On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire claimed that the sizeable migrant caravan that set out from Honduras in October 2018 never arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. Lemire’s statement contradicted press reporting about the caravan, which was widely documented as having reached America’s southern border shortly after the 2018 midterm elections.
During the short segment, Tur also claimed that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “4,000 terrorists are apprehended at the border every day.” In reality, Sanders claimed on Fox & Friends this morning that 4,000 known or suspected terrorists had been caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in all of 2018.
Lemire and Tur’s comments followed MSNBC’s live coverage of President Trump’s initial remarks in the Rose Garden about his meeting with Congressional Democrats, which was centered around discussing the government shutdown and possible funding for a southern border wall:
Here's the transcript:
2:19 PM EST
KATY TUR: Jonathan Lemire, what is the strategy here? Because what I heard from the president a moment ago, beyond the back and forth on where he wanted the wall and whether the wall would be in California, and what I heard from the White House press secretary this morning, communications director Sarah Sanders, um, press secretary, was a lot of fear mongering. Sarah Sanders saying this morning 4,000 terrorists are apprehended at the border every day. That’s not true. Jacob Soboroff will fact check that for us in a moment. But the president also talking about smugglers and talking about all the crime that pours in on the border. Is this just all about making it seem like there is a crisis? Is that their strategy?
JONATHAN LEMIRE [AP, WH REPORTER]: It certainly seem -- I mean, certainly, the president's remarks right there, rambling as they were, were delivered like a campaign speech. There wasn't, like, an update to reporters about legislation. It was the same rhetoric we've often heard about him discussing how this threat that exists at the border, this, the -- couched in the same sort of dangerous terms we heard about that caravan, which, of course, never did arrive at the southern border of the United States. That this is he -- this is still feels for the president -- it’s a base play. It’s an attempt to be strong for the people who have supported him that he feels like he can't give them up.
Lemire’s ridiculous assertion has been repeatedly contradicted by his own outfit’s reporting. Like most other mainstream press outlets, the Associated Press drew significant attention to border patrol agents firing tear gas at rioting caravan members who had reached the southern border in late November 2018. Pictures of one particular mother and her children caught up in the fray received nonstop media coverage for several days after the incident, so it seems unlikely that Lemire would have missed this story.
Moreover, just a few days ago, the Associated Press reported on another similar event that happened on New Year’s Day when CBP agents used tear gas against self-described migrant caravanners who were trying to breach the southern border fence near Tijuana.