Sun, Jun 24, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Trump calls border separations ‘phony’

CONSPIRACY THEORY:Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said that the migrant children were actually actors who were coached by liberals and called on Trump to ‘not fall for it’


Angui Funes, right, sits with her brother, Jesus, after crossing the border from the US back to Reynosa in Mexico on Thursday. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they voluntarily returned to Mexico after US officials said they would be separated.

Photo: AP

US President Donald Trump on Friday tried to cast doubt on wrenching tales of migrant children separated from their families at the border, dismissing “phony stories of sadness and grief,” while asserting that the real victims of the US’ immigration crisis are Americans killed by those who cross the border unlawfully.

Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Trump came back firing, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story, but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.

“You hear the other side, you never hear this side,” said Trump, standing with a dozen of what he called the “angel families” who lost loved ones at the hands of people in the country illegally.

He focused on that young migrants separated from parents are likely to be reunited, unlike the victims of murders.

“These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word ‘permanently’ being the word that you have to think about. Permanently — they’re not separated for a day or two days, these are permanently separated, because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.”

Amid mushrooming bipartisan concern over depictions of terrified migrant children separated from their parents, Trump on Wednesday had abruptly reversed course and signed an executive order to overturn the policy, although up to 2,000 children are still believed to be separated from their parents.

However, that rare moment of public capitulation was brief from the US president, who laced his remarks at a rally in Minnesota that night with hard-line immigration rhetoric that continued on Friday.

In a tweet, he raised questions about whether the migrants’ hardships really existed.

“We must maintain a Strong Southern Border,” Trump tweeted. “We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections. Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!”

Trump’s suggestion that the stories were erroneous was likely fueled by revelations on Friday about one of the defining images to this point in the crisis, a two-year-old Honduran girl crying as her mother was stopped by a US Border Patrol agent.

However, the girl in the photograph, who ended up on the cover of Time magazine this week, was not separated from her mother, but detained with her, the child’s father told the Daily Mail.

Time said it stood by the image, because it captures “the stakes of this moment.”

Trump has long chafed at the media’s treatment, his fury only growing in the past week, when he felt that he did not receive proper credit for his summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Some conservatives seized hold of the migrant photo faux pas to attack the media, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted: “It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda.”

Other Trump allies have gone even further. Ann Coulter, a conservative pundit, on Sunday last week in an interview on Fox News said that kids at the border were “actor children” who were “given scripts to read by liberals.”

Coulter then turned to the camera and said to Trump: “Don’t fall for it.”

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