First daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump falsely claimed to Good Morning America that her father had not authorized lethal force on migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico, and even scoffed at the question during the ABC News interview.
But once she was shown a recording of her father making the announcement on Thanksgiving Day, she rushed to defend his decision.
Correspondent Deborah Roberts, who sat down with Trump in Wilder, Idaho, for the one-on-one, prompted: “Your father has authorized lethal force, he says, ‘if necessary.’ Does that concern you?”
“I don’t believe that that’s what he said, but his primary role as the nation’s commander in chief is obviously to protect our nation’s borders. He has to protect our country’s security,” Trump responded, scoffing. “But I don’t—lethal force, in this case would—that is not, I think, something that anyone’s talking about.”
In fact, just last week, the president said: “If they have to, they’ve got to use lethal force. I’ve given the OK, yeah. If they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”
In response to the clip, the first daughter clarified: “So—lethal force, under any circumstance, would be the last resort. But he is the commander in chief of the armed forces of this country, so he always has to be able to protect the border. He’s not talking about innocents. So he’s not talking about innocent asylum-seekers.”
Roberts asked, “Have you weighed in?”
“Oh, of course,” Trump responded. “I mean, no one wants to see anyone get hurt, and I think that for many months we’ve talked about finding that bipartisan solution, fixing this border crisis. And no one can now look at the situation we have with the caravans and say that our border is not in crisis. It is.”
Roberts brought up the heart-wrenching images of mothers and diaper-clad infants who reporters said were hit with tear gas over the weekend while trying to enter the United States as part of a caravan of asylum-seekers fleeing Central America.
“I think, like any other person with a heart, it’s devastating to see the images and seeing children put at risk,” Trump said. “Running towards the border is heartbreaking. There’s no other way to process it.”
“It also makes me angry,” she continued. “It makes me angry that we haven’t been able to come together as a nation and change our laws.”