MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski fact-checked Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s news conference defending the separation of immigrant families and detention of children without their parents.
Nielsen flew in from New Orleans to deliver the White House press briefing after Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly refused to do it, and the Cabinet secretary promised to “help explain some of what’s going on and give you some of the facts.”
That, said the “Morning Joe” host, was a lie.
“What you’re about to hear are not facts,” Brzezinski said. “It’s actually deceit, it feels a lot like trusted truth and evasion — and some lies.”
The secretary claimed the policy was intended to push back against MS-13 gang members, but Brzezinski said 2-year-old girls were not violent gangsters, and she disputed Nielsen’s insistence that the policy was a law.
“It’s actually not the law,” Brzezinski said. “It’s Donald Trump’s policy, and it is happening, children are being separated from their families. Reporters … have been showing us the horrific facts. Families are being torn apart. Who in America could do this?”
Nielsen insisted Congress and the courts had created the problem, and she claimed only those two branches of government could fix it — but Brzezinski called her out.
“I’m sorry, Secretary Nielson, you’re incorrect,” she said. “This is not the case, but don’t listen to me — take it from Sen. Susan Collins.”
Nielsen also suggested that children were only being separated from suspected human traffickers, which contradicted her previous denials of the policy.
“All of you appear to be failing the country,” Brzezinski said. “You said there’s no policy to separate families? Jeff Sessions says there is. Why not take another crack at it again, the world is watching, you’re on the record — go.”
“The world is watching and you’re on the record, for history to remember, forever,” she added.