President Trump is "not looking" to restart the process of separating illegal immigrant families at the border, he told press at the White House on Tuesday a couple of days after Kirstjen Nielsen resigned as DHS Secretary. Customs and Border Protection President Kevin McAleenan has taken over as acting secretary.
Upon Nielsen's announcement, media figures like CNN's Jeffrey Toobin suggested Nielsen would be remembered as "the woman who put children in cages." Trump upended that narrative on Tuesday, reminding reporters that it was his predecessor who introduced the policy.
"Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate," Trump said. "They were built by President Obama's administration. Not by Trump."
President Trump: "President Obama separated the children. Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama's administration. Not by Trump. President Obama had child separation…I'm the one that stopped it." pic.twitter.com/rqmDIPZAmt— CSPAN (@cspan) April 9, 2019
In an exclusive report from June 2014, border patrol agents informed Katie how minors were being sheltered in warehouses.
"We have these huge chain link cages, 20-feet tall with razor wire around them, this is inside a warehouse," the agents revealed.
Trump added on Tuesday that he was the one who "stopped" the policy.
"I wish the press would accurately report it," Trump said, "but of course they won't."
However, Trump also briefly noted the effectiveness of the policy in terms of preventing illegal immigration.
"Once you don't have it, that's why you see many more people coming," he said. "They're coming like it's a picnic, like let's go to Disneyland."
This post has been updated with additional information.