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The Excerpt podcast: Biden, Trump dueling visits put border fight under spotlight

On Friday's episode of The Excerpt podcast: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump made competing visits to the border Thursday. More than 100 Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops opened fire on people waiting for food. USA TODAY National Correspondent Chris Kenning reports on the potential impact of new voting laws in North Carolina. The Pentagon classified document leak suspect is expected to plead guilty Monday. USA TODAY Money and Personal Finance Reporter Medora Lee talks about a loophole for Parent PLUS loan holders.

Hit play on the player below to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript beneath it.  This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

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Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson, and today is Friday, March 1st, 2024. This is The Excerpt. Today, a look at Biden and Trump's separate trips to the border. Plus there's a grim death toll in Gaza and what new voting laws might mean in North Carolina. President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump made separate clashing visits at the US Mexico border yesterday. Biden called on Trump to join him and asking Congress to pass wide-ranging border security legislation negotiated by a team of Democratic and Republican senators, which the house GOP rejected at Trump's urging.

Joe Biden:

I understand my predecessor's in Eagle Pass today. So here's what I would say to Mr. Trump. Instead of playing politics issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me or I'll join you in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan border security bill. We can do it together.

Taylor Wilson:

Those comments were made in Brownsville, Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico. Trump speaking at around the same time, 325 miles away in Eagle Pass, Texas, pointed to what he called a historically secure border under his administration.

Donald Trump:

Three years ago, we had the most secure border in history. Brandon was saying it, the general was saying it. We had the most secure border and people weren't coming because they knew they weren't going to get in.

Taylor Wilson:

Trump also hurled insults at Biden and said he's responsible for an immigration crisis and unable to deal with it effectively. The competing stops come around eight months before Biden and Trump are expected to square off in the November election. And a Gallup poll released this week showed that for the first time since the last decade, Americans now believe immigration to be the most important issue facing the US.More than 100 Palestinians were killed and another 700 injured when Israeli troops opened fire on people waiting for food in Gaza City. That pushes the Palestinian death toll above 30,000 since the war began according to the Gaza Health Ministry yesterday. Israeli authorities released aerial footage of crowds, swarming, arriving aid trucks, and put blame on the crush of the crowd and Palestinian truck drivers. The incident comes as the UN says, a quarter of Gaza's 2.3 million people could face starvation and that 80% of the territory has been forced to flee their homes. Israel's assault on Gaza was prompted by an October Hamas led attack on Israeli border communities that killed some 1200 people while hundreds more were taken hostage.

Taylor Wilson:

The Massachusetts Air National Guard member charged with sharing hundreds of classified documents on social media is expected to plead guilty on Monday. Jack Teixeira has been charged with six counts of willful retention of defense records for allegedly sharing classified documents through the social media platform, Discord. The leak's exposed embarrassing secrets and analysis from across the US intelligence community involving Russia's war in Ukraine and North Korea's race to develop nuclear weapons. Teixeira initially pleaded not guilty, but a filing yesterday in US district court from prosecutors in coordination with defense lawyers, asked for a Monday hearing for him to change his plea. The filing did not say which charges he would admit.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The Excerpt podcast: Biden, Trump dueling visits center border fight