So much for “All Lives Matter.”
On Friday morning, Fox & Friends star Brian Kilmeade attempted to retrospectively justify President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“These aren’t our kids,” the co-host of Trump’s favorite cable morning show said. “Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or, uh, or, uh, Texas. These are people from another country.”
Echoing his fellow right-wing Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s xenophobic rants about foreigners—which experts say come dangerously close to being outright white-nationalist catnip—Kilmeade invoked the straw man that critics of the Trump policy view foreign children as more valuable than American ones.
“And now people are saying that they’re more important than people in our country who are paying taxes and who have needs as well,” he said in the clip first spotted by liberal watchdog Media Matters.
Kilmeade additionally defended the policy—which the Trump administration falsely claimed didn’t exist; then boasted about it being theirs; and then claimed there was nothing the president could do about it—saying that “somebody has to deal” with the influx of migrants, and that it was meant to “send a message to the other countries.”
“It wasn’t President Trump’s idea to have everyone leave from Central and South America in June and well up at the border,” he said. “We just can’t let everybody in that wants to be here.”
Several hours later, Kilmeade took to his Fox News Radio show to address the controversy over his remarks. “All kids are important, all kids are special,” he said in a largely rambling response. “What I’m just trying to say in this country when they come in, that as the president of the United States, you can only do so much for so many and that’s why we give so many aids to other countries.”
He continued: “So everybody is important but, for the president of the United States, his point seems to be is that the kids in this country are his priority but straightening out the immigration laws at the border are key. That’s why I hope something gets done—that’s the bigger point on all of this. But about kids and compassion of course, that’s why people especially, people I know—you give money to people outside our borders but when it comes to our country, I think that you have to have a priority because you can’t pay for everybody, everybody for everything that you want especially when you are a country that’s $20 trillion in debt and overall, get it fixed.”