White House adviser and presidential daughter Ivanka Trump said during a Good Morning America interview Wednesday that her father did not authorize the use of lethal force on the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of an approaching migrant caravan.
But President Donald Trump did make such a statement, and it was caught on tape.
Good Morning America’s Deborah Roberts asked Trump if she’s concerned that her father gave troops that authorization, which critics argue isn’t necessary because migrants and asylum seekers don’t present a serious threat. She responded by denying her dad did any such thing.
“I don’t believe that that’s what he said, but his primary role as commander in chief is obviously to protect the nation’s borders — he has to protect our country’s security,” Ivanka Trump said. “But I don’t ... lethal force in this case would — that is not I think something that anyone is talking about.”
But someone was talking about lethal force in this case — specifically, President Trump, on Thanksgiving Day, in front of reporters.
“If they have to, they’re gonna use lethal force. I’ve given the okay,” Trump said. “Yeah, if they have to — I hope they don’t have to ... but you’re dealing with rough people.”
Confronted with this fact, Ivanka shifted to minimizing potential use of force, claiming that it would not be “innocent asylum seekers” on the receiving end:
“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,” she said. “He is not talking about innocents. He is not talking about innocent asylum seekers.”