WH spox Psaki dodges ‘responsibility’ for southern border drowning death of Texas National Guard soldier, blames Texas and Trump

A member of the Texas National Guard died last week by drowning in the Rio Grande River while attempting to rescue migrants struggling to make it across.

When asked about that tragic death on Monday, however, White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to cast blame for the soldier’s death on the state of Texas and the previous border security and immigration policies of the Trump administration, the Post Millennial reported.

Tragedy along the Rio Grande

According to CBS News, the Texas Military Department confirmed that the soldier who had gone missing on Friday after jumping into the swift-flowing river had been recovered and identified as SPC Bishop Evans, a member of the Texas National Guard.

Evans had been deployed to the southern border as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star border security mission, which has stepped up to fill the void left by the Biden administration’s relative lax enforcement of federal border and immigration laws.

The soldier is reported to have witnessed two migrants struggling to cross the river and rushed to save them, only to lose his own life in the process. Those two migrants were later apprehended and are believed to be drug smugglers from Mexico.

It’s Texas’ fault

The Post Millennial reported that during Monday’s press briefing, Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Psaki to weigh in on what had occurred, given that the White House had not yet made any mention of the fatal incident.

Psaki initially delivered a rather boilerplate statement thanking Evans for his service and sacrifice, but that quickly changed when the reporter asked if the White House felt any “responsibility” for the death, in light of the fact that Evans and the other troops were only there because of the relative lack of a federal enforcement presence.

The press secretary replied, “I would note that the National Guard worked for the states, and so he is an employee of the Tex- — Texas National Guard, and his efforts and his operation were directed by there, not by the federal government, in this — in this effort, in this apparatus.”

“We’ve — we’ve long stated that our immigration system is broken. There needs to be more done to invest in smarter security, to have a more effective asylum processing system. And we would welcome any efforts to — for any elected officials to work with us on that,” she continued.

It’s also Trump’s fault

Heinrich wasn’t finished yet, though, and asked Psaki if the administration planned to do anything extra to try and meet the needs and requests of local border communities, but that is when Psaki pointed a finger of blame at the prior administration for the current issues along the southern border.

“Well, I would just say — if we just dial it back a few years to, kind of, what we inherited here — the former President invested billions of dollars in a border wall that was never going to work or be effective, instead of working towards comprehensive immigration reform,” Psaki said.

“As part of the President’s proposal he put forward on his first day in office, he proposed investing in smarter security at the border — something he’d be happy to work with governors on. And — and certainly we’re open to having that conversation whenever they’re ready to do that,” she added before moving on to another reporter, effectively ending the conversation right there.

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