Veteran NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell has a reputation for being one of the more transparently liberal correspondents on the network, but suggesting that President Donald Trump and his administration members may be motivated by an "evil desire" is a bit much, even for her.
Such was her analysis as she hosted her eponymous MSNBC show on Tuesday afternoon, and theorized that the decision to prosecute all illegal border crossings was motivated by "an evil desire to deter by making an example of these people."
At 12:41 p.m. Eastern, during a discussion of the failure to meet deadlines in reuniting illegal immigrant children with their parents, MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah lamented: "It seems like incompetence, at best, and deliberate, real evil at worst."
Without clarifying that legal asylum seekers are typically not separated from their children, she conflated legal asylum seekers with illegal immigrants recalling "many of whom were presenting themselves with legal asylum claims" had their children separated from them.
Mitchell then commented:
And it is a violation actually of the legal asylum provisions that are universal that involve human rights, that involve our own State Department rules. There are supposed to be a fear hearing for people that are applying -- coming in legally as they apply for asylum. Everyone has been swept up in this same policy.
A bit later, Mitchell referred back to Rocah invoking the word "evil" as the MSNBC host theorized:
You posited that it's either incompetence or evil. I would suggest that it could be both -- that there is an evil desire to deter by making an example of these people, and then it was carried out with no planning -- and that is the rank incompetence that makes it that much worse.
Rocah responded: "Absolutely, and you're right. It shouldn't be presented as an either, or. It could be both."
Legitimate reasons for wanting to deter border crossings were not mentioned -- such as the fact that it is dangerous to transport children through a desert or across a river, or that the excessive number of asylum seekers who do not qualify for political asylum are clogging the system and creating longer wait times for those who have legitimate cases.
Additionally, even President Barack Obama spoke of detaining illegal immigrants as a deterrence, and did separate some families who entered the U.S. illegally.