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Dershowitz: Trump Must Stop Migrant Family Separations; Town Backs Down in Flag Flap; Merkel in Trouble?

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Today's Top Stories

June 18, 2018

'You're Better Than This': Dershowitz Says Trump Must Stop Family Separations at Border

Rogan: Merkel in a 'Lot of Trouble' After Immigration Pushback From Conservative Party

MA Town Backs Down After Residents Rally Around Business Cited for 'Excessive' Flag Display

Pirro Blasts DOJ Over IG Report: 'The Deep State Is Alive and Well in Washington'

'All the Democrats' Doing': Gidley Says Border Patrol Faces 'False Choice' With Migrant Families

Former Sitcom Star: There Are 'A Lot More' Conservatives in Hollywood Than You'd Expect

'Where Is the Passion for American Citizens?': Tomi Lahren, Dem Radio Host Clash Over Immigration Policy

California Elementary School to Be Named After Illegal Immigrant

'Be More Accurate': Border Official Slams Media for 'Crazy' Border Detention Comparison

Immigration Expert: Border Shelters Are a 'Big Step Up' for Most Migrants

Mark Krikorian

'Your Brain Is a Nothing-Burger': Bongino Rips Liberal Media's Lax Response to IG Report

'An Insult Below the Belt': Herman Cain Slams FBI Staffer Who Called Trump Voters 'Lazy'

Huckabee Praises Trump for NoKo Progress: He's 'Decided to Throw Convention Out the Window'

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We Will Not Apologize: The Trump administration is doubling down on its policy to separate families at the border

Monday, June 18, 2018
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley speaks to reporters outside the White House's West Wing this morning about the process of separating parents and children when they are caught illegally entering the US. Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

We Will Not Apologize: The Trump administration is doubling down on its policy to separate undocumented families at the border

Pence's Pride Month is Lit: VP met by a "Big LGBT Dance Party" in Ohio

Cruz is the 2018 Blobfish Champion: Sen. Ted Cruz beat Jimmy Kimmel 11-9 in charity game

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
President Trump has a handful of meetings this afternoon.

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
The separation of children from their families at the border, and the growing outrage and calls for the practice to stop. 
Today's briefing with Sarah Sanders is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.  I predict it will be  ☄️ 💥 🔥 .

The Double-Down:
This morning Trump doubled (tripled?) down on his blame of the Democrats for what is happening at our borders. He tweeted three times on the topic (find the typo!), each without mention of the human, read: non-political, element that has Republicans and Democrats challenging the practice of taking children away from parents. This issue isn't going anywhere. The words "children" and "cages," no matter which side you're on with the immigration issue, have a way of sticking. No one is going to drop this. 
Credit: @realDonaldTrump/Twitter

"We Will Not Apologize For The Job We Do":
That was Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen speaking today in New Orleans about the separation policy, echoing the President's sentiments. She said the kids are fine and, "It's important to understand that these minors are very well taken care of. Don't believe the press." 😳  But, like, no matter the care, aren't they still being taken from their parents? Isn't that the egregious part? Another snippet from Nielsen: "We need to be clear. Illegal actions have and must have consequences – no more free passes, no more get-out-of-jail-free cards, no more lawlessness."

Also, here's a firsthand account of what things are like at one of the detention facilities. 

And Let's Not Forget...:
...the separation of families at the border is complicated, agreed, but it's not a policy whose enforcement lies at solely at the feet of Democrats. A gentle reminder:
Credit: @vplus/Twitter

Our Daily Melania:
Yesterday, Melania Trump's spokeswoman answered my questions for her about the first lady's feelings on children being separated from their parents (this was not just a released "statement" as some other news orgs and outlets are trying to say of my work, while not giving CNN credit 🙋‍♀️). Essentially, Melania isn't going to break with her husband on this, stating she wants to "finally" see both sides of the aisle come together and create immigration reform. But the difference with Stephanie Grisham's statement about the first lady's feelings is that it includes ... feelings. 

Laura Bush Not Pulling Punches:
On the heels of Melania's sentiments, former first lady Laura Bush had some feels of her own about the situation at the border, which she shared in a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post. Read about it here. Bush writes in part: "Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place."
Meanwhile, Prince Harry's New Father-in-Law Said Some Stuff:
Meghan Markle's dad did an interview with ITV's "Good Morning Britain" program in which he revealed way too much, IMO. He talked about how he felt about missing the wedding (bad), and how Meghan felt (sad), and he said he was jealous of Prince Charles walking her down the aisle instead of him. But the weirdest part was sharing his conversation with Prince Harry, whom he described as "quite easy to talk to," regarding Donald Trump. "I was complaining I didn't like Donald Trump. He said, 'give Donald Trump a chance.' I sort of disagreed with that." When asked if he thought Harry was a Trump supporter, Markle replied, "I would hope not now, but at the time he might've been." 

Dress Like the First Lady:
Guys, I know. It's been a while. First she wasn't seen for 25 days, and then I was on vacation ... needless to say, it's time. I think I want to do the gown she wore to the Ford's Theatre Gala last week because we hadn't seen her in evening-wear since the State Dinner. The dress is not one of my favorites, but I'm generally not a huge Escada fan. It's available here (on sale) for $2,067.75
Credit: @FLOTUS/Twitter, saksfifthavenue.com

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and the Supreme Court has allowed two challenged gerrymandered maps, one in Wisconsin drawn by Repubs and the other in Maryland drawn by Dems, to stand.

What America is Talking About:
Twenty-two people were injured in a shooting at an art festival in Trenton, New Jersey.

Poll of the Day:
More Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country than at any point since September 2005. A Gallup poll released today found 38% of Americans say they're satisfied, a figure boosted by Republicans, those in towns or rural areas, and those aged 55 or older.
Credit: Gallup

Trump Won't Issue Pardons in Russia Investigation, Rudy Says:
President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani told our Jake Tapper on Sunday that Trump "is not going to issue pardons in this investigation" and that his advice to Trump, "as long as I'm his lawyer, is not to do it." 

Pence's Pride Month is Lit:
Vice President Pence was in Columbus, Ohio, to speak about tax policy at a hotel Friday while a "Big LGBT Dance Party" was held outside. "We want to counter that anti-LGBT attitude that they have with a big, positive, loving dance party," Jay Smith, an organizer with the group ProgressOhio, said in a statement.

Kim K Isn't Closing Door to Running for Office:
"I guess never say never," Kim Kardashian West told our Van Jones when asked if she'd consider running for office. But her focus now is helping incarcerated women, "starting one person at a time." "No matter who you talk to, no matter what political party, people feel what's right is right and that's what I love about this, is that it can just be so bipartisan," she said.

Cruz is the 2018 Blobfish Champion:
Ted Cruz came through, beating Jimmy Kimmel 11-9 Saturday at their one-on-one "Blobfish Basketball Classic" at Texas Southern University in Houston. The game raised money for Texas Children's Hospital and the group Generation One, Inc., and Cruz met his doppelgänger Grayson Allen.
Credit: @tedcruz/Twitter

The Inn at Little Washington Celebrates 40 Years:
The restaurant celebrated its birthday at George Washington's Mount Vernon Saturday, and chef Patrick O'Connell honored a group of culinary pioneers that included José Andrés and Cristeta Comerford, the first female White House executive chef. Mount Vernon's George and Martha Washington were also at the event (they were seated at table 21), and GW read a statement from first lady Melania Trump, who said O'Connell's story "is one of humble beginnings and hard work" that embodies "the American spirit."
Credit: Courtesy Inn at Little Washington

Obama Lunch Bag Fan Art:
Former President Obama marked Father's Day with a shoutout to Lynell Jinks, a dad who makes works of art on his children's lunch bags, including founding fathers, MLK, "Black Panther" characters, and the Obamas' official Smithsonian portraits.
Credit: @barackobama/Instagram

Street Art Sighting:
Posters of Ivanka Trump are up around 14th and U Street in northwest Washington this morning showing her holding her child and covered in headlines from outlets like Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN about the Trump administration separating families.
Credit: Jordan Frasier

If you spot political street art, tweet me @hunterschwarz, tag me on Instagram @hunterschwarz, or email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com with your sighting so I can feature it in COVER/LINE.

P.S.:
After releasing their nine-track joint album Everything is Love exclusive to Tidal Saturday, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have now put it on other streaming services (search "The Carters"). The video for lead single "Apes**t" was shot in the Louvre. Amazing.
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.

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