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Trump defends 'zero tolerance' immigration policy

President Donald Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Monday, writing in a series of tweets that children are being used “by the worst criminals on earth” to get into America as critics slammed the policy for separating children from their parents.

>> Read more trending news

“Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.”

The president pointed to a rise in crime in Germany as an example of the chaos caused by illegal immigration, writing in a tweet that it was a “big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.”

However, Germany’s internal ministry reported last month that criminal offenses in the country were at their lowest since 1992, according to Reuters.

This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers, prompting protests nationwide.

The president has blamed Democrats for not fixing the law that allows for the separations.

“Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration,” the president wrote. “Change the laws!”

Despite his claim that Democrats are at fault for the situation, The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration “put the policy in place and could easily end it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Laura Bush, Melania Trump speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border

Two first ladies are weighing in on the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

>> Five undocumented immigrants dead after chase with Border Patrol, officials say

Former first lady Laura Bush criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration as "cruel" in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday.

>> Read the piece here

"I live in a border state," Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart."

According to The Associated Press, the policy, which started last month, "sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally," leading to more adults in jail, separated from their children. 

>> Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," Bush continued. "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."

She added: "In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."

>> Read more trending news 

First lady Melania Trump also shared her thoughts on the issue Sunday.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump returns from North Korea summit, says there’s ‘no longer a nuclear threat’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday after returning to the U.S. from a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Here are the latest updates: 

Update 7:13 a.m. EDT June 13: Trump tweeted again to defend his decision to eliminate “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea.

“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump wrote.

>> See the tweet here

Original report: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday after returning to the U.S. from a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump wrote. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”

>> Read more trending news 

He added: “Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!”

>> See the tweets here

The tweets came one day after Trump and Kim signed a document that says North Korea “commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” 

The agreement also puts an end to the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea “unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should,” Trump said in a press conference Tuesday.

>> MORE COVERAGE: Jamie Dupree: Congress voices skepticism over Trump-Kim agreementJamie Dupree: Details of the joint agreement from the Trump-Kim summitFormer NBA star Dennis Rodman cries in interview about North Korea summit | North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un | North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearization | Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full textJamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit

North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un

A movie-trailer style video that President Donald Trump shared with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday is making headlines for adding a dramatic flair to the countries' historic summit in Singapore.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Jamie Dupree: Details of the joint agreement from the Trump-Kim summit

"Two men, two leaders, one destiny. A story about a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance which may never be repeated. What will he choose – to show vision and leadership or not?" a narrator says in the video, which includes clips of smiling people, new technology, skyscrapers and natural resources before transitioning, ominously, to explosions.

>> North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference

"There can only be two results: one of moving back or one of moving forward," the voice continues. "A new world can begin today – one of friendship, respect and goodwill. Be part of that world, where the doors of opportunity are ready to be opened – investment from around the world, where you can have medical breakthroughs, an abundance of resources, innovative technology and new discoveries."

Later, the narrator appeals to Kim: "Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people? Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he has never seen? A great life or more isolation? Which path will be chosen?"

Trump also showed the video to reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

"I think he loved it," Trump said of Kim and his entourage, adding that they seemed "fascinated by it."

"I showed it because I really want him to do something," Trump said, according to The Associated Press.

Read more here.

>> MORE COVERAGE: Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full text | Jamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit | Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting | Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says | Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit | North Korea summit: Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore ahead of historic meeting with Trump

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman cries in interview about North Korea summit

Wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and clunky black sunglasses, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman got emotional Tuesday in interview on CNN as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m so happy,” he said as the two leaders met for historic talks Tuesday. "I'm so happy just to be here, man, and see everyone in the world get emotional like I did. Donald Trump should take a lot of credit because he went out of the box and made this happen."

Rodman is one of the few people known to have met both Kim and Trump. He appeared on Trump’s reality competition show “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009 and befriended Kim after visiting North Korea in 2013.

"We have really put ourselves on the line to reach out to North Korea and they have been so gracious to me, my family and the United States,” Rodman said Tuesday. “If Trump can pull this off, more power to him.”

>> North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearization

Rodman became particularly emotional while discussing the reactions he got to his first visit to North Korea. He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he attempted to open a dialogue between Kim and then-President Barack Obama, but that “Obama didn’t even give me the time of day.”

“I got so many death threats,” he said. “But I kept my head high, brother. I knew things were going to change. I was the only one.”

Rodman traveled to Singapore ahead of Tuesday’s summit, though Trump said last week that he had not been invited in an official capacity, according to The Hill.

>> North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un

Trump and Kim committed to working toward the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” after Tuesday’s meetings, which marked the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. 

The president hailed the meeting as a success, although critics worried that his decision to meet with Kim provided the autocrat with legitimacy. Kim has been accused of ordering the assassination of his half brother, executing his uncle and presiding over a gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, according to The Associated Press.

>> Photos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit

Critics also questioned the president’s decision to end the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea as negotiations with North Korea continue. It was not immediately clear whether South Korean officials were aware of Trump’s decision before Tuesday’s announcement.

North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters Tuesday in an hourlong news conference after he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document pledging to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

>> Jamie Dupree: Details of the joint agreement from the Trump-Kim summit

Here are five key moments from the presser:

>> Watch the full news conference here

1. 'War games' ending: Trump said he agreed to put an end to the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea “unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should.”

"I want to get our soldiers out," he added. "I want to bring our soldiers back home, but that’s not part of the equation right now. I hope it will be eventually.”

>> Watch the clip here

2. Denuclearization timetable: Trump wants Kim to denuclearize North Korea as quickly as “mechanically” possible and pledged to remove sanctions on the country when officials are able to verify that “nukes are no longer a factor.” 

>> Click here to watch

3. Missile test site's destruction: "Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site,” Trump said, adding: "That's not in your signed document. We agreed to that after the agreement was signed."

>> See the clip here

4. Confidence in Kim? Trump said he trusts that Kim wants to fulfill the agreement: “I think he might want to do this as much or even more than me because they see a bright future for North Korea.”

>> Watch the video here

5. Future meetings: Trump said he will invite Kim to the White House and visit North Korea “at the appropriate time.” He also said they may have another summit.

>> Click here to watch

>> MORE COVERAGE: Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full text | Jamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit | Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting | Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says | Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit | North Korea summit: Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore ahead of historic meeting with Trump

North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearization

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a “comprehensive” document after a working lunch meeting during their historic summit in Singapore, Trump said Tuesday.

The document says North Korea “commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” multiple news outlets are reporting.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7 a.m. EDT June 12: Trump is heading back to Washington on Air Force One.

Update 5:26 a.m. EDT June 12: Here are some key takeaways from Trump’s hourlong press conference in Singapore:

  • Kim “is already destroying a major missile engine testing site,” Trump said.
  • Trump said of Otto Warmbier’s death: "I think without Otto, this would not have happened. Something happened from that day. It was a terrible thing. It was brutal, but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea."
  • Trump said he agreed to put an end to the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea, adding: “I want to get our soldiers out. I want to bring our soldiers back home, but that’s not part of the equation right now. I hope it will be eventually.”
  • Trump spoke about the Korean War possibly ending: “Now we can all have hope that it will soon end. And it will.”
  • Trump called Kim “very talented” because of how he was able to “take over a situation like he did at 26.”
  • Trump said he trusts that Kim wants to fulfill the agreement: “I think he might want to do this as much or even more than me because they see a bright future for North Korea.”
  • Trump said he will invite Kim to the White House and visit North Korea “at the appropriate time.”
  • Trump wants Kim to denuclearize North Korea as quickly as “mechanically” possible and pledged to remove sanctions on the country when officials are able to verify that “nukes are no longer a factor.” 
  • Trump said he “gave up nothing” to North Korea, adding: “It’s not a big deal to meet. I think we should meet on a lot of different topics.”
  • Trump said the deal helped prisoners in North Korean gulags: "At a certain point, I believe (Kim) is going to do things about it. I think they are one of the great winners today."
  • Trump said the U.S. won’t foot the bill for North Korea to denuclearize.
  • He said the pair may have another summit.

Update 4:16 a.m. EDT June 12: Watch Trump’s press conference here:

Update 4:13 a.m. EDT June 12: Trump has tweeted a video that includes clips from the summit.

Update 3:10 a.m. EDT June 12: Here’s the full text of the document transcribed from photos from the scene:

“President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held first historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting an robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

“Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

“1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

“2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

“3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

“Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulation in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

“President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.”

Update 2:36 a.m. EDT June 12: CNN, citing press photos, reports that the document says the following:

“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

At the signing, Trump said they are starting the denuclearization process “very quickly.”

Update 2:06 a.m. EDT June 12: Trump has not yet specified what the document says but told reporters that “both sides are going to be impressed with the result.”

He added that the two have formed “a very special bond” and said he would be willing to invite Kim to the White House.

“Absolutely, I would,” Trump said.

Kim said: “The world will see a major change.”

>> MORE COVERAGE: Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full text | Jamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit | Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting | Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says | Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit | North Korea summit: Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore ahead of historic meeting with Trump

Photos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit

President Donald Trump became the first sitting American president to meet a North Korean leader Tuesday when the two shook hands firmly before sitting down to talk at a resort hotel in Singapore.

Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full text

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document Tuesday saying Kim “commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Here’s the full text of the document transcribed from photos from the scene:

“President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held first historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting an robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

“1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

“2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

“3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

“Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulation in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

“President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.”

>> MORE COVERAGE: North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearizationJamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit | Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting | Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says | Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit | North Korea summit: Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore ahead of historic meeting with Trump

Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say

Discussions between the U.S. and North Korea “have moved more quickly than expected,” White House officials said in a statement released on the eve of a historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

>> Read more trending news

Trump arrived Sunday in Singapore, where the meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday. He told reporters he felt “very good” about the planned summit.

>> Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit

Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. local time Tuesday. White House officials said they will meet one-on-one, with only translators present, before holding an expanded bilateral meeting that will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton.

After the bilateral meeting, Trump and Kim will hold a working lunch. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim and Matt Pottinger, the National Security Council’s senior director for Asia, will be part of the lunch, officials said.

>> Photos: North Korea's Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore for historic summit

Trump will address reporters after Tuesday’s meetings. He’s scheduled to speak with the media around 8 p.m. local time before leaving Singapore for the U.S.

The meeting between Trump and Kim is scheduled to take place nearly two weeks after the president met with North Korea’s former military intelligence chief at the White House. Kim Yong Chol was the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the White House in 18 years.

>> Trump says North Korea summit will go on after meeting with top Kim Jong Un aide

The president said he hopes Tuesday’s summit will be the start of improved relations between the U.S. and North Korea.

“I think it will be a process,” Trump said June 1. “I never said it will go in one meeting, but the relationships are building, and that’s a big positive.”

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