President Donald Trump has fully embraced a far-right conspiracy theory that the images and audio of devastated children distraught after being ripped from their parents arms are fake.
In a tweet Friday morning, President Donald Trump called the media coverage of traumatized immigrant children and parents “phony stories of sadness and grief,” orchestrated by Democrats for political gain. Then, in an unhinged twist, he defended the validity of the images because they existed during the Obama administration, but his predecessor “did nothing about it!”
We must maintain a Strong Southern Border. We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections. Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Earlier this week, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said during an interview on Fox News that the crying children recently separated from their families were “actors.” She warned the President to not “buy” the show.
He seems to have listened.
Trump’s tweet comes just days after Trump appeared to believe the stories of grief-stricken families, signing an executive order Wednesday that called for the detainment of families together, but sought to abolish a federal protection that limits how long a child can be held in detention.
Republicans, at Trump’s behest, are scrambling to piece together an immigration plan to address the issue of family separation, which was created by his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Apparently peeved on Friday morning, Trump told GOP lawmakers to “stop wasting their time on immigration” because Democrats have indicated they won’t support Republican immigration bills. In the Senate, Republicans would need at least 10 Democrats to jump onboard for a bill to move to the House.