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Ken Cuccinelli, President Donald Trump’s likely pick for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security, previously told Breitbart.com that states could invoke “war powers” against migrants crossing the U.S. southern border because “it’s an invasion.” He added that doing so would mean “there’s no due process” and states could “point them back across the river and let them swim for it.”

Trump is reportedly set to hire Cuccinelli, a former CNN commentator and Virginia attorney general, to a senior position at DHS, where he would coordinate immigration policyMedia Matters recently documented Cuccinelli’s long anti-LGBTQ record. Cuccinelli also has a history of pushing anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric, including comparing undocumented immigrants to rats and opposing birthright citizenship.

One of his most extreme anti-immigrant positions came out on the October 23, 2018, edition of Breitbart News Daily, the radio show of the right-wing website that has pushed white nationalist propaganda. (Breitbart.com documented the appearance at the time, but Cuccinelli’s comments have largely gone unnoticed.) Cuccinelli discussed the migrant caravan that was approaching the U.S. southern border. Right-wing media and Republicans frequently fear-mongered about the supposed threat of the caravan in the run-up to the 2018 election as a way to drum up votes.

During that appearance, Cuccinelli suggested that states could constitutionally enter into war with the migrant caravan because “we’ve been being invaded for a long time and so the border states clearly qualify here to utilize this power themselves.”

If they did so, “because they’re acting under war powers, there’s no due process,” Cuccinelli said. “They can literally just line their National Guard up with, presumably with riot gear like they would if they had a civil disturbance and turn people back at the border.”

“You just point them back across the river and let them swim for it,” he later added.

Cuccinelli also expanded on his argument for why the migrant caravan is supposedly an invading force, stating: “When someone comes across your border without your permission, it’s an invasion. Their purpose here is to violate the border, to violate our sovereignty, for their own purposes. That’s an invasion.” He later agreed with host Matt Boyle’s suggestion that the migrant caravan is acting like an “army” and suggested the caravan could be infiltrated by terrorists (in reality, there’s no evidence there were terrorists in the caravan).

The Washington Post recently reported that “in a sign of sensitivity to criticisms from immigration hard-liners,” the president’s “advisers are looking at measures behind the scenes such as the Insurrection Act, an arcane law that allows the president to employ the military to combat lawlessness or rebellion, to remove illegal immigrants.”

 

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)