Before Friday’s press conference at which President Trump announced that he was declaring a national emergency to fund the construction of a border wall, CNN’s Jim Acosta accused Trump of “trying to drum up…emotional energy,” and using Angel Moms as a prop.
“Jim, we believe those are some of the Angel Moms that the president has talked so much about out on the campaign trail, at rallies and so on,” Acosta said. “These are parents of victims who were allegedly killed by undocumented immigrants. The president likes to point to these folks who have been through some terrible experiences as evidence a wall is needed down at the border.”
“I suspect, Jim, if we’re seeing some of the Angel Moms coming in, the president is going to be trying to drum up some emotional energy on this occasion here, to try to sell this wall,” he added. “We have seen him do it before.”
During the question-and-answer portion of the presser Acosta stated some debunked claims that illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans, then asked Trump:
“What do you say to your critics who say that you are creating a national emergency, that you’re concocting a national emergency in order to get your wall, because you couldn’t –“
Trump cut him off and said, “Why don’t you ask our Angel Moms?”
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) February 15, 2019
After the press conference ended, the Angel Moms, including Agnes Gibboney and Sabine Durden, gathered around Acosta to share their experiences with him. Members of Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC) have been in Washington D.C. all week, attempting to meet with congressional negotiators working on the border wall issue. Gibboney visited the offices of Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi; only Schumer’s office would meet with her.
In addition to refusing to meet with her (and other families), Pelosi’s office called the Capitol Police on the group. The irony of having armed agents forming a “wall” around her office, while she claims walls and guns are unnecessary, likely escapes Pelosi.
After being ignored all week, the moms jumped at the chance to have their stories heard on CNN. In this clip recorded just before Acosta went live with the moms in the background, the moms refer to being turned away from Pelosi’s office. Sabine Durden asks Acosta when he is going to have her on CNN; he replies offering to go live with them right away.
WATCH: Angel Moms question CNN's Jim Acosta after President Trump's national emergency declaration.
— BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) February 15, 2019
Watch the live interview:
In the interview, Gibboney states that her son’s killer was a previously-deported illegal alien. Since I’ve interviewed Gibboney multiple times, I know that the killer was also a known gang member, and that the killer’s co-defendant attempted to kill witnesses once he got out of prison. Gibboney’s son’s killer is set to be released on parole in March, 2020, but at this time Gibboney isn’t sure he will be deported. Even if he is, without much more effective border security, nothing is to stop the killer from returning to the US to exact revenge on Gibboney for speaking out. The killer will still effectively have more rights than Gibboney does.
I give Jim Acosta a lot of grief (a lot) here and on Twitter, but he seemed genuinely moved by their stories and their dedication to fighting for their children. I hope he will honestly look into the facts surrounding illegal alien crime and fairly present both sides on CNN.