Former President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at President Joe Biden’s claims about Trump’s border policies.
During Biden’s news conference earlier in the day, he was asked about the messaging from his administration that has encouraged people in Latin America to come north expecting to be able to enter the U.S.
“Well, look, the idea that I’m going to say — which I would never do — ‘if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we’re just going to let him starve to death and stay on the other side’ — no previous administration did that either, except Trump. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it,” Biden said as part of his response, according to a White House transcript.
That remark in particular irked Trump during an evening appearance on the Fox News program “The Ingraham Angle.”
“First of all, it’s just the opposite,” Trump said.
“By the time we finished what we were doing [on the border], very few people were coming up because they knew they weren’t going to get through. We stopped ‘catch and release’ — which was a disaster,” the former president said.
“The very biggest thing was, we had the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, and that means that we wouldn’t allow people to wait in our country until they were totally checked out, which most of them didn’t get checked out, and they would go back to their own country,” he added.
“If young kids were with parents, but a lot of times, they weren’t, and we would take care of them, but … what they are doing now is outrageous. And they should finish the wall.”
Trump said the change in presidents altered the tone of the establishment media.
Questions Biden received “were asked in a very interesting way. It was like softballs; like you are throwing softballs up, and it is just a different world,” Trump said.
He noted there was no antagonistic reporter of the ilk of CNN’s Jim Acosta, who dueled with Trump at every possible turn.
“They don’t have that,” he said. “And if Jim Acosta were there, he would ask very soft questions, it would be a whole different thing.”
Trump said the news conference was highly controlled.
“I noticed [Fox News’] Peter Doocy didn’t get to ask a question today. And there can be no difficult questions, and [White House aides] are ready to rip the microphone away if somebody did get a little bit testy,” he said.
During the interview, Trump said Biden’s policies in tandem with the Democratic majority in Congress is ruining the nation.
“They can’t be allowed to destroy our country, and at the southern border, they are destroying our country, and gasoline prices are going up. We are energy-independent. I created that,” he said.
“But in another couple of months, we won’t be, and take a look at what is happening to the price of gasoline. It’s [increased] over a dollar, that is like a big tax increase to people. That is the same thing, equivalent, and even greater than a big tax increase,” Trump added.
“I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy; that’s the reason why it’s happening — that I’m a decent man or however it’s phrased. That — you know, that’s why they’re coming, because they know Biden is a good guy,” he said.
“The truth of the matter is: Nothing has changed. As many people came — 28 percent increase in children to the border in my administration; 31 percent in the last year of — in 2019, before the pandemic, in the Trump administration. It happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. That happens every year,” he added.
“In addition to that, there is a — and nobody — and, by the way, does anybody suggest that there was a 31 percent increase under Trump because he was a nice guy and he was doing good things at the border? That’s not the reason they’re coming.”
But Biden’s claims were misleading. Border Patrol data reveals there’s no consistent pattern of illegal migration at the southern border suddenly escalating in December, January, February and March and then tailing off in the summer months.
In the 2019 fiscal year, for instance, the numbers of apprehensions at the southwest border were higher in the hot summer months of June and July than they were in December, January and February.
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