Donald Trump has lied about saying things he has in fact said and has denied things that later turned out to be true. (Hi, Stormy!) Lying, denying, and deflecting are Trump’s modus operandi and that mendacity has permeated his entire administration.
As such one of the most frustrating things to watch during the two years (yes it’s only been two years) of Trump’s reign has been the regular press conferences held by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which Sanders has lied, denied, and deflected stubbornly with no regard for the truth whatsoever.
Therefore it’s extremely satisfying when Sanders is challenged with questions and facts that she can’t duck.
We were treated to an masterclass in on-air fact checking by, of all places, FOX News Sunday, today when host Chris Wallace absolutely demolished Sanders’ false claims about the border, leaving her looking extremely foolish in the process.
Wallace asked Sanders whether Trump was really prepared to act unilaterally by declaring a national emergency in order to build the wall, thereby circumventing Congress and taking billions of dollars from their intended purpose for his pet project.
.@PressSec: The president’s prepared to do what it takes to protect our borders, to protect the people of this country; he knows that the number one job he has as president and commander-in-chief is to protect its citizens. pic.twitter.com/b2LU3vEiRN
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 6, 2019
In her response Sanders launched into a boilerplate speech about how Trump was prepared to “do what it takes” and also couldn’t resist mentioning the specter of terrorists infiltrating the U.S. via Mexico, something that Trump has repeatedly alluded to in his calls for increased border security (a.k.a. a big honkin’ wall).
Wallace challenged Sanders on the veracity and reality of those claims pointing out that the 3,000 “special interest aliens,” cited by the Trump administration as having been stopped at the border, are merely people from countries that have at one point produced terrorists, not terrorists themselves.
Wallace kept swinging his fact hammer, quoting the State Department which has said that:
“…There is no credible evidence of any terrorists coming across the border from Mexico.”
Here’s the video of Chris Wallace fact-checking Sarah Sanders on her false claim that terrorists are streaming over the border with Mexico.
“The state department says there hasn’t been any terrorists found coming across the southern border.” Via Fox. pic.twitter.com/ByMaa9TK2S
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 6, 2019
Sanders attempted to squirm out of the fact-lock with a vague, nationwide statistic, saying that up to 4,000 “known or suspected terrorists” enter the nation illegally, presumably on an annual basis, but Wallace pushed right back with more facts, refuting her claim.
Smirking like the only kid in class who’s done the homework, Wallace cut Sanders off, saying:
“Wait wait wait…I know this statistic. I didn’t know if you were going to use it but I studied up on this.”
“Do you know where those 4,000 people are captured? Airports.”
CHECKMATE HUCKABEE. SQUIRM. SQUIIIIIIIIIIIRMMM!!!
Huckabee Sanders manages to blurt out “Not always!” and to claim that terrorists enter the U.S. “by air, by land, and by sea” before Wallace steamrolls her again with some facts, saying:
“The State department says that there hasn’t been any terrorist that they’ve found coming across the southern border to Mexico.”
Sarah Sanders attempted to push the false claim about terrorists being caught at the southern border on Fox News Sunday and Chris Wallace was having none of it.https://t.co/qGBS6V8PR2 pic.twitter.com/cdDynlvxwA
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 6, 2019
There was a lot of praise for Chris Wallace for doing what a journalist is meant to do and coming hard with the facts.
Wallace, after @PressSec tries to float statistic to support her claim: “I know the statistic. I didn’t know if you were going to use it, but I studied up on this. Do you know what those 4,000 people come where they are captured? Airports.” https://t.co/pEo303k8xP
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 6, 2019
Who would’ve ever thought that actually researching and using FACTS would be such a burn, huh? https://t.co/jHP6naIBfr
— G Aguilar (@G_AguilarOfLA) January 6, 2019
This administration is bloated with shameless pathological liars. They lie as soon as they start taking/typing. Fact-checking is a waste of time. Easier just to assume everything they say is blatant bullshit… https://t.co/PsYKKVcpf3
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) January 6, 2019
Thank you, Chris Wallace https://t.co/Nvb7QUae29
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 6, 2019
When even @FoxNews calls your border wall b.s. and points out to human cost of the #TrumpShutdown, you know @realDonaldTrump, his Fox News advisory team and his toadies McConnell & @LindseyGrahamSC need to be stopped now. @GOP, @SenateGOP your country needs you. End the shutdown. https://t.co/nVGwjFcOHD
— Maggie Ryan (@Maggryan) January 6, 2019
How different would the state of the nation be if every news anchor was prepared with facts when interviewing politicians? https://t.co/WClf9ofvhA
— Crooks and Liars (@crooksandliars) January 6, 2019