The Trump Administration Kept Changing Its Story on Child Separation

“It’s biblical,” says Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Nobody likes this policy,” says Kellyanne Conway.

Earlier today, President Donald Trump declared that he will be signing an executive order to end forced family separations at the border between the US and Mexico. 

Now that things may be changing, it’s worth reflecting on how, over the past week, the Trump Administration has shifted blame for the crisis in a number of different directions. Just a few days ago, Trump the policy was the fault of the Democrats. But before that, Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked Romans 13 as the explanation. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” he said during a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This approach was echoed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when she said, “It is very biblical to enforce the law.” 

Then White House counselor Kellyanne Conway weighed in. “As a mother, as a Catholic, as someone who’s got a conscience,” she said when she appeared on NBC News’ Meet the press with Chuck Todd,I will tell you that nobody likes this policy.” 

The fact is, an average of 65 children were separated from their parents every day under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance initiative for illegal entry. To get a sense of how confusing the White House position has been, watch the video above to hear the all the conflicting remarks from some of the Trump administration’s top officials.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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