Paula Reid, a former lawyer who now covers justice issues and the White House for CBS News, got a chance to “question the witness” on Monday as Donald Trump was fielding queries from reporters on the White House lawn. Trump was attempting to defend his administration’s widely-condemned family separation policy again, which was recently exposed on CBS’ 60 Minutes as having gone on for much longer, and separated far more children from their parents, than the administration has ever publicly acknowledged.
Trump’s best defense consisted of repeating the same talking points that his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with his Director of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, have used in the past — that the policy was identical to one in place during the Obama administration.
In fact, that myth took hold with some staying power among Trump supporters who used it to rail against those who criticized the policy on social media, attempting to cast anyone who questioned the inhumane practice as a hypocrite for not speaking out “when Obama did it.”
The problem is, Obama didn’t do it. And Paula Reid let the President know directly to his face that the world knows he’s lying. As Trump desperately claimed “Obama had a separation policy. We all had the same policy,” Reid shot back:
You did not have it, sir. No, you didn’t.”
Trump once again fumbled with a denial, saying that people “don’t like to talk about” Obama’s border directives, but Reid was ready again:
Sir, it was different. You decided to prosecute everyone at the border.”
Indeed, that was the main difference, and one that was actually publicly outlined by Sessions and Nielsen at the time that the policy was brought to the public’s attention — both officials acknowledged at the time that the policy was intended to be used as a deterrent.
Reid tweeted the segment from CBS showing the interaction — and the backstory as to what the President was denying — partially to show not just that Trump was lying, but also his reaction to her call-out: He just walked away.
We here at DC Tribune salute Ms. Reid for her dedication to the truth:
You’re the best! pic.twitter.com/kFE1WpF60O
— DCTribune (@dc_tribune) November 27, 2018
Featured image via screen capture