Whether the Trump administration will use the National Guard to enforce its mass deportation plans is almost beside the point right now, argue Dahlia Lithwick and Jeremy Stahl. More important is how the White House first declined to comment and then sent Press Secretary Sean Spicer to ultimately trash the AP report as “100 percent not true.”
“The purpose of that reaction is simple. It pushes the White House’s main narrative: that the press are peddling “fake news”… that everyone in the media and in government is conspiring to make Donald Trump look bad; and that the only person who can be trusted to tell the truth is the president himself,” say Lithwick and Stahl.
If the White House could simply have assured Americans that is was not planning to employ a “terrifying mass deportation force” to clear our towns and cities. Instead, they used to report to further delegitimize the media and raise money for Trump. In addition, the White House uses the story to terrorize immigrant communities and to embolden Immigration and Customs Enforcement (and Customs and Border Patrol) agents.