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Essential Politics: California’s sanctuary critics are meeting with Trump

Essential Politics: California’s sanctuary critics are meeting with Trump
Essential Politics (LAT)

Almost two months ago, a small Orange County city launched what's become the most talked-about effort to thwart California's new law that limits local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration efforts.

Today, that city's mayor and a handful of other California Republicans will talk strategy on opposing the state law with President Trump.

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'SHARED EFFORTS' ON SANCTUARY LAW

The meeting at the White House comes after the Trump administration sued California in March over a trio of immigration laws, none more notable than the state's "sanctuary" effort.

Led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the California delegation includes 16 local elected officials — including the sheriffs of Fresno and Stanislaus counties.

The first city to act, Los Alamitos, represented by Mayor Troy Edgar and Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto will be among the local and state leaders in the group.

Check our Essential Washington news feed for updates on the big meeting.

And file this one under interesting timing: On Tuesday night, hours before Trump's meeting with the state Republicans, the party's most prominent California leader — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer — said he opposes any effort for his city to join the lawsuit against the sanctuary law.

PUSHING BACK ON CRITICISM OVER GAZA

Don't be surprised if the president seeks to use the meeting to rally opposition to California's sanctuary law as a diversion from the lingering crisis — real and rhetorical — over deadly violence in Gaza.

New clashes erupted Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, as thousands of Palestinians staged angry funeral processions for demonstrators killed by Israeli troops.

"Those who suggest that the Gaza violence has anything to do with the location of the American Embassy are sorely mistaken," said U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Meanwhile, there's been new criticism of the pastor who offered prayers at Monday's embassy opening, Rev. Robert Jeffress. He has said Jews and other non-Christians, a group in which he includes Mormons, will go to hell — a belief he reconfirmed Monday.

Mitt Romney, the Republicans' 2012 presidential nominee and a Mormon running for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, lashed out on Twitter: "Jeffress says 'you can't be saved by being a Jew,' and 'Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.' He's said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem."

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ABOUT THAT HELP FOR CHINA'S ZTE…

Trump's abrupt change toward a Chinese telecom-equipment maker that his administration recently sanctioned drew widespread rebuke Monday, even as it seemed to increase the likelihood that the U.S. and China could soon pull back from the brink of a trade war.

"ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies," he wrote. "This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi."

NATIONAL POLITICS LIGHTNING ROUND

-- After weeks of warming relations, North Korea on Tuesday abruptly postponed scheduled talks with South Korea to protest U.S.-South Korean military exercises, but the Trump administration is downplaying the development.

-- Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to run the CIA, is on track to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate after key Democrats announced their support on Tuesday.

-- Monday's sweeping decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that opened the door to sports betting sanctioned by the states reaffirmed the justices' views on states' rights -- and could bolster liberal-leaning states like California in battling Trump over immigration and pot.

-- A federal appeals court seemed concerned Tuesday about the likely harm that would result if the Trump administration's plan to end protections for so-called Dreamers goes forward, but wrestled with technical legal questions about the judges' ability to intervene.

-- Two Federal Reserve nominees slammed Wells Fargo & Co. for its consumer abuses and indicated that they would have to see significant improvements before voting to lift a cap on the San Francisco bank's growth.

-- The president visited his wife, Melania, in the hospital Tuesday as she continued to recover from a kidney procedure. He said that the first lady was "doing really well" and that she's expected back at the White House before the end of the week.

-- Some of the biggest names in Democratic politics clamored to make a good impression on Tuesday at an annual gathering organized by the Center for American Progress. Speaking slots at the event, watched closely by some of the left's most well-heeled donors and well-connected politicos, were particularly coveted in this time of reinvention for Democrats when the race to carry the party's mantle and form its message is wide open.

GOVERNOR'S RACE: NEWSOM'S DECISION, VILLARAIGOSA MONEY, EASTIN'S AD

We're now exactly three weeks away from election day, and several developments are worth noting in the race for California governor.

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Melanie Mason continues our look at meaningful moments in the careers of some of the leading candidates. And for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a clear example is his decision as San Francisco's mayor to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now, five years after the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land, Newsom touts his action in a campaign ad for his gubernatorial bid.

Newsom's opponent, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, continues to get a huge boost in cash from an independent political action committee. A handful of wealthy charter-school backers are spending millions to boost Villaraigosa's campaign.

And Democrat Delaine Eastin released an advertisement on Tuesday that's a clever use of her opponents' words during candidate debates — a smart effort in a campaign where she doesn't have a lot of cash to get it seen on the airwaves.

TODAY'S ESSENTIALS

-- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra found himself on the firing line in two debates Tuesday between the four candidates in the race, perhaps the only such forums before the June 5 primary. Becerra and his Democratic challenger, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, have sparred over the role of campaign donors in the race.

-- A Riverside County judge has overturned California's physician-assisted suicide law, giving the state attorney general five days to file an appeal to keep the law in place.

-- Cal State officials say a one-time infusion of $100 million for deferred maintenance isn't enough for the nation's largest public university system.

-- California leads a group of 19 states in seeking to block Trump policy that threatens Planned Parenthood funding.

-- California lawmakers say it's time to get rape kits tested sooner after an arrest in the Golden State Killer case.

-- San Francisco is working with a nonprofit organization to create a program that would automatically clear convictions under California's new marijuana legalization law, Proposition 64.

-- Los Angeles County supervisors adopted a homelessness budget Tuesday that increases spending by $143 million over last year.

-- A Central Valley state legislator vowed on Monday to pursue a state constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, would allow legalized sports betting in California.

LOGISTICS

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