Just one day ago, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” were mixed in with a migrant caravan of over 7,000 people that had stopped in southern Mexico.
On Tuesday, however, the president said there was “no proof of anything” when asked to support his assertion.
Migrant caravan coverage on Globalnews.ca:
In a press conference, both Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were confronted over claims that “terrorists” and Middle Easterners formed part of the caravan.
The caravan is made up of people from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, but so far journalists have not encountered anyone from the Middle East, and a U.S. counter-terrorism official speaking to Reuters said claims of such haven’t been corroborated.
Trump told reporters, “I spoke with Border Patrol this morning, I spoke to them last evening, and I spoke to them the day before, speak to them all the time, and they say… over the course of a number of years, they’ve intercepted many people from the Middle East.
“They’ve intercepted ISIS, they’ve intercepted all sorts of people, they’ve intercepted good ones and bad ones, they’ve intercepted wonderful people from the Middle East and they’ve intercepted bad ones.”
Pressed further on his point about whether there was any proof that people from the Middle East were in the caravan, Trump responded, “there very well could be.”
Pressed again, he said, “there’s no proof of anything, but there very well could be.”
Trump has threatened to slash foreign aid to Central America over the caravan, even though it hasn’t even reached the U.S. yet — and there’s plenty of question about how big it will be if it does.
As many as 1,128 members of this caravan are believed to have tried their luck in Mexico.
And earlier this year, a caravan of approximately 1,200 people moving toward the U.S. had dwindled to 200 people by the time it reached California.
An immigrants rights activist said there are only two forces motivating the group to head north: “hunger and death.”
- With files from AP and Reuters