Trump says detention facilities ‘beautifully run’ after report describes dangerous conditions – USA TODAY
President Donald Trump hit back at former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden, who called Trump a bully in a TV interview, by saying that he is straightening out “Obama-Biden mess” when it comes to NATO, North Korea, and China. (July 5)
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump defended on Friday the federal border detention facilities used to hold migrants who enter the U.S. illegally, saying the ones he has seen are clean and well run.
“I think they do a great job with those facilities,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump’s praise comes just days after a government report found that migrants were being held in overcrowded facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, where dangerous conditions were described as “a ticking time bomb” during June.
In one room at Customs and Border Protection’s Fort Brown station near the U.S-Mexico border in Texas, 51 women were in a cell with a capacity for 40 juveniles, according to the report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office. In another cell, 71 men were in a cell designated for 41, the report said.
Asked about the report on Friday, Trump blamed Democrats in Congress for overcrowding in the facilities, saying “they will not give us any relief” from loopholes in the nation’s asylum laws.
Trump praised the border facilities and the agents who run them.
“I’ve seen some of those places, and they are run beautifully,” he said. “They’re clean. They’re good. They do a great job.”
Border Patrol agents “did not train to be doctors and nurses and janitors,” Trump said. “That’s not what they trained to be. They trained to be Border Patrol. And that’s what they’re doing, and they’re doing a phenomenal job.”
Trump again threatened a major sweep against migrants unless Congress produces some kind of plan to deal with the border crisis. Last month, he said the government would begin rounding up and deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants, but delayed the sweep to give Congress two weeks to work out a deal on immigration.
On Friday, Trump said the roundup will be starting “fairly soon.”
“They came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally,” he said.
During his remarks, Trump also touched on several other subjects:
—He again attacked the Federal Reserve, claiming high interest rates are slowing the economy.
“If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates, we’d be like a rocket ship,” Trump said. “But we’re paying a lot of interest and it’s unnecessary.”
He added: “We don’t have a Fed that knows what they’re doing.”
—He denied he is trying to get the U.S. out of NATO, a claim made by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump said he is also trying to get NATO allies to spend more on national defense.
“NATO is fine,” Trump said. “But they have to pay their way.”
—Trump again claimed, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama sought to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but was rebuffed.
“Right now, we have a very nice relationship,” Trump said of Kim.
Obama officials, including foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes, said Trump is lying about this and that Obama never asked to meet Kim because he did not think North Korea’s behavior warranted the prestige of a presidential meeting.