Trump Fails Math, Flipped Stats Showing Most Drug Imports Go Through Southern Border
During a speech Monday morning directed to state governors, President Donald Trump laid out a bold claim: that a majority of drugs entering the country were entering areas where a border wall wasn’t present, avoiding ports of entry checkpoints.
That claim is false, however, as has been noted several times by fact-checkers that Trump repeats it despite the notion being a lie. This time around, however, the false claim took on deeper meaning, as Trump used a specific number that made the lie even more profound.
Toronto Star correspondent Daniel Dale noted the claim from Trump on Monday, and tweeted the usual correction about it, with a twist. Dale quoted Trump’s statement, in which the president said, “Ninety percent of the drugs don’t come through the port of entry. Ninety percent of the drugs and the big stuff goes out to the desert.”
Dale corrected Trump in the same tweet, pointing out that, in fact, the opposite was true. “Government statistics show that 90% of heroin seizures at the southern border come at ports of entry,” Dale wrote.
Government statistics show that 90% of heroin seizures at the southern border come at ports of entry. Trump to governors this morning: "90% of the drugs don’t come through the port of entry. 90% of the drugs and the big stuff goes out to the desert."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 25, 2019
Trump has repeatedly claimed that drugs are crossing the southern border at a higher rate outside of the wall rather than through legal ports of entry, a disinformation campaign that’s designed to drum up support for an extended border wall that would cost billions of dollars. But as the Associated Press pointed out, ports of entry are the primary way drugs enter the country from Mexico, contradicting the president’s assertions.
Trump is ramping up pressure on Republican lawmakers, as plans by Congress to fight back against his national emergency declaration earlier this month are underway. “I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security,” Trump tweeted out earlier in the day.
A Congressional vote thwarting Trump’s emergency declaration is likely to pass. However, Trump has the power to veto such legislation, after which his declaration will probably face challenges in the courts, especially given that the president said he “didn’t need to do this” when he announced the emergency in the first place, according to reporting from the Washington Post.