Trump calls children's detention centers 'well run and clean,' despite shocking reports from Pence visit

Kadia Tubman

President Trump defended conditions of crowded migrant detention facilities after Vice President Mike Pence offered mixed reviews following a tour at the border he completed last week.

“Friday’s tour showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are,” Trump tweeted. “Great reviews!”

“The adult single men areas were clean but crowded — also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals,” he continued. “Sorry, can’t let them into our Country. If too crowded, tell them not to come to USA, and tell the Dems to fix the Loopholes - Problem Solved!

President Trump speaks in Milwaukee on July 12. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Pence and GOP lawmakers toured two detention facilities on the Texas border, including a McAllen Border Patrol station, last Friday. “The tour,” according to the New York Times, “gave journalists covering the vice president a rare glimpse inside a Border Patrol station near McAllen, Tex., where they observed nearly 400 men crammed inside a cage with no space to lie down and no mats or pillows, according to pool reports.”

“I was not surprised by what I saw,” Pence later said at a news conference. “I knew we would see a system that was overwhelmed. This is tough stuff.”

But he also praised the Customs Border Protection officials for their "compassionate work" and called for more Department of Homeland Security spending.

A handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General of a Border Patrol detention center in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland Security via Getty Images)

“While we hear some Democrats in Washington, D.C., referring to U.S. Customs and Border facilities as ‘concentration camps,’ what we saw today was a facility that is providing care that every American would be proud of,” Pence said in McAllen.

Pence, when confronted with a photo of migrants crowded together in a detention facility, said, “Well, I can’t account for that.”

“What I can account for,” he said in an interview, “is the facility that you saw today represents the level and the standard of care that we are working to bring to all those caught up in this crisis,” he said, noting that “Congress finally acknowledged the crisis.”

Trump, two weeks ago, signed a $4.6 billion border aid bill Congress passed 305-102 to provide $3 billion in humanitarian and expand funding for CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which a number of progressive Democrats did not support.

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli said the conditions at detention facilities are "because Congress has let it happen."

"When Congress provides the professionals at the border what they need, success happens, success being measured as avoiding overcrowding," he told ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday.


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