In a series of tweets that are tailor made to elicit howls of outrage from Trump's political opponents, President Trump on Saturday blamed the Democrats for the deaths of two migrant children who have died in the custody of the border patrol over the past month, arguing that if Democrats had only approved money to build the wall, that migrants wouldn't even try to cross into the US in the first place.
The tweet is the first comment from the White House since the death of the second child on Christmas Eve. Following the death of the first migrant child earlier this month, the White House released a statement saying that the "horrific, tragic" death of a child from dehydration was not its responsibility.
According to Trump, "Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can't. If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try!"
On the surface, Trump's tweets would seem to contradict a statement made by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen following the death of the second child. Nielsen said the death on Christmas Eve of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy in federal detention was a "deeply concerning and heartbreaking" tragedy - though she also cited failings in the "US immigration system" for facilitating the tragedy. She also called for more medical exams for children taken into custody.
Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
Trump followed up his first tweet with a second apparently absolving the border patrol, claiming that both children were already "very sick" when they were taken into custody.
...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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018