The Trump Administration Kept Changing Its Story on Child Separation

“It’s biblical,” says Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Nobody likes this policy,” says Kellyanne Conway.

Earlier today, President Donald Trump declared that he will be signing an executive order to end forced family separations at the border between the US and Mexico. 

Now that things may be changing, it’s worth reflecting on how, over the past week, the Trump Administration has shifted blame for the crisis in a number of different directions. Just a few days ago, Trump the policy was the fault of the Democrats. But before that, Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked Romans 13 as the explanation. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” he said during a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This approach was echoed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when she said, “It is very biblical to enforce the law.” 

Then White House counselor Kellyanne Conway weighed in. “As a mother, as a Catholic, as someone who’s got a conscience,” she said when she appeared on NBC News’ Meet the press with Chuck Todd,I will tell you that nobody likes this policy.” 

The fact is, an average of 65 children were separated from their parents every day under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance initiative for illegal entry. To get a sense of how confusing the White House position has been, watch the video above to hear the all the conflicting remarks from some of the Trump administration’s top officials.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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