This week, Donald Trump announced that former head of the Border Patrol Mark Morgan would be the nominee to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Why Morgan? It appears that Trump liked what he saw during a series of appearances Morgan made on the Fox Business Network show “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which has become must-watch viewing for Trump, while Dobbs has become something like a best friend/advisor.
Here’s how the Washington Post described the like minds between Trump and Dobbs:
An echo chamber on ideology and policy has evolved; Trump often takes steps urged by Dobbs, such as declaring a national emergency to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, pushing out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and pulling back from a proposed cessation of the trade war with China.
The Post went on to describe their relationship as a “lovefest”, noted that they sometimes speak every day, mentioned that Trump told his Twitter followers to watch Dobbs, called Dobbs “a mutually beneficial embodiment of the presidential id”, quoted a Republican strategist saying “Lou’s opinion is very important to the president,” quoted former adviser Steve Bannon saying the two are “completely in sync on immigration and trade”, and described Dobbs’ show as “Trump 2020 TV, almost an unofficial extension of the president’s reelection campaign.”
That’s hugely concerning, considering the conspiracies and lies that Dobbs is in the business of peddling, including segments about “radical Dems, the Deep State and the national left-wing media have tried to subvert and overthrow the president of the United States.”
Long before Donald Trump was around as a political figure, Dobbs was a xenophobic bomb-thrower who we spent at a lot of time writing about at America’s Voice. He lied about the possibility of immigrants spreading diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, spoke of immigrants as criminals who were overrunning the border, said that immigrants specifically had a mission to kill police officers, gave the Minutemen a national TV platform, and was an anti-Obama birther. Ultimately, a campaign from America’s Voice and other advocacy groups persuaded CNN, which was running his show at the time, to drop Dobbs. Unfortunately, that clearly wasn’t the end of his influence.
During his confirmation hearings, Mark Morgan, the ICE nominee and frequent Lou Dobbs guest, needs to explain whether he agrees with any of the outrageous beliefs Dobbs espouses. And we need to remember that it is not OK that the president of the United States is taking his cues from someone as heinous as Dobbs.
As Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said this week in a statement, “Nominees for critical posts used to be selected in consultation with Congress, not Lou Dobbs. They used to be selected because of their expertise, not their fealty to Trump’s border wall and his failing deterrence-only policies. It is imperative that Mark Morgan provide a detailed overview of his views, his independence and the new strategy needed so the Senate and the American people can discern whether he is going to serve the American public or just his boss.”