Trump to reverse Obama’s ‘closure’ of still open Gitmo, yet another Washington leak suggests
A draft State Department cable describes a preview of a plan by Trump to rescind President Barack Obama’s executive order to close Guantanamo Bay, according to a document obtained by Politico on Thursday. The leak comes hot on the heels of the president’s arrival at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The leaked cable instructs US diplomats to start informing officials from other countries about the order after the president’s State of the Union speech, scheduled for January 30. However, embassies in Paris, London, Berlin and a number of other cities can begin telling foreign governments on Monday, Politico reported the cable as reading.
The draft cable includes talking points designed to lighten the concerns of allies who are likely to criticize the president’s decision to keep the prison open, Politico reported.
The document states that the alleged forthcoming decision will also repeal language from Obama’s 2009 executive order to the effect that any detainees in Guantanamo should be “returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility” at the time the prison shuts down.
In addition to this, the cable also notes that Trump’s executive order will direct the US Department of Defense, in consultation with the State Department and other agencies, to “recommend criteria to the President for determining detention disposition outcomes for individuals captured on the battlefield.”
However, the newly leaked document also says the Trump administration is “not aware of any plans to bring additional detainees to Guantanamo Bay.”
“The EO does not signal a significant policy shift with respect to detentions,” the cable says. “Rather, it affirms Guantanamo Bay will continue to remain open and serve as one of several options the United States maintains for the detention of terrorists.”
The expected decision follows two other leaks on Thursday regarding the Trump White House. The New York Times alleged that last June Trump called for White House counsel Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, now leading the Trump-Russia probe into alleged election collusion, based on four anonymous sources. However, McGahn reportedly refused and threatened to resign if the firing was carried out, at which point the president allegedly backed out of the decision.
McGahn’s threat to resign was not made directly to the president, the Times reported citing sources.
Also on Thursday, a one-page White House memo concerning US immigration policy changes was leaked by a congressional source after it was delivered to Congress. The memo outlines Trump’s plan for a bipartisan immigration reform deal, which calls for the termination of chain migration and visa lotteries, but grants a pathway to citizenship for more than double the number of “Dreamers” that Democrats most recently pushed.
Trump’s plan would give 1.8 million illegal immigrants, including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and those who are DACA-eligible, a path to citizenship over 10-12 years.