Barack Obama Tells Voters Exactly Why Donald Trump Is Stoking Fears About the “Caravan”

And it has nothing to do with “securing the border.”

Bastiaan Slabbers/ZUMA

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Former President Barack Obama on Sunday mocked his successor’s efforts to fear-monger over the so-called “caravan” of migrants coming to the United States, warning supporters that such tactics were designed to distract from larger Republican goals, including scaling back health care access and implementing tax cuts for the rich.

“Now, two weeks before this election, they’re telling us that the single most grave threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away,” Obama told supporters at a campaign rally for Sen. Joe Donnelly. He then condemned President Trump’s recent order to send thousands of soldiers to the border.

“Look, look, look caravan, caravan—while they’re giving tax cuts to their billionaire friends.”

The former president also compared Republicans’ recent anti-immigrant rhetoric to the party’s past hand-wringing over the 2014 Ebola outbreak and Hillary Clinton’s emails—instances Obama framed as attempts to stoke fear in spite of the truth. “You know they didn’t really care about it,” Obama said. “Because if they did they’d be pretty upset that our current president has an unsecured iPhone that he leaves in his golf cart that the Chinese are listening to all the time.”

He ended his remarks with a call for truth amid what for many has felt like a relentless onslaught of falsehoods.

“When people lie with abandonment, democracy doesn’t work.”

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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