By Joseph Klein:
He called on “correspondents” too deferential to challenge him.
President Joe Biden’s March 25th press conference was his first since taking office. He lied so often during the hour or so he spoke and fielded questions that even the New York Times had to take notice.
“We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming,” Biden claimed, referring to families of migrants illegally crossing or seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“False,” declared the New York Times. “Federal officials recorded about 19,000 encounters with families at the southwestern border in February. Of those, about 7,900 families, or 42 percent, were expelled, far short of a majority.” The Times also cited an Axios report that the expulsion rate was 13 percent during the previous week.
Biden claimed that former President Donald Trump eliminated the funding for aid to the Central American countries that Biden had helped put together as the Obama administration’s vice president. The purpose of the aid, Biden said, was to get at the root causes of why migrants were leaving those countries. “What did Trump do? He eliminated that funding,” Biden said. “He didn’t use it.”
“False,” declared the New York Times again. “President Donald J.Trump did not completely eliminate the aid that Mr. Biden cited,” the New York Times explained. The Times’ fact-checker pointed out that aid to Central America was set by Congress at $505.9 million in the 2021 fiscal year (which began during Trump’s term) and that the aid that Trump temporarily suspended in April 2019 was restored in October 2019.
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