Chris Wallace accused Joe Biden’s administration of being ‘less transparent’ than Donald Trump as he hammered White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday for refusing to allow media access to holding facilities at the border.
‘At this point, in terms of allowing access to border patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration,’ the ‘Fox News Sunday’ host said in an interview with Psaki Sunday morning.
Wallace is one of the hosts on the right-leaning network who is critical of Trump’s time in office.
Psaki deflected, instead blaming former President Trump for the growing border crisis and reasserting the administrations ‘commitment’ to transparency to the press and public at the detention facilities.
‘The Trump administration was turning away kids at the border, sending them back on the treacherous journey, or they were ripping kids from the arms of their parents,’ Psaki responded to Wallace. ‘We’re not doing that.’
She added: ‘We are committed to allowing cameras into the border patrol facilities, absolutely.’
When Wallace pushed Psaki when that access would be granted, she repeated they are ‘committed’ to transparency, but did not present a timeline.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace (left) said Sunday to Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki (right): ‘At this point, in terms of allowing access to border patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration’
Psaki deflected, claiming Biden is committed to ‘transparency’ and will let media into border facilities – but she did not provide a timeline
Some lawmakers who were able to visit the facilities released images from inside. Above was provided by Rep. Henry Cueller of Texas
Texas Senator Ted Cruz posted a picture from his tour of a children’s holding area
Cruz also posted an image of the massive overcrowding where ‘pods’ meant to hold 80 children were packed with more than 700
Journalists and camera crews have not been granted access to detention and border patrol facilities where thousands of migrants, including unaccompanied minors, are being held in unacceptable conditions.
Some members of Congress who have toured the facilities have released some disturbing images of overcrowding and inhumane living situations.
‘We absolutely agree these are not places for children and our focus is on solutions and moving them as quickly as possible,’ Psaki said. ‘We’re also making sure we are processing kids more quickly at the border.’
Biden is facing a growing crisis at the border – although his administration refuses to call the station a ‘crisis,’ instead labeling it only a ‘problem.’
Specifically, the administration is deflecting blame to Trump and is now insisting that this surge is ‘cyclical’ and claim the mass migration traffic at the southern border is typical.
Wallace also did not accept that deflection, claiming they were trying to ‘play with percentages.’
President Biden said during his first press briefing on Thursday ‘I don’t know,’ when asked when reporters would be allowed to tour and capture images of the facilities
‘On the surge of illegal immigration across the border, Mr. Biden said this: ‘Nothing has changed, it happens every year’. But your own Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas says, ‘We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border then we have in the last 20 years’. So who’s wrong, the DHS secretary or the president?’ Wallace posed.
Psaki ignored the question, instead pointing to the percent increase of migrants during Trump’s final month’s in office compared to Biden’s first two.
‘Factually, there was an increase of about 31% of people coming to the border during the final months of the Trump administration. There’s been about a 29% increase since president Biden took office,’ she said.
‘The border remains closed. It is not open,’ Psaki insisted.
Wallace wasn’t satisfied with that response.
‘You know, you can play with percentages, but in absolute numbers, these are record numbers. There are now 18,000 unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody. There are new records being set, 500-800 each day,’ he said.