During a Meet The Press interview on Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway attacked Democrats for not making a fuss about the Trump administration’s policy of separation immigrant children from their parents when they cross the border back in January, when Trump held a bipartisan meeting about immigration at the White House.
“I don’t remember a single Democrat — I could be mistaken, maybe somebody murmured it — but in the one-hour meeting back in January in the cabinet room where the president invited senators and congressmen from the Republican and Democratic parties… did this issue come up?” Conway said. “The Democrats only want to talk about DACA, the Dreamers — why didn’t they mention this?”
Conway wonders why Democrats didn't raise issue of family separation during televised immigration meeting with Trump in January.
(ANSWER: The policy wasn't implemented until a few weeks ago!) pic.twitter.com/3Xxw4YvclM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 17, 2018
There’s just one problem with Conway’s attempt to deflect criticism from the Trump administration’s family separation policy — as host Chuck Todd pointed out, the policy wasn’t even implemented until months after the White House meeting.
“But in fairness, kids weren’t being separated from their parents then,” Todd said. “This policy got implemented in April, the zero-tolerance policy where every migrant, every asylum-seeking is treated like a criminal.”
Conway responded not by admitting she had lied, but by again trying to pin blame on Democrats.
“What they should have said is, ‘look, we have a surge over the border in 2014, Mr. President, under President Obama, and it shocked everyone, and we simply don’t have the capacity. We want to avoid that in the future and work with you’,” Conway said.
“Look, the Democrats ought to just own it — why don’t they just say, ‘we’re for open borders.'”
Conway’s comments alternated between blatantly false and totally misleading.
Following the January immigration meeting that she mentioned, lawmakers cobbled together a bipartisan deal that included nearly $3 billion in funding for border security measures. But Trump rejected that, as administration officials insisted that no deal would be acceptable unless it included at least $20 billion for Trump’s wall — a wall he insisted during the campaign Mexico would pay for.
Conway is not the first Trump administration official to have a hard time justifying the cruel and unnecessary family separation policy. During a press briefing last week, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a disastrous, ill-informed attempt to defend the policy against pointed questioning. She insisted repeatedly, and falsely, that the policy is a “law” and resorted to calling a reporter stupid before being confronted by Brian Karem, the White House reporter for Playboy.
“You’re a parent. You’re a parent of young children! Don’t you have any empathy for they go through?” Karem yelled at Sanders, who quickly moved on to calling upon another reporter.
Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly and blatantly lied about his policy. On June 5, he managed to pack at least four blatant lies into a single tweet about the separation policy, which he falsely described as a law and baselessly blamed Democrats for.