Nets Cheer Left-Wing Protesters & Politicians ‘Defying’ Trump on Immigration

All three network morning shows on Thursday hailed left-wing protesters and Democratic mayors across the country denouncing President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security. Co-host Matt Lauer led off NBC’s Today by proclaiming: “Breaking overnight....Protests across the country after President Trump orders a Mexican border wall to be built immediately.” Clips played of demonstrators chanting: “Donald Trump has got to go!”

Moments later, Lauer introduced a report on the topic by declaring: “...immediate fallout over President Trump's sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigration. His latest executive orders, including funding to begin construction of that border wall with Mexico, have sparked protests across the country and around the world.”

Correspondent Peter Alexander noted how “Democratic leaders remain defiant” and that liberal lawmakers were fretting over the price tag: “Trump's signature project, that wall, doesn't come cheap. An estimated $8.3 million per mile for fencing alone, according to an independent government report. Democrats say to build and secure it, the price tag will reach $14 billion.”

In an interview with Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway that followed, Lauer demanded: “So is President Trump really going to risk funding that wall to the tune of between 8 and 20 billion dollars of taxpayer money without a guarantee that we're going to get it back?....We're talking about billions and billions of dollars.”

The media never showed so much concern for the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package Democrats passed in 2009 under President Obama, which failed to actually stimulate the economy.

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At the top of ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: “President Trump's actions on immigration, first steps on that border wall, also targeting sanctuary cities with sanctions, they are drawing fire across the country and overseas.”

Talking to White House correspondent Jon Karl, he worried: “...the executive orders on immigration...getting a lot of push-back. Some conservative groups appreciate what the President’s doing on enforcement, you’ve got the ACLU, though, saying this is a deportation force on steroids. And big city mayors across the country really pushing back against the President on immigration.”

Karl cited one example of Democratic opposition: “And they're saying essentially that they will defy the order. Also governors, one quote from Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, he said, ‘As I've said before, I say again today, if there is a move to deport immigrants, I say start with me.’” However, the reporter quickly added: “Of course, it should be noted Governor Cuomo was born in Queens, New York.”

In the 8 a.m. ET hour, anchor Amy Robach offered a news brief promoting the protests:

The mayors of several big cities are threatening to defy President Trump's executive order on immigration, which cuts funding to so-called sanctuary cities that do not enforce immigration laws. Thousands gathered here in New York vowing to resist what they call the President's anti-immigrant policies. The mayor of Seattle is saying his city will not be bullied by Trump's order and the mayor of Boston offered to shelter immigrants inside city hall, which was lit up in red, white, and blue.

At the beginning of CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose warned viewers: “President Trump says the world is a mess. He moves ahead with controversial immigration policies, including building a wall along the Mexican border.”

In a later report, correspondent Major Garrett lamented that “The President expressed no remorse about potential global backlash in response to his plans to exclude immigrants from countries with ties to terrorism.” He added: “During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security yesterday, Mr. Trump signed two executive orders. One to begin planning for construction of that wall....The other action allows federal agents to target undocumented immigrants and seeks to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities.”

Garrett concluded: “Sanctuary cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles do not arrest or detain people living in the country illegally. And Gayle, legal challenges to this White House threat of withholding federal funds have already been promised.” Co-host Gayle King used his sign-off as a segue to hype Democrats’ objections to the policy: “And that's what we're talking about right now. Thank you very much, Major. The mayors of sanctuary cities say they will defy President Trump's executive order.”

She continued:

Hundreds of cities and counties around the country protect undocumented immigrants. They received millions of dollars in federal grants last year. The President's order aims to cut off that funding. The mayor of Boston offered to shelter immigrants in city hall, if necessary. California's attorney general says the order violates constitutional and legal standards.

Here are excerpts of the January 26 coverage on the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows:

Today
7:00 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Breaking overnight.

PROTESTERS: Donald Trump has got to go!

PROTESTERS: No ban, no wall, New Yorkers for all!

LAUER: Protests across the country after President Trump orders a Mexican border wall to be built immediately.

(...)

7:02 AM ET

MATT LAUER: We want to start this Thursday morning with politics, and immediate fallout over President Trump's sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigration. His latest executive orders, including funding to begin construction of that border wall with Mexico, have sparked protests across the country and around the world.

(...)

7:03 AM ET

ALEXANDER: Calling for 15,000 more agents and blocking almost all federal money to sanctuary cities, places that don't prosecute immigrants living there illegally. Democratic leaders remain defiant.

RAHM EMANUEL: I want to be clear. We're going to stay a sanctuary city.

ALEXANDER: Trump's signature project, that wall, doesn't come cheap. An estimated $8.3 million per mile for fencing alone, according to an independent government report. Democrats say to build and secure it, the price tag will reach $14 billion.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:02 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump's actions on immigration, first steps on that border wall, also targeting sanctuary cities with sanctions, they are drawing fire across the country and overseas.

(...)

8:04 AM ET

AMY ROBACH: The mayors of several big cities are threatening to defy President Trump's executive order on immigration, which cuts funding to so-called sanctuary cities that do not enforce immigration laws.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Thousands Protest Trump Immigration Order; “Sanctuary City” Mayors Vow to Defy President]

Thousands gathered here in New York vowing to resist what they call the President's anti-immigrant policies. The mayor of Seattle is saying his city will not be bullied by Trump's order and the mayor of Boston offered to shelter immigrants inside city hall, which was lit up in red, white, and blue.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:00 AM ET

CHARLIE ROSE: President Trump says the world is a mess. He moves ahead with controversial immigration policies, including building a wall along the Mexican border.

7:05 AM ET

(...)

MAJOR GARRETT: During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security yesterday, Mr. Trump signed two executive orders. One to begin planning for construction of that wall.

TRUMP: A nation without borders is not a nation.

GARRETT: The other action allows federal agents to target undocumented immigrants and seeks to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities.

TRUMP: The day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc.

GARRETT: Sanctuary cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles do not arrest or detain people living in the country illegally. And Gayle, legal challenges to this White House threat of withholding federal funds have already been promised.

GAYLE KING: And that's what we're talking about right now. Thank you very much, Major. The mayors of sanctuary cities say they will defy President Trump's executive order.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Defying the President; Sanctuary City Mayors Vow to Fight Executive Order]

Hundreds of cities and counties around the country protect undocumented immigrants. They received millions of dollars in federal grants last year. The President's order aims to cut off that funding. The mayor of Boston offered to shelter immigrants in city hall, if necessary. California's attorney general says the order violates constitutional and legal standards.   

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC