Wednesday morning news: June 19, 2019

President Trump kicks off reelection campaign at FL event » PENCE: We’re going to make history again in 2020 when we reelect the 45th president of the United States!

Vice President Mike Pence kicking off a big rally in Orlando last night where President Trump told supporters he’ll seek four more years in the White House.

TRUMP: I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States.

The president touted his first three years in office—telling supporters that his administration fulfilled its promises to cut taxes and slash government regulations.  

He also defended his trade policies and the ongoing trade war with China.

And he began building on what may be the centerpiece of his case for reelection—the strength of the U.S. economy.

TRUMP: Our economy is the envy of the world, perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country.

President says ICE preparing to remove millions in the country illegally » Just hours before announcing his reelection campaign, the president addressed what has been perhaps his signature issue—dating back to his 2016 campaign, fighting illegal immigration. And he made a bold pronouncement this week about immigration enforcement. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The president tweeted that beginning next week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin—quoting here—“the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

But he did not offer specifics about the deportation process.

Some have expressed doubts that the number will actually be in the millions. The highest number of immigrants ICE has ever deported in a year was just over 400,000. That was in 2012.

The president also tweeted that Guatemala is preparing to sign an agreement to be a safe third country that could receive asylum-seekers from its neighbors.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Dem candidates gather at DNC’s LGBT event » Democratic White House hopefuls are also busy on the campaign trail this week.

Several turned out for the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBTQ gala in New York. Among them was New York Senator Kirsten Gilibrand.

GILLIBRAND: There is no question that when it comes to the human rights of LGBTQ-plus Americans, there is only one right side of history and we are on it. 

And Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar took a shot at President Trump for restrictions on transgenderism in the U.S. military.

KLOBUCHAR: And it’s not right that the president could decide that transgender service members would no longer be able to serve in our nation’s military. 

The only openly gay candidate in the race, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigeig did not attend.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez said the event highlighted what he called a “rainbow wave” of LGBT victories in the 2018 midterm elections.

Pompeo meets will military leaders, addresses Iranian threats » Secretary of State Mike Pompeo huddled with military leaders at Macdill Air Force base in Florida Tuesday. They discussed measures to guard against threats from Iran.

The White House announced Monday that a thousand more troops will head to the Middle East. But Pompeo stressed once again that the goal is peace through strength.

POMPEO: We are there to deter aggression. President Trump does not want war. 

The U.S. believes Iran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers last week near the Persian Gulf. And Pompeo again called on allies to make clear to Iran that they won’t tolerate aggression.

POMPEO: Every nation that has an interest in protecting that shipping lane so that energy can move around the world and support their economies needs to make sure they understand the real threat, the real threat to their interests in the region and the real threat to their economies if we’re not successful in doing that. 

Iran announced Monday that it’s accelerating its nuclear program. Several European countries are still working to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. pulled out of the pact last year.

Facebook to launch cryptocurrency » Facebook unveiled plans on Tuesday for its own new bitcoin-like cryptocurrency. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has that story.

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The new cryptocurrency will be called Libra. Companies such as Lyft, MasterCard, Spotify, Uber, and Visa are joining the social media giant to form the Libra Association. The Swiss-based council will give each company one vote in the currency’s administration.

Currency co-creator David Marcus said he hoped Libra would make digital transactions easier for the 1.7 billion people who still don’t have access to banks.

The currency is scheduled for release in the next six to 12 months. Facebook is trying to raise as much as $1 billion to support the launch. Libra will be based on a mix of assets, including real-world currencies like the U.S. dollar and the euro. Backers hope that will avoid the instability that affects other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters after arriving at Miami International Airport in Miami, following his re-election kickoff rally in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, June 18, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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