Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday confronted White House counselor Kellyanne Conway with a government report detailing the deplorable conditions at migrant detention facilities on the southern border and the Trump administration’s efforts to downplay the conditions, telling her to “look at the conditions there, it’s a disaster!”
On this week’s edition of Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked Conway about Pence’s visit Friday to a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, and the effort by the administration to minimize the conditions that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) called a “ticking time bomb.”
Wallace read from the OIG report, and played video from Pence’s visit to the facility in McAllen which showed one of the detainees begging to be able to brush his teeth and others saying they have been held for over 40 days without access to a shower or a sleeping mat.
“This was the pool report, ‘Almost 400 men wearing cage defenses with no cots, the stench was horrendous, some of the men were sleeping on concrete, they began shouting and wanted to tell us they had been in there 40 days or longer,’” Wallace said, and began his question by adding “I understand…”
“I was there,” Conway interjected.
“I understand that President Trump is trying to stop the flood of people across the border which contributes…” Wallace said.
“We’re also trying to accommodate those who are here,” Conway interrupted again.
“… contributes to the overcrowding, but how does it help for the president to minimize the situation and say it’s much better than what they had, or for Vice President Pence, in Kevin Corke’s piece, to say they’re all being well treated, when your own…” Wallace continued, and added “I mean, you can look at the conditions there, it’s a disaster.”
“Well, let me just say a couple of things that are facts,” Conway said, and added “First of all, not every facility is the same.”
“But I’m talking about that one,” Wallace interrupted.
“Okay, well, and I’m talking about the one that the media who were on the same trip with us completely ignored in all of their coverage,” Conway said.
“What do you say about McAllen Texas, Kellyanne?” Wallace interrupted.
“What I would say is this. That that facility was meant to be, this is what I was briefed on, that facility was meant to be a 72-hour holding facility,” Conway said. “It’s not equipped to keep single males who have broken the law by coming here and were apprehended. If you just want to let them go, then say that we just are open borders.”
“But does it help for the president to say well, they’re really, conditions are pretty good, and for Mike pence to say they’re pretty good?” Wallace interjected.
“In plenty of facilities, they have improved, including the one that we saw with the families,” Conway claimed before Wallace cut her off.
“Shouldn’t you be judged on the worst facilities, and the worst mistreatment of these people? Shouldn’t you be judged on that?” Wallace asked.
“Oh yes,” Conway said, and then told Wallace that according to the CBP briefing, “those men get three hot meals from local restaurants, they now have to access to showers, there were no shower facilities there to accommodate that many people in the past, but there are now. There’s a bank of showers in the back. They have the access to deodorant, they have access to hygienic products, they have access to toothbrushes.”