CBS This Morning journalist Major Garrett on Friday derided Donald Trump, portraying the President as only really caring about crime when an immigrant commits it. Additionally, he repeated the bogus claim that the President in 2017 weakened efforts to stop the mentally ill from obtaining guns.
Beginning the segment, Garrett huffed, “A pattern is emerging with President Trump and high profile crimes. When they are committed by immigrants, legal or otherwise, there are rapid calls for new and restrictive policies. After mass shootings, the White House tendency has been to say, ‘Wait, gather facts.’”
Getting to his real complaint, Garrett continued, “And there have been no calls for restrictions on access to firearms." The journalist spun: “And the President's emphasis on mental health, it's undercut by his own record.”
In February of last year, Mr. Trump signed a bill killing an Obama-era regulation which allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information on severely mentally disabled people to the National Background Check Database.
On February 2, 2017, Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review explained what Republicans actually repealed:
The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a “mental defective.”
Here’s the specific wording for the rule that was eliminated:
This rule would require the Social Security Administration to forward the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients who use a representative payee to help manage their benefits due to a mental impairment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The repeal was supported by the liberal ACLU. As the MRC’s Nick Fondacaro explained, all three networks pushed this debunked talking point on Thursday night.
A transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read.
CBS This Morning
NORAH O’DONNELL: President Trump is promising to tackle school safety. He used an address to the nation yesterday to talk about the shooting. Today, the President will travel to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. And that is located about 30 miles north of Parkland, but the White House has not given details of his plans to visit victims and its families. Major Garrett is at the White House. Major, good morning.
MAJOR GARRETT: Good morning. A pattern is emerging with President Trump and high profile crimes. When they are committed by immigrants, legal or otherwise, there are rapid calls for new and restrictive policies. After mass shootings, the White House tendency has been to say, “Wait, gather facts.” And there have been no calls for restrictions on access to firearms. And the President's emphasis on mental health, it's undercut by his own record.
DONALD TRUMP: Let us pray for healing and for peace.
GARRETT: In the wake of Wednesday’s high school massacre President Trump consoled a nation in grief, calling for prayers for the fallen. No mention of the semiautomatic rifle at the heart of the carnage. For the President, mental illness was the culprit.
TRUMP: We're committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.
GARRETT: Mr. Trump consistently evokes mental health, not gun control, after mass shootings. When 26 were shot dead in a rural Texas church last November, this is how the President viewed it.
TRUMP: This isn't a guns situation. This is a mental health problem.
GARRETT: In February of last year, Mr. Trump signed a bill killing an Obama-era regulation, which allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information on severely mentally disabled people to the National Background Check Database.
SANDERS: There are a number of different ways we look to protect our citizens.
GARRETT: Last December, on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 children, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to describe efforts to prevent mass casualty shootings.
SANDERS: I know that they're looking at some of the mental health issues. It's something the President has raised before. But in terms of a specific policy that we are moving forward that would have prevented that, I'm not aware what that would be yet.
GARRETT: Along with appealing that, the White House has also endorsing long-term allocations to Medicaid. Medicaid is one of the largest providers of mental health services across the country. John?