As of this week, it appears that even The Associated Press has chosen to jump on the fake news bandwagon.
In a report originally published Friday, The AP claimed to have obtained a draft copy of an executive order by Donald Trump to mobilize 100,000 National Guard troops in 11 states to “round up” illegal immigrants.
Instead of waiting to hear back from either the White House or the Department of Homeland Security about this spurious draft, the AP ran with the story. It was picked up by news agencies around the country, and spurred a national panic among illegal immigrants and immigration activists.
Upon its publication, the report was immediately denied by multiple members of the Trump administration, including White House press secretary Sean Spicer, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and DHS acting press secretary Gillian Christensen.
“There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” Spicer told press pool on AF-1.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 17, 2017
“That is 100 percent not true,” Spicer reportedly said. “It is false. It 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.”
“This White House has no plans in any capacity to use the National Guard to round up people,” Sanders likewise told reporters. “This White House and this president has had no plans in any capacity to use the National Guard to ’round up’ immigrants.”
This sounds completely bizarre. Trump only proposed adding 10k ICE agents and there’s nowhere near the infrastructure to deport this way. https://t.co/oX3aTdcrJT
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) February 17, 2017
Speaking with The Daily Beast, Christensen added, “The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard.”
She did acknowledge that the draft existed, but said it was an early work that was never anywhere close to presidential approval. She also made it clear that despite the AP’s claims, the draft had not been written by DHS Secretary John Kelly.
As the Washington Examiner noted, The AP barely gave the DHS time to respond to the report before posting it. If it had, it might have learned how wrong it was.
Once the draft was published for public review later Friday evening, it was learned that “the memo itself doesn’t mention deportations, doesn’t suggest that the feds will ‘mobilize’ National Guard troops as much as ask state governors if they want to participate, and doesn’t mention the number 100,000,” as noted by The Daily Wire.
In short, none of the key elements of the AP’s report were true. Like most lies, it had an element of truth — a preliminary draft order on the subject did exist — but the majority of it was bunk, aka “very fake news.”
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail