The Note: Amid separation policy controversy, Trump revs up partisan attacks

This is a tense, angry, loud, and messy moment in politics.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

This is a tense, angry, loud, and messy moment in politics – and a potentially scary one.

It may be perfectly Trumpian, at least so far as the president is concerned. President Donald Trump thrives on chaos and sharp divisions, and sees this moment – peppered with campaign events, even as it tests his administration’s ability to manage itself – as an opportunity to rev up partisan attacks.

Last week’s retreat on the issue of family separations was tactical and temporary. Now come presidential calls to deport illegal border crossers without "Judges or Court cases" and not "allow all of these people to invade our Country," and incendiary images and phrases coming from prominent Trump supporters.

With Trump campaigning in South Carolina on Monday, it all sets up an uncertain series of House votes this week on immigration, along with court challenges that could throw the new family-separation policy into further confusion.

Trump says he sees a "red wave" coming. Something is stirring, but first will come intense bureaucratic, legal, and intensely personal dramas.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Primary voters in seven states go to the polls Tuesday. It's the last big primary day until August.

One of those states voting is Oklahoma, where education funding continues to be a major political issue. Last spring, teacher strikes shut down schools in the state for nine days.

Just last week, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court struck down a proposed ballot measure, which would have repealed tax increases (mostly on oil and grass production) the state passed to pay for teacher raises and end the strike.

The justices called the potential referendum misleading.

But the group of Republicans who led the charge to get a repeal vote on the ballot still have a few week to try again.

And some Democrats have quietly wondered if having the measure on the statewide ballot could rally support and help bring voters to the polls.

Candidates have been split on the issue — and not just along party lines. There are a number of Republicans who supported the original bill and did not support the repeal referendum idea.

The TIP with Justin Fishel

The president kicks off this week by once again engaging in South Carolina politics.

He heads to the state Monday to campaign alongside Gov. Henry McMaster.

Last week, Trump tweeted that House Republicans "applauded and laughed" when he ribbed Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., after his primary loss in their closed-door meeting.

But several members of Congress and sources who were in the room have said Trump's comments — calling Sanford "nasty" and saying he wanted to congratulate him on his campaign — fell flat, and were met with silence and a few boos from Sanford's colleagues.

Republican Congressman Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania summed it up this way: "Categorically false."

Speaking to ABC News Friday, Sanford, who is well liked on the Hill, said he thought Trump's comments to Republicans about his primary loss were "surreal," but said he doesn't regret any of his criticisms of Trump.

Sanford was ousted by Trump-endorsed state Rep. Katie Arrington, who was seriously injured in a car accident over the weekend.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., defended Sanford repeatedly on Twitter, and responded to Trump's tweet Friday: "House Republicans had front row seats to @POTUS’s dazzling display of pettiness and insecurity. Nobody applauded or laughed. People were disgusted."


  • President Trump welcomes Their Majesties King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the White House at 2 p.m.
  • The president later travels to West Columbia, South Carolina to join a campaign rally for Gov. McMaster at 7 p.m.
  • The Supreme Court is expected to issue decisions at 10:00 a.m.
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis holds a press event with Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan at Eielson Air Force Base at 2:00 p.m.
  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, participates in a discussion hosted by the Heritage Foundation on the importance of congressional oversight.

    "[Democrats] are on record supporting significant border control. And so when the president says that and calls them clowns and losers, how does he expect the Democrats to sit down and work with Republicans on these issues? And so words matter. What the president says matters. And he ought to knock that off." — Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake on "This Week" Sunday regarding Trump blaming Democrats for family separations at the U.S. border.


    Trump says undocumented immigrants should 'immediately' return without due process. President Donald Trump said undocumented immigrants should be immediately deported and denied due process once they enter the country. (Meridith McGraw)

    Homeland Security says it has 'well-established' plan to reunite immigrant families. The Trump administration says it has a "well-established" plan in place to reunite families separated as a result of the president's controversial zero-tolerance immigration policy, but there's still no word on when the reunifications would be complete. (Karma Allen)

    Intra-party squabbles color Tuesday's slate of primaries. Voters in Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah head to the polls Tuesday in a slate of primaries that highlight the many fissures in both political parties that continue to define a contentious 2018 primary season. (John Verhovek, Roey Hadar, John Parkinson and Jeffrey Cook)

    Republican congressional nominee Katie Arrington seriously injured in car accident. Arrington was traveling with an aide to Hilton Head on Highway 17 when a vehicle driving in the wrong direction struck their car around 9 p.m. local time. Both were seriously injured and remained hospitalized the following morning, according to a statement posted on Arrington's Twitter and Facebook accounts. (Morgan Winsor)

    This single mom runs her own business and is now also running for Congress. Katie Wilson says there are two remarks she gets from people on the campaign trail that male candidates probably don’t: "Who’s taking care of your kids? And you should really smile more." (MaryAlice Parks, Rachel Scott and Brittany Berkowitz)

    Veteran-turned-congressional candidate draws attention for personal campaign ad. A campaign ad released Wednesday by a progressive running in Texas’s 31st Congressional District in 2018 is gaining national attention for its candid presentation of issues including domestic violence, misogyny, and money in politics. (Lee Harris)

    Trump administration's 'secret shutdown' of immigration program discriminated against Latinos: Lawsuit. The Central American Minors program, which reunited children and other eligible family members with parents legally residing in the U.S., was one of Trump's early targets as he sought to crack down on legal immigration. (Conor Finnegan)

    No one answering 'hard questions' on 'quantity, quality' of immigrants to let in: Former Trump aide. President Donald Trump's former homeland security adviser said that even with the sharply divided views on immigration in the U.S., few officials in either party want to answer "hard questions" of how many and what kinds of migrants should be allowed in to the country. (Kelsey Walsh)

    Trump has redefined the Republican Party, 'unfortunately': GOP senator. A senator who is a leading GOP critic of President Donald Trump said the president has "unfortunately" redefined the Republican Party, in an appearance on "This Week" Sunday. (Roey Hader)

    Refugees from Central America have 'legal right' to apply for asylum in US: Advocate. Two prominent international refugee advocates said that the U.S. may be overlooking key facts about the flow of immigrants across the southern border that has caused a sharp political debate. (Kelsey Walsh)

    Pruitt staff had extensive relationship with lobbyist tied to 'sweetheart' condo deal, emails show. Nearly two months after it was first revealed that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt rented a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a top lobbyist, newly released emails show that relationship was not just limited to an unorthodox rental agreement. (John Santucci and Matthew Mosk)

    Sarah Sanders says she was told to leave restaurant because she works for Trump. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was told to leave a Virginia restaurant because she works for President Donald Trump. (Kendall Karson and Morgan Winsor)

    Mike Huckabee tweets photo of apparent gang he says is Nancy Pelosi's 'campaign committee.' Former Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee posted a photo of apparent gang members on Twitter, saying they are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's "campaign committee." (Morgan Winsor)

    Colorado’s 1.4 million unaffiliated voters — who aren’t aligned with a party but are registered to vote — are the "wild card" in the state’s primary elections Tuesday, reports the Denver Post. It’s the first time Colorado’s unaffiliated voters can participate in a primary election, and political observers say it’s "anyone’s guess as to their impact."

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.