Watch: Kirstjen Nielsen Refuses to Admit Trump Lied About Border Apprehensions
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen employed some fancy footwork to avoid admitting that Donald Trump’s repeated claims of record apprehensions at the southern border is false.
At a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) grilled Nielsen on Trump’s claims that there have never been “so many apprehensions ever in our history.”
Langevin cited DHS statistics on apprehensions, and asked: “The number of apprehensions at the border in 2000 was 1.6 million, does that sound right?”
“It was over a million, yes, sir,” Nielsen replied.
“Okay, and these statistics show that in 2018, the number of apprehensions had fallen to just under 400,000,” Langevin said. “That’s a drop of 75%, is that right?”
“Yes, sounds about right,” Nielsen replied.
But when Langevin asked Nielsen “What the president said is not accurate, was it?”, she made a number of attempts to evade the obvious.
“I apologize, I don’t know the full context of that, what I can tell you is we have encountered more family units per month than in history,” Nielsen replied, which was not Trump’s claim.
“No, no, I just want to know, what the president said, is it accurate or not?” Langevin pressed.
“I don’t know the context of his statement,” Nielsen repeated and dodged the question for several more minutes by citing “context,” and by presenting facts that were not responsive to Trump’s claim.
The “context” of Trump’s claim was that twice, on January 10, and again on Feb. 28, he flatly proclaimed “Never so many apprehensions ever in our history,” “we’ve done record apprehensions,” and “Apprehensions, the greatest number we’ve ever done, you look at the number of people.”
“The number of people,” not the number of family units or any other category.
Watch the clip above, via C-Span.
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