When Kellyanne Conway went on Fox News to preview President Donald Trump’s primetime address to the nation on Tuesday, she said something that caught host Harris Faulkner’s ear.
Speaking about the “sudden increase” among families and unaccompanied minors trying to the U.S.-Mexico border, Conway said, “It’s a very dangerous journey for them. We’ve seen many of them are sick or not well, they’re malnourished, they don’t have access to food or water on this journey and two of course died on this journey, very regretfully, god rest their souls.”
It was those three words, “on this journey” that stood out to Faulkner and hopefully many others who were watching. Conway was referring to 7-year-old Guatemalan girl Jackeline Caal and 8-year-old Guatemalan boy Felipe Gomez Alonzo, each of whom died in U.S. custody last month after being detained by Border Patrol.
“I want to press back a little bit,” Faulkner said, something Conway is not used to hearing on Fox. “So, the deaths of those two children, they were in our care, they were in our custody, so we don’t want to blur the line that this happened somewhere on their journey south of the border, that would not be the case.”
“No, no, no, no, I didn’t say that,” Conway insisted. (She did.) “And I’ve said otherwise on your network before.” Shaking her head, she added, “There’s no question,” walking back her previous comments and making it clear that “any death of a child is tragic, to me.”
“But we don’t want people taking that perilous journey in the first place,” Conway said. “We want them to come here legally.”
After the first death of a migrant child in U.S. custody, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen went on Fox News to blame the girl’s family for taking her across the border. “This family chose to cross illegally,” Nielsen said, adding, “I cannot stress [enough] how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.”