The New York Times responded to criticism from Donald Trump after he called the outlet “fake” and “failing” over its coverage of his Border Detention Centers. The Times sent out a tweet defending its reporting against the president’s attacks and invited readers to explore how they reported on the “squalid” conditions of the centers.
Trump sent a series of tweets on Sunday attacking the coverage of the detention centers, saying that the centers are justified because people shouldn’t be entering the country and blaming Democrats for blocking legislation that would resolve the problem.
“The Fake News Media, in particular the Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers. First of all, people should not be entering our Country illegally, only for us to then have to care for them. We should be allowed to focus on…..” Trump began with a tweet.
“….United States Citizens first. Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job. We said there was a Crisis – the Fake News & the Dems said it was ‘manufactured.’ Now all agree we were right, but they always knew that. They are crowded (which we…..” he said in a follow-up tweet.
“….brought up, not them) because the Dems won’t change the Loopholes and Asylum. Big Media Con Job!” he concluded with a final message on Twitter.
The Times wasn’t about to let Trump’s criticism go unanswered. They responded with a defense of their reporting.
We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting on the U.S. Border Patrol's detention centers. Here's how we reported today's front-page article on the squalid conditions at the migrant detention center in Clint, Texas. Read the story here: https://t.co/4TlleeZCTg pic.twitter.com/IrxgOR9EZ1
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) July 7, 2019
Trump’s criticism comes as the news outlet reported on what they call “horrific” conditions in the Border Detention Facilities where migrant children and adults attempting to enter the United States are being held. In the story, The Times described conditions in a Clint, Texas facility, detailing eyewitness accounts of disease like chickenpox, scabies, and shingles, exacerbated by inadequate medical care. It also describes rampant overcrowding and poor facilities. Internal documents discussing the El Paso, Texas, and Rio Grande Valley facilities from the Department of Homeland Security describe similar conditions.
Trump administration officials are contradicting reports, based on descriptions from Border Patrol agents and others who've visited the sites, that migrant children were being held in horrific conditions in federal detention facilities https://t.co/JWNCAtRhcc
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 7, 2019
Trump and his administration have consistently denied the reports, saying that the allegations of mistreatment of children are exaggerated or unsubstantiated.
According to The Times, Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, both state that the detention facilities are clean and safe. McAleenan insisted that the facilities have water and food and, for the past year, have had showers.
That said, the officials admitted that the facilities have been strained by the recent influx of migrants.