The White House quickly denied a media report Friday that Donald Trump’s administration is considering using the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.
The Associated Press (AP) tweeted Friday morning that the U.S. president is considering “mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”
The AP said it obtained a draft memo that “outlines a Trump administration proposal under consideration.”
However, a White House spokesperson told Reuters news agency the media report is false.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took to social media to denounce the Associated Press report.
“This is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false,” Spicer tweeted.
According to AP, the document “calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.”
Onboard Marine One, Spicer told the White House press corps that the AP “is irresponsible to be saying this.”
“There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” the press secretary told White House media. “I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.”
According to the AP, “requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.”
Citing the 11-page document, the AP reported “Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate.”
The news agency said the memo was written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Just as news of the report was released, the chief of the National Guard Bureau was about to host a town hall Q&A on Facebook which was slightly delayed as a result of AP’s report.
“Apologies that breaking news delayed me a few minutes. The White House has denied reports concerning the potential mobilization of National Guard members for immigration enforcement,” Gen. Joseph Lengyel wrote on Facebook. “We don’t know anything about where this report is coming from.”
The general also issued the same statement on Twitter.
Speaking with White House journalists, Spicer also noted that he doesn’t “know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested.”
“It is not a White House document,” Spice told the White House press corps.
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