President Donald Trump on Sunday castigated media accounts of horrors within detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump’s ire was triggered by a New York Times story published Sunday about a detention center in Clint, Texas, in which a team of reporters called the Clint facility a “secretive site” and wrote that “men and women who work there were grappling with the stuff of nightmares.”
Trump, speaking to reporters Sunday, vented his anger with the piece.
“I’m going to start showing some of the detention centers because — to the press. I want the press to go in and see them. And I just spoke to Mark Morgan. And I just spoke with, as you know, Kevin. So we’re going send people in. We’re going to have some of the press go in and see them, because they’re crowded and we’re the ones who were complaining about they’re crowded. They’re crowded because people come up,” Trump said Sunday, according to a White House media pool report.
“But, now, thanks to Mexico, it’s slowing down greatly, and I think you’ll start seeing some very good numbers. But it is crowded. But we want to have the press go in and see because, you know, the New York Times — it really is fake news,” he said.
Trump also sent a series of tweets about The Times and the border.
“The Fake News Media, in particular the Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers. First of all, people should not be entering our Country illegally, only for us to then have to care for them. We should be allowed to focus on United States Citizens first. Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job,” Trump tweeted.
….United States Citizens first. Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job. We said there was a Crisis – the Fake News & the Dems said it was “manufactured.” Now all agree we were right, but they always knew that. They are crowded (which we…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
“We said there was a Crisis – the Fake News & the Dems said it was ‘manufactured.’ Now all agree we were right, but they always knew that. They are crowded (which we brought up, not them) because the Dems won’t change the Loopholes and Asylum. Big Media Con Job!” he tweeted.
….brought up, not them) because the Dems won’t change the Loopholes and Asylum. Big Media Con Job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
During his comments about The Times on Sunday, Trump continued the attack.
“Yeah, I think the New York Times story is a hoax. I think anything the New York Times writes nowadays –they’re — they’re really — you know, they use the word “unhinged” — the New York Times. I call it the ‘failing New York Times’ for a reason. Check out their unfunded liability and see what they’re worth. They’re a failing — they’re already a failed New York Times,” he said.
Trump said he reviewed the story for accuracy with his aides.
“But when they write a story like that, I went to my people, and they said, ‘Sir, it’s not true.’ We told them about a crisis. They said it was ‘manufactured.’ They laughed and they scoffed for months, and then it turned out that it wasn’t manufactured. It’s a crisis. We were right about that,” he said.
Trump said that the overwhelmed system is no secret, and that he has been the one saying it must be overhauled.
“We told them that the detention centers are really full, and they’ve got to change the loopholes and they have to change asylum; they have to change the immigration laws. We could do it quickly, but we have no votes to do it because the Democrats won’t vote. We need some of their votes,” he said.
Trump said the Border Patrol has had its mission expanded, and is succeeding at its job.
“The Border Patrol and all of the law enforcement that’s working on the border — it’s incredible what they’re doing. They’ve had to become nurses. They’ve had to become janitors. They’ve had to become things that they were never trained to do, all because the Democrats refuse to change the loopholes and the asylum laws, the immigration laws. So I think it’s a disgrace,” he said.
Trump ascribed the Times’s motivation for the story as pure politics.
“And the New York Times is basically a partner with the Democrats, the way I look at it. They should never be allowed to write stories like that. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
Although most of the report discussed claims to poor conditions, The Times report also noted that, “So far, investigators have found little evidence to substantiate allegations of misconduct. But they have found that the facility is several times over capacity and has horrendous conditions.”
The Times also reported that, “The station was never intended to hold more than about a hundred adult men, and it was designed with the idea that migrants would be detained for only a few hours of processing before being transferred to other locations.”
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