In what was billed as his first television interview with a Spanish-speaking network, President Trump was pressured on his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy and insisted that it was "not a mistake" doubles his past Insecure allegations that former President Barack Obama was due to families being separated at the border.
"I brought the families together," said Trump in an extensive and sometimes debated interview with Telemundo sent late Thursday evening. "I'm the one who puts them together."
The President's comments come just a few days after he tweeted that US immigration agents will soon "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illegally found their way into the United States." Trump added "They will be removed as soon as they come in." The Trump plan apparently referred to earlier this week would target thousands of immigrant parents and children nationwide and Homeland Security officials have expressed concern that families could be separated Separated as a result, The Washington Posts reported Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti.
Trump approached a predominantly Spanish-speaking audience on Thursday against "Noticiero Telemundo" applauding José Díaz-Balart's claim that he has been "very hard on immigrants." The approx. 20 minute interview was released to YouTube in English and was dubbed in Spanish on an ion network.
"When you say that, you mean illegal immigrants," Trump said. "I have been very good for immigrants."
Díaz-Balart questioned Trump about his administration's deeply unpopular family separation policy, which triggered a humanitarian and political crisis at the border last spring, after thousands of parents were divorced from their children. Due to the broad backlash, Trump abruptly stopped in June 2018. The government identified more than 2,700 children separated from their families last year, but the actual figure estimated to be thousands more is still unknown.
"zero tolerance" policy, was it a mistake? "Díaz-Balart asked, moments after Trump boasted that his support among the Latin voters is rising, because" Hispanics will be tough at the border. "
" It is not a mistake "he replied." We want strong boundaries. "
Ignore Díaz-Balart's attempt to bring up the thousands of children affected by the policy and Trump turned back to a common answer when confronted with questions about the separations: False pinning blamed on Obama.
"When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy, I did not," said Trump. who built these prison cells. "
Trump's allegations of Obama's immigration policy have been debunked several times by Posten's Invoice Checks. Current and former DHS officials said family separation was rare in the Obama years and usually only happened if a child's security was in danger, Posten reported in April.
When Díaz-Balart continued to press Trump on "zero tolerance" policy, the president defended himself by repeating that he was the one responsible for reuniting families. (Reunification process began last year after US District Judge Dana M. Sabraw issued a court order requiring children to be returned to their families.) "19659015]" I inherited separation and I changed the plan and brought people together, " Trump, arguing that family separation was a deterrent to immigrants trying to cross the border.
"But I hated getting the separation policy," he said, calling on Díaz-Balart to again ask the president whose "zero tolerance" was a mistake.
"What" zero tolerance "means to me that we must be hard on the border," Trump said. "19659018" "That includes separating parents from children if that's what it requires?" Díaz-Balart replied.
"No, no, no. I put them together," replied Trump. "Just remember, I put them together."
The president also asked questions about the revocation of the vulnerable child program, which protected unconscious immigrants brought to the United States as children and his recently signed agreement with Mexico. The country agreed to take "strong measures" to crack down on the wave of Central American immigrants at the southern border to avoid harsh tariffs.
"This week, I consider them a friend," said Trump from Mexico. "They have actually done a really good job."
He later added: "If they weren't big, I would charge them."
Díaz-Balart and Trump also discussed how he expected to get started with Latino voters in the upcoming election and his candidates for second 2020.
Trump told Díaz-Balart he believes he wants Make "much better" with the Latino vote by 2020 and in particular draw attention to his attitude towards Cuba and Venezuela. The Trump administration has accused Cuba of being involved in keeping Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in force, and continues to impose strict rules on the Caribbean.
"I've been very, very hard in Cuba," Trump said. "We need to get Cuba prepared properly. Not how Obama did it, which was a disaster."
Pushed why Maduro stays in power, Trump said: "Some say we've been too hard, I say we Posten's Karen DeYoung and Josh Dawsey reported Wednesday that Trump "loses both patience and interest in Venezuela."
"Well, it's a process," said Trump during Thursday's interview, before expressing sympathy for Venezuelans who are starving and "have nothing."
"I love the Venezuelan people," he said.
Although Trump said he would not "disturb too much" commenting on his political opponents, he still beat a few singers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) "Looks like a tired crazy right now," he said. Trump also described former Vice President Joe Biden as "exhausted".
When Díaz-Balart built a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, which had Biden, Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) And South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, among other candidates leading Trump in Florida, rejected the president's results.
"I don't respect this poll," he said.
Asked if he had any regrets, Trump shook his head and said, "I've done a good job."
And his two biggest mistakes as president?
"I would not have designated a few people, and my life would have been a much simpler life," he said without specifying which people he referred to. "My biggest mistake was I put a few people in that I shouldn't have put in."