VP Pence Dodges When Confronted With Proof of Miserable Border Conditions by CNN Reporter: ‘I Can’t Account for That’


After a tour of a Texas Border Patrol station where hundreds of migrant men were seen tightly caged on a concrete floor without beds, Vice President Mike Pence shook off pointed questions by CNN reporter Pamela Brown about some of the miserable conditions at border detention facilities: “I can’t account for that.”

Earlier in the day, Pence had toured both a family detention center in Donna, Texas, and another one in McAllen that housed young immigrant men. At the latter, reporters encountered nearly 400 men packed into a small space that lacked sufficient room for them all to lie down. They had no pillows or bedding of any kind except emergency blankets. Some of them told the press pool traveling with Pence they had been kept in these conditions for several weeks without the ability to bathe or shower.

“This is tough stuff,” Pence said afterwards.

“I was not surprised by what I saw…I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.”

During a one-on-one interview with CNN’s Brown after the tour, Pence repeatedly tried to minimize or redirect questions about the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions along the border, which have been corroborated by a recent DHS Inspector General’s report, while implicating Democrats in not sufficiently funding border operations.

At one point, Brown pulled out an image taken in May that was included in the DHS IG report, which showed dozens of children housed in overcrowded, squalid conditions.

“Look at it like this. When you look at that, what do you see?” Brown pressed, pushing the photo toward Pence.

“I can’t account for that. What I can account for is the facility…” Pence began, before Brown cut in.

“How do you not account for this?”

Dodging again, the vice president pivoted to talking about one of the detention centers he toured that day. “It’s a facility you saw today represents the level and the standard of care that we are working to bring to all those caught up in this crisis,” he responded. “Remember, it was just a few short weeks ago that Congress finally acknowledged the crisis and gave us an additional $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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