When the news surfaced that Trump’s federal border authorities in Arizona have lost nearly 1,500 children who have been forcibly separated from their families as part of the Trump administration’s new policy of deterring asylum seekers through intimidation, it was only a matter of time before the president attempted to deflect blame for the choices he’s proudly, publicly made regarding border security.
If it seems unconscionable to you that any US president could find out that his policies had led to the possible human trafficking of more than a thousand minor children, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention.
After all, this is an administration whose Trump-appointed Attorney General gleefully announced the policy of taking children away from the parents as a deterrent less than three weeks ago:
Trump, however, seems to have forgotten that it is his policies that are creating this human rights crisis, for which the United States could eventually (correctly) be sanctioned by the United Nations.
Or rather, he hasn’t forgotten — like in his stunning admission to Lesley Stahl immediately after the election in which he disclosed the reason he lies about and attacks the press constantly, and like he does when he insists that the confidential informant the FBI relied on in the early days of the investigation into his campaign’s treasonous behavior is a “spy,” Trump simply wants to control the narrative. In the case of Ms. Stahl, his admission was painfully honest: He wants to discredit the press so people won’t believe negative things the press reports about him. In the case of the informant, he attempted to lead the public in calling his manufactured controversy “Spygate” and admitted that he liked that “spy” sounds more nefarious.
And in the case of deliberately destroying the lives and families of asylum seekers, he is publicly seeking to frame the law as something that Democrats are responsible for:
Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
No “pressure” on Democrats is necessary, because (a) it’s not a Democratic policy, (b) Republicans control literally the entire government right now, and (c) Trump initiated the policy with an order that could be rescinded immediately and completely.
This may seem like a relatively minor lie, especially on a day when Trump has told at least 5 verifiable lies just on Twitter, just in the last few hours (although I could likely run this article in a week and that would be true all over again). But his effort to “frame the debate” in terms that he and his disgusting base are more comfortable with only put us farther away from mitigating the damage he’s doing in real time.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images