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Glenn Kessler at WaPo: Fact Checking Trump’s Holiday Tweet Spree

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Spoiler alert: everything he says is a lie

Over the holidays, cooped up in the White House, Trump took to Twitter to express himself on the government shutdown over border wall funding. Glenn Kessler, fact-checker at the Washington Post, takes Trump’s lies and distortions apart, one by one.

Excerpts are below with the full article here.

… “The Democrats don’t want it, because they don’t want open borders, and yet every one of those Democrats approved the wall, or a fence, or very, very substantial barriers. Every single one. I don’t think there’s one — but let’s assume, let’s use the word, almost everyone approved a wall, or a fence, or exactly what we’re talking about, as little as three years ago.”

—remarks after Christmas video conference with troops, Dec. 25

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and many Democrats (though not Rep. Nancy Pelosi) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by President George W. Bush and authorized building a fence along nearly 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. But the fence they voted for is not as substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump has called the 2006 fence “such a nothing wall.”

To Trump, opposing the wall is tantamount to not wanting any border security at all. But Democrats have offered support for $1.3 billion in security enhancements. That doesn’t include funding for Trump’s wall, but it includes 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the Southeast Texas border with Mexico, similar to what already exists. (Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly said Pelosi voted for the law. It passed 283-138 in the House, with 64 Democrat votes, and 80-19 in the Senate, with 26 Democrat votes.)

“We’re going to have safety. We need safety for our country, even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in through the southern border. We have the terrorists also coming in, fellas, through the southern border.”

—remarks in Iraq, Dec. 26

Trump is creating an association between the southern border and terrorists when there is none. As we’ve previously reported, almost all terrorism suspects are apprehended at airports. Plus, a recent report from the State Department showed there was little credible information suggesting terrorists were trying to enter the United States through the southern border.

… “The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit allowed DACA to remain, thereby setting up a Supreme Court case. After ruling, Dems dropped deal – and that’s where we are today, Democrat obstruction of the needed Wall.”

—Tweet, Dec. 27

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was in November 2018. Pelosi and Schumer announced they had a deal with Trump on extending DACA in September 2017 that did not include wall funding, but then Trump later backed out of it after pressure from his right flank and he began to push for broad changes to the immigration system in exchange for allowing DACA-eligible people to remain. No judge had ruled to uphold DACA in the interim.

A bipartisan coalition in the Senate last year rejected, by a vote of 60 to 39, a measure backed by Trump that would have all but ended the family-based migration system that has been in place for decades. A separate bipartisan measure that would have legalized the DACA “dreamers” and allocated $25 billion for a wall on the border with Mexico fell six votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to a final vote. But it earned far more votes than Trump’s preferred approach and might have succeeded if it had White House backing.

“The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!”

—Tweet, Dec. 29

The causes of the deaths remain under investigation. Jakelin Caal, the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody, was healthy before she arrived, a representative for the family said. The family disputed reports that she went several days without food and water before crossing the border. “Jakelin’s father took care of Jakelin — made sure she was fed and had sufficient water,” said a statement from his attorneys. “She had not suffered from a lack of water or food prior to approaching the border.” The Department of Homeland Security said an “initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues. During the screening, the father denied that either he or his daughter were ill.” Jakelin’s father has charged that she was given no water while they were detained.

As for the death of the second child, 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said an autopsy showed Felipe tested positive for influenza B. The cause of death is still being determined through additional laboratory testing, the office said. Felipe’s mother, Catarina Alonzo, told the Associated Press that her son reported he was doing well every time that he and his father called home during their trek.