President Trump unleashed an extended assault on his predecessor, former President Obama, falsely asserting that the federal “zero tolerance” policy that split migrant families at the border was practiced by Obama, as well, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by multiple fact-checkers and news outlets.
According to the Associated Press, the Obama and Trump administrations operated under the same immigration laws but the “zero tolerance” policy that forcibly separated children from their parents was created by the Trump administration.
Trump was widely criticized this spring for his rollout of the so-called “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration that resulted in the chaotic separations of some 2,600 children from their families.
“Obama separated those children,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Egypt. “Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate. They were built by President Obama’s administration, not by Trump.”
“President Obama had child separation, take a look,” he added. “The press knows it, you know it, we all know it. I’m the one that stopped it.”
Trump then claimed that without his family separation policy, more people enter the US illegally and treat it “like a picnic” or going to “Disneyland.”
“I was the one that changed it,” Trump said.
NEW: “We’re not looking to do that,” President Trump tells ABC News’ @jonkarl when asked if he’s considering reinstating the family separation policy at the border.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 9, 2019
Trump also railed against a federal judge’s ruling on Monday that blocked his administration from requiring asylum-seekers to return to Mexico as they await court hearings in the U.S.
“…We have bad laws. We have a judge that just ruled incredibly that he doesn’t want people staying in Mexico. Figure that one out. Nobody can believe these decisions we’re getting from the ninth circuit (court). It’s a disgrace. So we’re fighting the bad laws,” he said.
Trump: “I never said I was cleaning house” at DHS pic.twitter.com/nkoItfFxlb
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 9, 2019