Fox News host Shepard Smith called out Donald Trump after the president made false claims that former President Obama had separated children at the border before him. Smith fact-checked Trump, outlining the history of how the policy of family unfolded under the current president’s watch, according to The Daily Beast.
Smith opened the segment by saying that he would separate reality from rhetoric when it comes to immigration policy in the United States. Smith, while speaking with chief White House correspondent John Roberts, criticized Trump for having made the false claim in the past that Obama had separated families at the border.
While he conceded that Obama had, in fact, put immigrants in prison-like conditions, had arrested illegal immigrants, and had deported people who arrived in the country illegally, Obama never did separate children from their families when they arrived at the border. Except for a few exceptions, Smith noted, families remained together under the former president’s policy. He said that the Obama administration had considered implementing a separation policy but opted to keep families together.
“After President Trump issued the zero tolerance order, officials did separate children from their parents,” Smith said. “Some families have not yet been reunited,” he added.
“The Trump Administration did separate families,” Smith added.
“The Trump Department of Homeland Security estimates more than 2,300 children had been separated from their families by last spring.”
When it comes to the conditions that immigrants were kept in, Smith pointed out that Obama did keep families in chain-link enclosures when border crossings surged in 2014.
During an interaction with reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Trump falsely claimed that Obama had started the policy of separating families.
“President Obama separated the children,” Trump said.
“Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate. They were built by President Obama’s administration. Not by Trump. President Obama had child separation. Take a look. The press knows it, you know it, we all know it.”
It’s not the first time that he has claimed that Obama was separating children from their families. According to The Hill, Trump claimed in May 2018 that Democrats had posted images of children in cages separate from their parents in 2014.
All this comes as people have been questioning whether or not Trump is considering reinstating his policy of removing children from their families when they cross the border. Trump told reporters on Tuesday, according to The Hill, that he had no plans to reinstate the controversial policy.