While the Trump administration continues gaslighting the public to convince us that what we see with our own eyes isn’t really what’s happening in detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border, fewer Americans are buying the lies. In a desperate attempt to defend themselves, the Trump administration’s officials are appearing on Fox News and other right-wing outlets to play the “whataboutism” game while migrant families undergo raids and are separated from their families.
‘No shower, no shower’ — Watch this footage of Mike Pence and Senate Republicans touring the McAllen Border Station, where hundreds of men were seen crowded in cages, sleeping on the ground, and signaling that they had been detained for at least 40 days pic.twitter.com/5JbN566VIU
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 14, 2019
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and avid Trump defender, appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, who tried to hold her to account on the administration’s policies regarding undocumented migrants. Although he asked her specific and direct questions, she never answered any of them. Instead, she talked about President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In a classic display of simple minds devising simple answers, Conway repeatedly flashed a blue post-it note and note cards with her comprehensive plan to solve the immigration crisis. This is all we need to do to fix immigration, she insisted, ignoring decades worth of debate and blaming Democrats for the divide.
She deflected repeatedly, as well, bringing up past policies. Wallace interrupted her, saying “I’m talking about today.” Conway scoffed at his attempts to rein her in, saying “well, I’m talking about all of it.” She wasn’t. She was insisting that Trump didn’t know that Jeff Sessions’ family separation policy, which Trump insisted was started by President Obama (it wasn’t), would have the consequences that it did. Somehow, Wallace didn’t openly laugh at her.
— Michael Summa (@MichaelSumma) July 14, 2019
Conway also quoted the common argument from Trump supporters that insists “if I were arrested today, my children would not go with me, nor would I want them to.” While it is true that parents who are arrested often go to jail, unless that parent is charged with neglect or abuse of their children, they are allowed to choose a temporary caregiver from their own pool of family and friends, if they are able, and to stay in contact with their children.
Most Americans arrested for a misdemeanor, which is what crossing the border without documentation amounts to under the law, are allowed to post bail and return to their children promptly. Even for those who must remain in jail for extended periods, their children are returned to them upon release and they are not kept from knowing where their children are being held.
No matter how many times Wallace tried to bring Conway back to the point, she deflected, and even invoked the debate over reproductive rights as a justification for the abuse of children at the border, saying “I’m against separating children from their mothers in the womb and I’m against separating children from their mothers outside of the womb.”
and @VP are lying to the American people according to the journalists accounts, photos and the Administration's own Inspector general's own report. This is a damning reminder that @GOP is profiting off people's misery.https://t.co/MPnSdCI629
— Colleen Taylor-West (@taylorwestc) July 13, 2019
During Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to a detention facility in Texas, American viewers saw for themselves the horrifying conditions, with migrants in small fenced-in areas with no cots, no bedding, and no showers. Conway insists that she has visited these facilities, as well, and “I witnessed no overcrowding,” and said that the detainees have “lots of supplies, endless supplies of water” and anyway, “they won’t be there for long.”
This directly contradicts the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s report, where it stated that people are being held in dangerously overcrowded conditions without proper access to hygiene facilities, hygiene products, and nutrition, and that migrants are being held for as long as 40 days in these conditions. Wallace tried to ask direct questions about that report. Conway again deflected to comments about Speaker Pelosi.
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) July 13, 2019
When Wallace pointed out some of the horrifying conditions witnessed in these facilities, Conway insisted that “not every facility is the same” and said that in McAllen, Texas, “that facility was meant to be a 72-hour holding facility, it’s not equipped” to hold so many people. She never answered why, then, this many people would be sent to and held in this facility for 40 days or more.
She insisted as well that the media did not report that “those men get three hot meals from local restaurants, they now have access to showers” and that now “they have access to soap, they have access to toothpaste, they have access to hygenic products.” The media didn’t report that because it contradicts what people in the facilities, as well as people who work or have worked there, are reporting. Taking Conway’s word for anything is a terrible idea that is sure to be fact-checked and found dishonest, as most of what she says usually is.
For the entire segment, see video below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube