President Trump has made several claims while arguing for a border wall that seemingly haven’t stood up to scrutiny. Per a previous Inquisitr report, one of those, which he made in a tweet last week, had to do with the idea that Muslim prayer rugs had been found near the border with Mexico, and therefore terrorists had crossed the border to enter the country.
Also reported on by Inquisitr, the prayer rugs claim turned out to originate from a Washington Examiner story a few days earlier in which a rancher in New Mexico claimed to have heard about the prayer rugs being found, but did not produce the rugs, pictures of them, or any other evidence of their existence. The border prayer rugs claim appears to be something of an urban legend, often quoted by politicians and pundits over the years but never actually substantiated. It even found its way into the 2018 movie Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
Trump has also frequently talked about women being trafficked across the border while being wrapped in duct tape, although neither the president nor his supporters have ever produced such a real-life case, either.
Now, there’s been another debunking of the claims – and it’s come straight from Trump’s own White House.
According to ABC News, an internal White House inquiry has determined that “no evidence has been found — of either migrants using prayer rugs at the border or smugglers using duct tape on women to traffic them.” The ABC story is sourced to an anonymous administration official.
The White House had “launched an urgent effort to find evidence to support the president’s claims,” but none was found. It’s not clear who in the White House carried out the inquiry, or how long they spent on it.
Trump, per ABC, has told the duct tape story over a dozen times in the last month.
A Trump administration inquiry has found no evidence to support the president’s claims that prayer rugs have been found at the Mexican border or that smugglers are binding women with duct tape to traffic them https://t.co/ct9SIeMuNF— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 31, 2019
“Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths,” Trump told reporters last week. “In many cases, they can’t even breathe. They’re put in the backs of cars or vans or trucks.”
Human trafficking experts, furthermore, say they’re not familiar with such cases in which duct tape or electrical tape have been used for smuggling women across the border.
Following the end of the government shutdown earlier this month, Congress is working to reach a compromise on the budget in order to avoid a second shutdown, while the president continues to push for border wall funding.