Trump told Telemundo that Hispanic voters think it's great he is jailing and deporting Latin American immigrants.
Trump sat for an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo that aired Thursday night, and it can only be described as a disaster.
The interview was filled with lies, including that Hispanic voters actually support his cruel family separation policy, and that he deserves credit for reuniting families, even though his administration only did so after being ordered to by a federal judge.
These are some of the worst parts of the approximately 20-minute-long interview, which the Trump administration says is his first on a Spanish-language network.
First, Trump refused to say that his zero tolerance policy that led to children being ripped from their parents at the border was a mistake.
"It’s not a mistake," Trump said when interviewer José Díaz-Balart asked about the policy. "We want to have strong borders."
Trump then lied about how the family separations began, falsely claiming that former President Barack Obama started the policy.
"When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy, I didn’t have it," Trump said. "President Obama is the one that built those prison cells."
That's absolutely not true.
The Obama administration only separated families when they thought the child was at risk. The increase in family separations began when Trump implemented his zero tolerance policy that called for all asylum-seekers to be held in detention facilities where conditions are horrible and many migrants are forced to sleep in what looks like dog kennels. And then there are the baby jails.
Díaz-Balart didn't let Trump slide, however, and continued to press him on the family separation policy. And Trump continued to lie and obfuscate, telling Díaz-Balart that he is responsible for reuniting families — even though the only reason that process began was because a federal judge ordered the reunifications.
"I inherited separation and I changed the plan and I brought people together," Trump said, yet another massive lie.
Even more ridiculous, Trump said Hispanic voters actually approve of the way he's treated Central American migrants at the border — despite the fact that he's claimed most asylum-seekers are violent gang members and criminals when they're not.
"They want me to do it," he said, referring to his massive deportation plans.
Díaz-Balart tried to correct him. "Mr. President, they do not," he said.
"They do," Trump insisted.
"Hispanics want toughness at the border," Trump said later, adding that he thinks he'll fare "much better" with Hispanic voters in 2020.
That seems unlikely.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.