Donald Trump Was Asked for Proof of His Claim That Middle Easterners Are in the Migrant Caravan, and His Questionable Response Was Very Revealing
President Donald Trump on Tuesday admitted he has no evidence substantiating his claims that "Middle Easterners" have embedded themselves in migrant caravans meandering through Central America.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he has "very good information" regarding the types of people he believes are sneaking into migrant refugee caravans.
The press tried to get the president to pony up some evidence, but this is Trump we're dealing with, so there isn't any.
"There's no proof of anything but there very well could be."
The president said he speaks with Border Patrol "all the time," touting the agency's ability to "intercept" certain individuals.
"Over the course of the year, over the course of a number of years, they have intercepted many people from the Middle East," Trump said. "They have intercepted ISIS. They have intercepted all sorts of people. They have intercepted good ones and bad ones. They have intercepted wonderful people from the Middle East. And they have intercepted bad ones."
Trump added that Border Patrol had "very recently" identified "people from the Middle East," and that the press "shouldn't be surprised" when he says it because "you've heard that before, it happens all the time."
Watch the full clip below:
Pres. Trump claims he has "very good information" there are "people from the Middle East" in migrant caravan, but s… https://t.co/5BpEhb03GZ— ABC News (@ABC News)1540348920.0
No one - including Trump - seems to know what the president is talking about because there isn't any proof.
@ABC So he’s got “very good information” but he’s got no proof..so which is it?— Rob (@Rob)1540379227.0
Even at face value, the idea that Middle Eastern people have infiltrated bands of Central and South American refugees simply doesn't make any sense.
@ABC What's further south than South America? They intercepting immigrants from Antarctica now?— Jorge Ribs (@Jorge Ribs)1540349073.0
@ABC There very well could be witches, warlocks, and bears traveling with them. There is no proof though. Because there aren't.— Despite (@Despite)1540349335.0
@ABC “They’ve intercepted people from South America, and from other parts further south...” Please #POTUS tell me m… https://t.co/uWYoxYlVb4— Jessie Caruso (@Jessie Caruso)1540350477.0
@Jessie_Caruso @ABC @realDonaldTrump please do tell us more...#LiarInChief— John E Kutinac (@John E Kutinac)1540351727.0
@ABC Wow! Further south than South America! Penguins? They will be noticed.— Coutts Coot (@Coutts Coot)1540349623.0
@ABC @RealNoraC @realDonaldTrump using lots of words to say nothing of substance as usual. https://t.co/ZDPDqfQtXk— Charles (@Charles)1540350660.0
@ABC @Sjladuke75Susan There’s no proof that tRump has the mental capability of a six-year-old but there’s always that possibility.— Dave Kane (@Dave Kane)1540356715.0
@ABC There might be the worlds greatest physicists too. Or the second greatest composer in the world. Who knows? Who could tell?— Steve Kusaba (@Steve Kusaba)1540353519.0
What is obvious, however, is Trump using fear of "the other" as a dog whistle for his supporters.
@ABC More fear mongering of “unknown” people In this group of people.— Jason Habbal (@Jason Habbal)1540349083.0
@ABC This is part of your FEAR AND HATRED campaign— Erich Baier (@Erich Baier)1540386628.0
@ABC There could be people fleeing poverty too but lets just assume they are all bad guys.— Teresa H (@Teresa H)1540386342.0
Vice President Mike Pence threw his weight behind Trump's claims, but just like his boss, offered no evidence.
"At the president's discretion, I spoke to President Hernandez of Honduras," Pence said. "He told me that the caravan that is now making its way through Mexico, headed for the southern border, was organized by leftist organizations and financed by Venezuela."
On Tuesday morning, Pence told The Washington Post: "It's inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border."
Double negative aside, Pence isn't telling the truth.
The State Department said in a report last month they found "no credible evidence" that Middle Eastern terrorists are trying to sneak into the United States by way of Mexico.
But Pence wasn't going to let the facts disrupt his narrative.
Pence boasted to WaPo:
"In the last fiscal year, we apprehended more than 10 terrorists or suspected terrorists per day at our southern border from countries that are referred to ... in the lexicon as 'other than Mexico.' That means from the Middle East region."
Watch Pence's interview with Jim Acosta here:
.@costareports asks @VP Mike Pence about @realDonaldTrump’s claim that unknown Middle Easterners had infiltrated th… https://t.co/qDpGgV70Fp— Washington Post Live (@Washington Post Live)1540305757.0
Granted, there is a caravan of thousands of migrants marching North through Mexico. As of Tuesday, however, they were still around a thousand miles from the American border.