Wednesday the Good Morning America team was so eager to “fact-check” President Trump that they slammed him for something he didn’t even say. During a White House photo-op Tuesday, White House correspondent Jonathan Karl berated Trump on the family separation policy that he “started.” After Trump correctly pointed out that the Obama administration also separated children at the border, Karl and George Stephanopoulos quickly came to the Democrat’s defense.
ABC began by playing the confrontation from the Oval Office, Tuesday:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon, one of those policies had been the family separation policy. You put some tough questions, many tough questions to the president about that yesterday in the Oval Office. Let’s take a look.
JON KARL to TRUMP: You wouldn't start separating the children again, would you, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Obama separated the children by the way.
KARL: Would you consider doing it again?
TRUMP: Just so you understand, I'm the one who stopped it. President Obama had child separation. Now, I'll tell you something, once you don't have it, that's why you see many more people coming. They're coming like it's a picnic because let's go to Disneyland.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon, it's not true that President Obama started that separation policy and it's unclear exactly what the President wants to do right now.
KARL: He seems to be debating himself. He is saying that he is not going to bring back child separation but he's also saying that that has negative consequences. The bottom line, he wants to make it a lot tougher to come into this country illegally.
Stephanopoulos and Karl were quick to deflect blame from President Obama. However, several liberal media outlets have conceded repeatedly that Obama’s administration also had a similar policy of separating minors from adults who were trying to cross into the country illegally, as much as ABC doesn’t want to admit it. These policies have been happening as far back as the Clinton administration.
Of course blaming Obama drove the liberal media into an uproar and brought all the fact-checkers out of the woodwork. The Washington Post, the same paper who obsessively tracks every single thing Trump says, gave the President “four Pinocchios” for what he told Karl as did NPR.
Beyond that, Trump didn’t actually claim that Obama “started” the policy (at least in this meeting.) He repeatedly told Karl that separating kids from adults happened in the previous administration as well. In the full statement that ABC did not include, Trump did claim that the Obama administration “built” the “cages” where kids were kept, but he never actually said that that was the administration where this policy began.
More importantly though, Trump wasn’t the one who began separating minors from adults at the border, and that was what Jon Karl was claiming when he said Trump had “started” it.