The CNN town hall with Ted Cruz and his family on Wednesday night began with host Anderson Cooper talking to the candidate about the usual political subjects, including his thoughts about GOP front-runner Donald Trumps' vocal opposition to the current system of gathering delegates in advance of the Republican National Convention. Cruz said Trump is acting like a "union boss thug" by threatening delegates and noted that he's only complaining about the process because recently he has lost several key primaries. "In the last three weeks there have been 11 elections in four states. And we have beaten Donald in all of 11 of them," Cruz said. "He's unhappy about that."
When Heidi Cruz joined her husband on stage and audience members came to the mic, the questions moved from the political to the personal: What was their first date? (A dinner when the two were working on the Bush campaign in 2000.) What did she think was his "most annoying" quality? (His iPhone.) Cruz also told the audience that he loves movies but his wife isn't interested in them, and that, after The Princess Bride, his favorite movies are The Godfather series, including The GodfatherPart III.
But the real highlight of the evening came when Cruz's two young daughters, dressed in identical yellow dresses, were asked whom they would first want to invite to visit the White House. Caroline, whose eighth birthday is on Thursday, and five-year-old Catherine, were shy about naming their favorite pop star, but their mother, Heidi, answered for them: "The girls would love to have their first guest be Taylor Swift," she said.
The girls may not have had much to say on the Cruz versus Trump delegate fight, but they weighed in on a different kind of "Bad Blood" (#sorrynotsorry). The whole family exchange was pretty adorable.
A preacher and two real estate entrepreneurs offer a glimpse of how far the candidate could go in rolling back LGBT protections.
Hannah LevintovaApr. 13, 2016 6:00 AM
Charlotte anti-LGBT activists David and Jason Benham
As he worked to rally evangelical voters a week before North Carolina's March 15 primary, Ted Cruz gave a speech at a church in the Charlotte suburb of Kannapolis, where he was joined by a trio of prominent local social conservative supporters: Charlotte pastor and congressional candidate Mark Harris and the Benham brothers, the telegenic real estate entrepreneurs whose house-flipping show on HGTV was canceled in 2014 when their history of anti-gay activism came to light. At the event, Cruz thanked Harris for "calling the nation to revival," and called David and Jason Benham "an extraordinary voice for the Christian faith."
For years, Harris and the Benhams have been at the forefront of every battle to oppose gay rights in North Carolina. This past February, they were at it again, this time against a nondiscrimination ordinance proposed in Charlotte that, among other things, allowed transgender people to use public restrooms based on their gender identity and protected LGBT people from discrimination by public institutions. The advocacy of these top Cruz supporters against the Charlotte ordinance eventually led the North Carolina legislature to push through one of the most sweeping anti-LGBT measures in the country, a law that has caused a national outcry and caused many companies, including PayPal, to scrap plans to invest in the state. The law, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, strikes down all existing and future LGBT nondiscrimination statutes in North Carolina and requires that transgender people use bathrooms based on their sex at birth.
Harris' and the Benhams' state activism is significant because, if Cruz wins the presidential race, the considerable influence of these three religious activists could extend far beyond North Carolina. In February, Cruz appointed them to his campaign's advisory council for religious liberty, along with 16 other conservative Christian leaders. The GOP candidate has promised that this group will "guide his policies to protect religious liberty"—policies that could look very much like the anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina. The group is filled with key players in the anti-LGBT world, including Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council (which is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center); it has already recommended that Cruz, if elected president, should stop federal employment discrimination protections for LGBT people, direct federal agencies to change their interpretation of "sex" to exclude sexual orientation and gender identity, cancel the mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage, and much more. Cruz has surrounded himself with this group of anti-LGBT heavyweights, and the work of Harris and the Benhams in North Carolina provides a glimpse into what this group can accomplish when it comes to rolling back LGBT protections in the name of religious freedom.
Harris and the Benhams first rose to prominence in 2012, when they helped organize the movement to pass a North Carolina constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. The Benhams—who are sons of an evangelical minister, and who had previously worked to quash local pride parades and organize anti-abortion protests—testified in favor of the measure and at one point equated the battle against marriage equality with fighting Nazis. Harris has been a well-known Baptist minister in Charlotte since 2005 and his church contributed more than $50,000 to the campaign to ban same-sex marriage. (The amendment passed but was invalidated in 2014 after a Supreme Court ruling.)
"All the social-issue stuff was bottled up with no outlet. But once you had the Republican legislature, you could just go wild."
Their temporarily successful work against same-sex marriage illustrated the growing power and influence of the state's social conservatives. Fueled by millions of campaign dollars from a few conservative megadonors, Republicans took over both chambers of the state legislature in the 2010 election, fueled by voters' economic dissatisfaction. Once in power, legislating social issues was a logical next step for this group of newly elected conservatives, says Steven Greene, a political-science professor at North Caroline State University. By 2012, the General Assembly made one of its first moves in this direction by voting to put the ban on same-sex unions onto that year's ballot. "Before 2010, we were largely under Democratic control," Greene says. "All the social-issue stuff was bottled up with no outlet. But once you had the Republican legislature, you could just go wild."
In 2014, when HGTV pulled the Benhams' show after journalists revealed their anti-gay activism, the brothers became social conservative heroes. They then wrote their first book, Whatever the Cost, about their sacrifice for their faith. Soon after, in February 2015, Charlotte introduced its anti-discrimination ordinance and Harris and the Benhams snapped into action. Faith Matters NC, a grassroots religious liberty group vice chaired by Harris, took out a radio ad on a conservative talk radio station in Charlotte. "I'd be really scared if a man shared a bathroom with my daughter," says a woman in the ad, of the bill's provision allowing public-restroom use based on gender identity. "This nightmare could become a reality right here in Charlotte if we don't speak up quickly," she continues, encouraging listeners to contact their city council members and demand that they vote down the "bathroom bill."
The Benham brothers, meanwhile, headlined a rally to promote biblical values at Charlotte City Hall. And on a conservative radio show David Benham called the bill part of "the radical gay agenda's plan to change America." He also penned an op-ed for the Charlotte Observer opposing the bill: "Clearly, this ordinance isn't really about non-discrimination," he wrote. "It's about forcing the acceptance of behavior." With his father, Flip, a well-known anti-gay street preacher in Charlotte, David addressed the city council on the day they voted on the ordinance. During the meeting, a transgender woman collapsed after giving her testimony. Flip Benham reportedly laughed and poked fun at her gender while she lay on the floor awaiting medical attention. He also allegedly confronted a transgender girl as she walked out of the bathroom, calling her a "pervert" and "young man."
"Clearly, this ordinance isn't really about non-discrimination," he wrote. "It's about forcing the acceptance of behavior."
The bill failed in 2015 but was reintroduced the following year. Once again, Harris and the Benhams led the opposition: Harris, for instance, heldmeetings at his church for the "Don't Do It Charlotte" campaign, and all three headlined a rally opposing themeasure. Despite their efforts, the ordinance passed in February 2016. Several weeks later, on March 18, opponents of the measure held a press conference in front of a city government building to urge state lawmakers to override the ordinance. David Benham was the opening speaker: "We sure hope the governor and General Assembly will do what is right," he said. Harris gave the closing speech: "Governor McCrory and the General Assembly must act now to protect women and children all across North Carolina," he said. He urged the governor to call for a special session to undo the Charlotte ordinance.
Five days later, that's exactly what happened. In a hastily convened special session, legislators in the Republican-controlled assembly introduced, debated, and passed HB 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, in less than 12 hours. Lawmakers had five minutes to read the bill, and Democratic legislators walked out of the assembly in protest. The rushed passage of HB 2 and the law's broad scope gained national attention, in part because the bill's language invalidates all local nondiscrimination statutes in the state, not just those tied to protecting the LGBT community. "Make no mistake: While LGBT folks were clearly the political target, everybody lost rights," Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson told Charlotte TV station WCNC. The bill also prohibits a locality from setting a minimum wage standard for private employers, and it limits how citizens can file claims of discrimination based on factors like race, religion, nationality, biological sex, and more.
When asked about their involvement in pushing for HB 2's passage, the Benham brothers, in an email to Mother Jones, wrote: "Before the bill was passed we had already been notified by the Governor that legislative action was certain, so we simply encouraged our elected officials to listen to the voice of the people." They continued, "It's common sense not to allow men in women's restrooms. It's also common sense not to force business owners to participate in expressive events that are against their religious beliefs."
For Cruz, who has staked his campaign on winning over evangelical voters, Harris and the Benhams made natural allies. And as Cruz plotted his presidential bid, he sought to woo these influential social conservatives. In 2014, Cruz headlined a religious rally at Harris' Charlotte church. That same year, Cruz reached out to the Benhams to express his support after HGTV dropped their show. Then last November, the Benhams emceed a Cruz rally for religious liberty in South Carolina, and in January 2016 they formally endorsed Cruz for president. The following month, Harris endorsed him as well. "Mark's commitment to be a guiding light in the cultural and political arenas has impacted Christians in North Carolina and across the nation," Cruz said in a press release trumpeting the endorsement.
Supporting Cruz may bring political benefits for Harris, too. Two days after the HB 2 victory, Harris announced he would be running for Congress to protect "liberty, faith, and family."
"Mark's commitment to be a guiding light in the cultural and political arenas has impacted Christians in North Carolina and across the nation," Cruz wrote.
Mark Knoop, the campaign's spokesman, said that since starting his own campaign, Harris "is entirely focused on his own campaign," and has put his role as a religious liberty adviser to Cruz "on the backburner."
The impact of the work of Harris and the Benham brothers in North Carolina has caused national backlash. As word spread of the state's new law, more than 120 major corporations, including Apple, American Airlines, and PayPal, urged the governor to repeal the bill or to face dire business consequences. In response, the Benham brothers wrote an op-ed for conservative website World Net Daily defending the governor: "Once the media started reporting, you would've thought the governor had joined ISIS!" wrote the brothers. "They've crafted the narrative in the media that North Carolina's HB2 is against LGBT individuals, yet nothing could be further from the truth." (On Tuesday, the state's Gov. Pat McCrory responded to the backlash with an executive order granting LGBT protections only to state employees.)
Harris' campaign makes a similar point. "Its not like North Carolina is persecuting the LGBT community," says Knoop. "The whole point is that people going to a bathroom are going to the right bathroom." When asked to elaborate on Harris' stance on portions of HB 2 unrelated to bathroom use, including the part that invalidates the state's LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances, Knoop declined to comment.
The Republican presidential candidate is going after a law inspired by the anti-abortion tactics of one of his top supporters.
Hannah LevintovaApr. 1, 2016 10:25 AM
In 1991, thousands of anti-abortion protesters sat in the streets of Wichita, Kansas, blocking roads to abortion clinics for six weeks. The enormous protest, which led to thousands of arrests and crippled both reproductive health care access and law enforcement, was organized by the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. The groupwas linked to a string of attacks on abortion clinics in the 1980s and early 1990s, prompting Congress to pass the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1994, which instituted criminal penalties for physical damage and other violence against abortion providers.
Fast forward to 2016. Troy Newman, the evangelical leader of Operation Rescue, is now an avid backer of the presidential campaign of Ted Cruz and a co-chair of Pro-Lifers for Cruz, a national anti-abortion coalition formed by the Cruz campaign. Cruz has touted Newman's support, calling him a "leading pro-life activist" who "has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years."
And on Tuesday, Cruz sent a letter to the Department of Justice arguing that it has mounted "frivolous" FACE Act prosecutions of anti-abortion protesters like Newman (who was charged under the act in 1998 for obstructing a Washington, DC, clinic) and should use the law to protect places of religious worship.
In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the senator from Texas and his Republican colleague Mike Lee of Utah wrote that the DOJ is engaging in "warped and biased enforcement" of the FACE Act.When the FACE Act was debated in Congress in 1994, the House and Senate agreed to a Republican amendment to extend the protections given to abortion clinics to places of religious worship as a concession to help pass the bill.Cruz and Lee now allege that the DOJ has ignored the religious protections of the FACE Act, focusing unfairly on prosecuting the anti-abortion movement. They noted in their letter that the webpage for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, which enforces the FACE Act, links to several FACE cases tied to abortion providers, but does not list any prosecutions tied to places of religious worship.
There's a reason for that, says Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation. Cases must clear a high bar to trigger a FACE prosecution, one that protests against religious facilities hardly ever reach. "There are aggressive protests taking place every day outside of abortion clinics," Saporta says. "There are many instances where abortion providers are being threatened but the DOJ does not prosecute. They are very clear that there needs to be a true threat—force or the threat of force—and rock-solid proof before they will proceed with a FACE case."
The FACE Act is at the nexus of all things Cruz. His presidential campaign has focused on religious freedom, helping him corner enough votes from evangelicals to beat Donald Trump in several state primaries and caucuses. He has also touted his unbending pro-life stance—he believes in outlawing abortion, with no exception for rape or incest cases, and has promised to defund Planned Parenthood as president—as further evidence of his devoutness and commitment to traditional values.
The letter from Cruz and Lee asked the DOJ to provide additional information by April 11 about its FACE enforcement tied to pro- and anti-abortion groups and religious organizations. The Cruz campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Religious groups say that facilitating birth control coverage violates their beliefs, so the justices are trying to find a workaround.
Hannah LevintovaMar. 29, 2016 4:13 PM
On Tuesday afternoon, the US Supreme Court issued an order in Zubik v. Burwell, one of two critical reproductive rights cases currently before the court. In this case, several religious groups—including the Little Sisters of the Poor—contend that the Affordable Care Act's current protocol for religious groups seeking to opt out of covering contraceptives for their employees still violates their religious beliefs.
In their order, the justices asked both sides to present ideas for how contraceptive coverage can be provided for employees without any direct involvement by the religious employer. That's because the plaintiffs—which also include groups of priests, bishops, and several religious universities—take issue with even tangential involvement in facilitating birth control coverage, saying that the form they must complete to opt out of Obamacare's birth control mandate violates their beliefs because it requires them to help employees get birth control elsewhere.
The order suggests one workaround: The employer could voice their opposition to birth control in its initial contracts with insurance companies, and then leave the rest to the insurer. The insurance company would then be responsible for facilitating alternative birth control coverage, eliminating the need for groups to file any additional forms opting out of birth control coverage on religious grounds.
Still, the distinction here is quite thin: If notifying the government violates a religious group's beliefs, it's unclear how shifting the process to one where they notify the insurance company instead will do much to alleviate their concerns.
An incomplete history of business deals gone wrong.
Hannah LevintovaMar. 28, 2016 6:00 AM
Of the many targets of Republican presidential contenders' attacks on Donald Trump—and there have been plenty to choose from—one of their favorites has been Trump University. The now-shuttered educational enterprise (forced to change its name to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative after the New York education department found its moniker to be misleading) is accused, in three separate lawsuits, of defrauding thousands of students into taking on massive debt they now can't pay back by falsely marketing itself as a road to Trump-level wealth and business success.
But Trump University isn't the only Trump endeavor that has landed in court. The tycoon has launched—or lent his name to—a slew of business ventures that have yielded frustrated customers and investors who have sought legal recourse.There are hundreds of lawsuits extending over 43 years that name Trump or one of his businesses. Here's an incomplete list of some of those legal skirmishes that began when Trump joined his father's business and continue through his run for the GOP nomination.
Trump Management: In 1973, the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his father's company, Trump Management, for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act in connection with 39 buildings it operated. The DOJ alleged that building administrators racially coded apartment applications to secretly ensure that black applicants would be denied. The case was settled in 1975, without an admission of guilt from Trump Management.
They wrote in their filing that the current plan gave a "basket of goodies" to Trump—including a $2 million-a-year salary—leaving virtually nothing for investors.
Trump Tower: In 1980, Trump hired a contractor to demolish an old building to clear the way for Trump Tower, the midtown Manhattan skyscraper that today houses Trump's main digs and the headquarters of the Trump Organization.To meet Trump's deadline, the contractor hired 200 undocumented Polish laborers and kept them off the books, paying them $4 or $5 an hour—the minimum wage in 1980 was $3.10—and often requiring that they work 12-hour days with no overtime. In 1983, members of the local Wreckers Union filed a class-action lawsuit against Trump for $4 million in unpaid union pensions and other contributions that would help increase benefits for some of the Polish workers. Many of the workers also alleged that they hadn't been paid the full wages they were due. Throughout the case and even recently, Trump has insisted that he wasn't aware his contractor had hired these Polish workers. The courts didn't buy it. "We find that a conspiracy to deprive the funds of their rightful contributions has been shown," wrote the district court judge in a 1991 ruling. "There is strong evidence of tacit agreement by the parties…to employ the Polish workers and to deprive them of the benefits ordinarily accorded to non-union workers on a union job, including contributions to the funds based on their wages." The case was settled in 1999 for an undisclosed amount and sealed, but Rubio brought it up several times during a GOP debate in February.
Trump's Atlantic City casinos: Between 1991 and 2009, four Trump ventures declared bankruptcy, three of them involving his hotel and casino empire in Atlantic City, New Jersey. These bankruptcies spawned a number of lawsuits. Here are three, including one from his own lawyer:
Trump was sued by a market analyst who predicted the bankruptcy of the Trump Taj Mahal casino years before it opened in 1990: When Trump was planning the Taj Mahal in the late 1980s, a market analyst named Marvin Roffman made it clear that he thought the venture wouldn't succeed. Two weeks before the casino's opening, after his dismal prediction about the casino's future was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, a furious Trump called the Philadelphia brokerage firm where he worked, Janney Montgomery Scott, demanding an apology and threatening to sue. Roffman issued an apology, rescinded it, and was then fired. First Roffman sued his former firm for wrongful termination—settling for $750,000—and then, in July 1990, he sued Trump, later settling for an undisclosed amount.
Trump's shareholders begged the bankruptcy court to derail Trump's plan to reorganize his Atlantic City casinos as a "basket of goodies" for himself: In 2004, Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts declared bankruptcy. When the company and the bankruptcy court came up with a plan to reorganize the business, stockholders in the company filed documents with the bankruptcy court asking the judge to cut off Trump's exclusive right to direct the reorganization of the casinos. They wrote in their filing that the current plan gave a "basket of goodies" to Trump—including a $2 million-a-year salary for his job as chairman—leaving virtually nothing for investors. Ultimately, the shareholders' appeals were acknowledged and Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts agreed to pay the investors $17.5 million. It is unclear what happened to Trump's salary.
A law firm won $50 million for Trump Entertainment but then had to sue its former client after Trump Entertainment tried to avoid paying its legal fees by claiming bankruptcy: In 2008, the law firm Levine Staller began filing tax appeals for the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina. Its work saved Trump's company lots of money: In 2012, Levine Staller won a settlement that returned $35 million in overpaid taxes and cut $15 million from the company's future liabilities, leading to a total savings of $50 million for the corporation. Trump agreed to pay $7.25 million to the law firm in legal fees, but then only paid Levine Staller $6 million before trying to claim the rest as unsecured debt in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. In response, Levine Staller sued its former client, Trump Entertainment, and in 2014, a judge rejected TrumpEntertainment's request to be absolved of this debt and told the company to pay up.
Two Trump casino dealers filed (and later lost) a sex discrimination case after they were fired for wearing ponytails: In 1996, two male casino dealers at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City got fired after repeatedly refusing to comply with a new grooming policy at the casino that required men's hair to be no longer than "mid-collar." Both dealers wore ponytails and received multiple warnings before being terminated. Once officially fired, they filed a case against Trump Plaza alleging that sex-differentiated hair policies are discriminatory, as well as several other charges. Both a lower court and the superior court of New Jersey ruled on behalf of Trump Plaza, saying that the hair length policy did not constitute sex discrimination.
Trump SoHo: In 2010, a group of buyers who had purchased condos at Trump SoHo, a luxury hotel and condo building in lower Manhattan, sued the Trump Organization, which managed the building, and the group of developers who had constructed it. They alleged that they were duped into buying these properties by representatives of Trump SoHo, who had exaggerated the building's sales and instilled a false sense of confidence in future buyers about the project's potential for success. The building was planned as a mixed-use condo and hotel project: Buyers could live in their properties only for a designated number of days each year, and the rest of the time their homes would be rented to hotel guests, with the buyer and Trump SoHo sharing rental revenue. In their complaint, the buyers said they had been misled in the personal pitches and statements to the press made by representatives of Trump SoHo, who said the project was "30, 40, 50, 60 percent or more" sold. In reality, only 16 percent of the building's units were sold—just 1 percent more than is needed to start an offering plan, a document for buyers that outlines the details of a construction project that is under development. A year later, the buyers settled with the sponsors of Trump SoHo after they promised to refund 90 percent of the apartment deposits. Trump SoHo was completed in 2010 and was purchased by CIM Group in 2014 after going into foreclosure proceedings because it couldn't find enough buyers. Roughly two-thirds of the units still haven't been sold.
Trump Tower Tampa: In 2009, a group of at least 20 condo buyers sued Trump for overselling his role in the development of a luxury condo project in Tampa, Florida, that was ultimately never built and remains an empty lot to this day.Buyers put down 20 percent deposits on 190 units that cost between $700,000 and nearly $6 million, in part because the project's marketing materials persuaded them that Trump was behind the development of the building. In fact, he had only lent his name to the project through a licensing agreement. The case was ultimately settled, with some buyers getting back as little as $11,115, after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A Trump Organization VP wrote in an email, "At least for formal, prepared speeches, can someone vet going forward? Hopefully the Latino community does not organize against us more broadly in DC / across Trump properties."
Trump Baja: Tampa was not the only place where condo buyers sued Trump for overselling his role in a project.In 2010, more than 100 condo buyers sued Trump after they lost millions of dollars in deposits they'd put down on apartments in Trump Ocean Resort Baja, a plannedluxury oceanfront hotel and condo building near Tijuana, Mexico, that was never built.The property was foreclosed on in 2008, in the middle of the financial crisis, before construction had begun. Buyers had been given the impression that Trump was developing the property—a selling point for many—but when the project was foreclosed on, it turned out that he had merely licensed his name to the venture. The lawsuitaccused Trump of fraud and violating federal disclosure laws, among other charges, and a confidential settlement was secured in 2013.
Trump Model Management: In October 2014, Jamaican fashion model Alexia Palmer filed a lawsuit against Trump's modeling agency. She alleged that Trump Model Management had engaged in "fraudulent misrepresentation" and violated immigration and labor laws when it agreed, as part of her visa application, to pay her a $75,000 annual salary, but then didn't pay anywhere close to that amount. Palmer says she was paid just $3,880.75 over three years. Trump Model Management filed a motion to dismiss the case, and a New York district judge dismissed the case in March 2016.
The chefs: In June 2015, while announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination, Trump memorably described Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists."On July 8, acclaimed restaurateur José Andrés announced that he was pulling his restaurant from Trump's planned Washington, DC, hotel due to the candidate's comments. Shortly after, Geoffrey Zakarian, a second chef with an agreement to open an eatery at the hotel, also withdrew. In July and August, Trump sued Andrés' company and Zakarian's firm for breach of contract, asking each for $10 million in damages and lost rent. About a month later, both chefscountersued Trump, alleging that the real breach of contract was on his side. As Andrés explained in his lawsuit, which sought $8 million in damages, Trump's decision to disparage immigrants made it difficult to run a Spanish restaurant associated with his name. From Andrés' complaint: "The perception that Mr. Trump's statements were anti-Hispanic made it very difficult to recruit appropriate staff for a Hispanic restaurant, to attract the requisite number of Hispanic food patrons for a profitable enterprise, and to raise capital for what was now an extraordinarily risky Spanish restaurant."BLT Prime, a steak restaurant chain, has since agreed to open a location in Trump's DC hotel.
In February, as proceedings in the Andrés-Trump legal battle moved forward, internal Trump organization emails were submitted as part of court proceedings. After an email from Andrés' company said the company was getting blowback over Trump's statements on immigrants, a Trump Organization vice president sent an email to Ivanka Trump. "Ugh," the vice president wrote. "This is not surprising and would expect that this will not be the last that we hear of it. At least for formal, prepared speeches, can someone vet going forward? Hopefully the Latino community does not organize against us more broadly in DC/across Trump properties."