democratic candidate, made similar comment last week during an MSNBC interview, saying that the government should “probably think about starting from scratch” with immigration enforcement.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) is currently hammering out legislation to abolish the agency.

And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose shocking primary victory against incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley heralded a new progressive push in the Democratic party, has been a vocal advocate of abolishing the agency.

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While trying to take a swipe at the media, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) may have been a little more honest about his party’s handling of President Donald Trump than he intended.

Rubio tweeted on Wednesday that many Republicans won’t call out Trump “even when they don’t agree with him” because “it means siding with a media that never cuts him a break” and “in the end [the media] will still attack you anyway.”

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has quietly deleted its records of lawmakers’ past ratings by the gun group.

Washington Post reporter Philip Bump flagged the change on Tuesday. NRA members can still view current grades, but the drop-down menu no longer lists previous years.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told the Post that he was likely just experiencing an “IT glitch,” but an unnamed NRA employee confirmed that the past grades had been removed.

“I think our enemies were using that,” he told the Post.

Baker told TPM that “the old grades are no longer relevant” because the rating system serves as an election guide for its members.

The development, highlighted by the anonymous staffer’s comment, signals that a positive rating from the hardline pro-gun group could be becoming a scarlet letter for politicians as gun control activists gain momentum in the wake of the Parkland high school shooting massacre.

GOP Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) scrubbed his A/A+ NRA grade and pro-gun stance from his campaign site, TPM reported in March. Bishop’s campaign spokesman insisted that the change merely “reflects an update” for the congressman, not a change in position.

This story has been updated with the NRA’s statement to TPM.

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Maryland gubernatorial candidate Rich Madaleno aired a campaign ad Thursday on “Fox and Friends” that ended with him kissing his husband in an attempt to “piss off” President Donald Trump.

In the ad, the Democratic candidate promises to “stand up to Donald Trump” and lists off things he’s done that “already infuriate” the President, such as supporting Planned Parenthood and a statewide assault weapons ban.

“And what’s the number one way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” asked Madaleno before turning to kiss his husband, Mark Hodge.

“Take that, Trump!” he declared.

The White House has refused to acknowledge Pride Month for a second year in a row, and Trump instated a second “transgender soldier ban” after the first attempt was shot down in the courts. Additionally, Attorney General Jeff Sessions applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Watch the ad below:

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