Kellyanne Conway “Liked” Mika Brzezinski’s Tweet Trashing Trump (Then Quickly Changed Her Mind)
On Wednesday, a bot which tracks what the Trump family and various members of the administration do on Twitter pointed out that Kellyanne Conway liked a tweet condemning Trump's family separation policy. Screenshots of Conway's page confirm this, though she has since un-liked it.
The tweet in question was posted by Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, an outspoken Trump critic. "You will forever be remembered as the president who traumatized children and only pulled back when the Publicity turned sour," the tweet read.
It is not clear exactly how long Conway "liked" the tweet before undoing it. It's also not clear whether she rescinded her like because the bot caught wind of what she had done.
The tweet referenced the ongoing immigration crisis taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border, where over 2,000 children have been separated from their families, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official. On Wednesday, AP reported that Trump signed an executive order ending the family separations. However, he said that the "zero-tolerance policy" would continue. What would become of the children already separated was not immediately clear.
The separations stem from a new "zero-tolerance policy" being enforced by the Trump administration. Under the policy, every single undocumented person caught illegally crossing the U.S. border will face prosecution. In the past, this was not always the case. Children were being separated from their families because children are not allowed to be kept in jails.
Instead, children have been handed over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They are being held in various detention centers, some of which have been described by witnesses as "cages."
The policy was announced last month, in statements issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security. For his part, Sessions announced that if a person was caught "smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law."
"If you don’t like that," he said, "then don’t smuggle children over our border."
Just a few days earlier, DHS made a similar announcement.
"If you enter our country illegally, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution," Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement on May 4. He continued:
DHS has zero tolerance for those who break the law and will no longer exempt classes or groups of individuals from prosecution. Whether you are a single adult or an adult member of a family unit, if you are apprehended you will be prosecuted and put in removal proceedings.
Members of the Trump Administration, including Trump, Sec. of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Conway, have repeatedly said that family separations have occurred because they were required by law. This is false. There is no law requiring the separation of families. The reason children have been separated from their families is because the new policy requires that every single person caught illegally crossing the border face prosecution.
On Monday, at a White House press briefing, reporters asked Sec. Nielsen if the separations were intended to send a message.
"I find that offensive," she said, according to video shared by ABC News. "No. Because why would I ever create a policy that purposefully does that?"
When pressed on whether the policy was being used to deter others from illegally crossing the border, she rejected the idea.
"No," she said. "It's a law passed by the United States Congress. Rather than fixing the law, Congress is asking those of us who enforce the law to turn our backs on the law and not enforce the law."
President Trump has sent many similar tweets.
"It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation," he tweeted on Wednesday. "They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!"
It is unclear how members of the Trump administration will respond to the new executive order. It suggests a departure from the argument Congress was responsible for halting family separations.