President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would both sign the bipartisan compromise spending bill and declare a national emergency on the border to authorize the shifting of funds for border barrier construction.
A number of “angel moms” and families — those who have lost a loved one to the criminal acts of illegal aliens — were in attendance at the event in the White House Rose Garden, and they brought with them large pictures of the loved ones that they will never get to see again.
Trump highlighted these angel families during his speech — at one point asking one of them to stand up and show the picture of her daughter to everyone — and said, “I have such respect for these people. Angel Moms, Angel Dads, Angel Families. I have great respect for these people. These are great people … They’re fighting for their children that have been killed by people that were illegally in this country.”
“And the press doesn’t cover them; they don’t want to, incredibly,” the president added. “And they’re not treated the way they should be. They’re fighting for other people because they don’t want what happened to their children or husband or anybody.”
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) February 15, 2019
After he concluded his prepared remarks, Trump took questions from the gathered media and, predictably, got into a bit of a back-and-forth with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta over whether there truly was a crisis or “national emergency” at the southern border.
At one point, Acosta asked, “What do you say to your critics who say that you are creating a national emergency, that you’re concocting a national emergency here in order to get your wall because you couldn’t get it through other ways?”
Trump replied, “I ask the Angel Moms: What do you think? Do you think I’m creating something? Ask these incredible women, who lost their daughters and their sons. Okay?”
One of the angel moms was overheard adding, for Acosta’s benefit, “This is real.”
The president proceeded to rip Acosta for his politicized question, and said, “Because your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news. You have an agenda. The numbers that you gave are wrong. Take a look at our federal prison population. See how many of them, percentage-wise, are illegal aliens. Just see. Go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.”
Fox News reported that, following the question and answer period, there was a minor confrontation between some of the angel moms and Acosta, which ended with Acosta issuing them an apology and inviting them to take part in his on-air report about the event.
“There is no attempt whatsoever to diminish what they’ve gone through, or take away what they’ve gone through, but as you heard in that question that I had with the president … it was really about the facts and the data,” said Acosta of the angel moms standing behind him.
“Some of these folks came up to me right after this press conference … they’re holding up these pictures of loved ones who lost their lives,” he added.
One of the angel moms told Acosta, “President Trump is completely correct on this issue, we need to protect this country.”
A reporter for USA Today shared in a tweet that one of the angel moms told Acosta that “there is a huge problem..there are mothers going through this everyday.” Acosta reportedly expressed his sympathy and told the women “my heart goes out to you.”
After that somewhat heated exchange, Angel Moms are discussing immigration with @Acosta. One mom who lost her daughter tells him “there is a huge problem..there are mothers going through this everyday.”
Acosta tells them he didn’t mean to offend, says “my heart goes out to you” pic.twitter.com/owkb9pUGUi
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) February 15, 2019
Jim Acosta, among others in the predominately liberal media, likely intended to challenge President Trump’s view of the situation at the border by pushing the narrative that there is no crisis or emergency, and thus no real need for increased security measures like barriers, fencing and walls.
However, the presence of the angel moms with the pictures of their lost loved ones undercut that liberal narrative and forced reporters like Acosta to come face to face with their painful losses.
The appearance of these angel families really should bring an end to the “everything is fine, nothing to see here” narrative about border security.
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