One of the many complaints put forward by critics of President Donald Trump is that his administration put “kids in cages” as part of the crackdown on illegal immigration at the southern border. However, the policy was a continuation of a temporary detention policy that began under prior administrations, as President Trump pointed out once again on Tuesday.
The fact that the detention policy was in effect under Bush and Obama is well-known, but liberal Fox News anchor Shepard Smith decided to “fact check” Trump’s obvious statement anyway.
Trump: Separation occurred under Obama
Trump spoke with reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday while meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sissi, but as usual, the press was less interested in U.S.-Egypt relations or other related matters and instead asked questions of Trump about domestic issues.
Asked about the child separation policy, Trump replied, “Obama separated the children, by the way. Just so you understand, President Obama separated the children.”
“Those cages that were shown — I think they were very inappropriate — they were built by President Obama’s administration, not by Trump,” he continued. “President Obama had child separation. Take a look. The press knows it. You know it. We all know it. I didn’t have — I’m the one that stopped it. President Obama had child separation.”
Policy won’t be reinstated, Trump says
Asked repeatedly if he planned to re-implement the child separation policy, Trump repeatedly said, “No.”
Trump added, “But President Obama had the law. We changed the law. And I think the press should accurately report it. But, of course, they won’t.”
Shep Smith ‘fact checks’ Trump
Mere moments later, Fox News’ Shep Smith proved Trump’s last point 100 percent correct, as he attempted to rewrite history with a dubious “fact check” that tried to absolve the Obama administration of the “kids in cages” mess and blame it on Trump.
Smith sanctimoniously began by noting that he would be “separating rhetoric from reality” as he fact-checked the president’s remarks. He proceeded to note that the detention of illegal entrants actually began under the George W. Bush administration and continued under the Obama administration, though “children were often given a pass,” and while Obama “tended” to keep families together, “there were exceptions.” But “it was not the policy to separate,” he insisted.
Smith proceeded to blame Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy for the separation of children from their families. While he admitted that the viral photos of kids in cages did indeed date from the Obama years, he essentially asked viewers to ignore the evidence before their eyes and believe that Obama detained families together … even though that would have been against the Clinton-era Flores Agreement that only allowed children to be detained for 20 days, necessitating separate detention facilities.
Later joined by White House correspondent John Roberts, both anchor and reporter continued to, on the one hand, play semantics and blame Trump for the mess, while on the other hand, grudgingly admit that he was at least partially correct.
Shepard Smith has repeatedly proven himself to be a biased media figure who would likely be more comfortable working at anti-Trump networks CNN or MSNBC. When will Fox News decide they’ve had enough and let him go?