Donald Trump Jr. apparently doesn’t see the controversy over his father’s policy that has sent immigrant children to detention facilities, where some are being held in cages.
On Monday, the eldest son of Donald Trump liked a tweet from the right-wing site Breitbart suggesting that children separated from their parents are really “crisis actors,” being coached by liberals to speak out against Trump’s controversial immigration policy. The tweet quoted conservative columnist Ann Coulter, who tried to warn Donald Trump not to be swayed by what she thought were false claims.
“A New Yorker article … not a conservative publication, they describe how these kids, these kids are being coached. They’re given scripts to read by liberals, according to the New Yorker. Don’t fall for the actor children.”
But as many pointed out, no such New Yorker article appears to exist, and no evidence to support that the children being held without parents in detention facilities are crisis actors.
Donald Trump Jr. liked the tweet passing on the questionable claim, and immediately came under fire for it. As Newsweek noted, he has come under fire for his tweeting habits in the past, including sharing part of Roseanne Barr’s rant that led ABC to cancel her show.
The idea of “crisis actors” has taken hold among many far-right conspiracy theorists, claiming that a number of incidents ranging from the Sandy Hook shooting to allegations that former Senate Candidate Roy Moore dated young girls were really the work of liberal groups fabricating evidence with “actors.”
Donald Trump Jr. was not the only one under attack. Others took aim at Ann Coulter for passing along the false claims and at Breitbart for giving it greater exposure without pointing out that her evidence did not exist.
Reports from the immigrant detention centers have described children being held without their parents, with some of the facilities keeping children together in chain-link cages. Trump had announced the policy to separate children from their parents, painting it as a deterrent to keep people from entering the United States. But critics note that even people entering the U.S. legally to seek asylum are being separated from their children.
Donald Trump’s administration has stood by the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, even amid growing criticism from both parties. Some White House reporters have said that the administration views this as a strong bargaining piece in Trump’s quest for stronger border control, including money to construct a border wall.