Trump Falsely Accuses Democrats of Telling “Phony Stories of Sadness” at the Border

After repeatedly claiming he had “compassion” for migrant families this week.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

President Donald Trump on Friday accused Democrats of circulating fake stories of “sadness and grief” at the border for political gain. The baseless charge came shortly after the president urged Republicans to stall immigration negotiations until after the November midterm elections—apparently betting on the unlikely possibility that the public outcry over his administration’s zero-tolerance immigration stance will soon recede.

Since more than 2,300 children were separated from their families last month, many Americans across the political spectrum have expressed outrage over the heartbreaking images, news reports, and audio recordings of children crying inside the detention centers that have been the direct result of the Trump administration’s decision to prosecute anyone who attempts to enter the country illegally.

While the overwhelming public response prompted a rare reversal by Trump to end the separations this week, it remains exceedingly unclear how the government will be able to move forward with its new goal of detaining families together—a long-term option currently barred thanks to a federal ruling that prohibits the detainment of migrant children for more than 20 days.

Meanwhile, Republicans are scrambling to hammer out an immigration bill, with many inside the party fearing that the president’s immigration crisis will cost them in the crucial, upcoming elections. Nonetheless, with the president’s approval ratings remaining high despite the outrage, he continues to stay on message.