‘No one is banning us’: Red Cross calls out MSNBC host for false immigration claim
The unlikely Twitter spat began when Scarborough claimed the Red Cross was being banned from contact with children detained by American immigration authorities at the US-Mexico border.
“Trump’s Centralized State is even banning the Red Cross from visiting those infants and toddlers being incarcerated by Trump,” Scarborough wrote, quoting a tweet from the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross tweet stated it had offered assistance to federal authorities but had not acquired permission to access the site. It also linked to a more than two dozen ‘trusted’ organizations that were providing support to those detained at the border.
Quickly spotting that Scarborough had misinterpreted their tweet, the American Red Cross replied with strong clarification on the issue.
Trump’s Centralized State is even banning the Red Cross from visiting those infants and toddlers being incarcerated by Trump. What do Trump and Pence have to hide? https://t.co/envB35OsLz— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 23, 2018
This is not true, and we are sorry if our statement led you to this conclusion. We’ve had discussions with federal officials to see if there is a way we can help, but no one is “banning” us from anything, and if there is a role for the Red Cross to play, we will.— American Red Cross (@RedCross) June 23, 2018
Digging in, Scarborough refuted the Red Cross’ own explanation, telling the organization to “focus on missing children, and leave the spin to [White House press secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders.”
Your statement clearly states that you cannot help those incarcerated because despite your offers to help, the government did not grant you access. I understand the position you are in. But focus on missing children and leave the spin to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. https://t.co/PMWXRg4qF2— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 23, 2018
Scarborough’s analysis, meanwhile, quickly garnered attention across social media and was picked up by other liberal commentators.
Refusing to allow the Red Cross to access detention facilities where children are being held is the kind of behavior we've come to expect from the likes of Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong-un. It's called weaponized humanitarian access, and it's a human rights violation. https://t.co/KmR6LiqSjb— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 23, 2018
Members of Congress and reporters are denied access to the camps.Senators are arrested for trying to deliver toys to kids in the camps.And now, the Red Cross is being turned away.It's almost as if the administration knows they're doing something wrong.🤔#FridayFeelinghttps://t.co/IZrmNRHymb— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly 🌊 BWCS (@AynRandPaulRyan) June 22, 2018
In a tweet pinned to the American Red Cross account, the non-profit states that it has been in contact with several levels of the Trump administration regarding the border situation and has received a positive response.
The Red Cross is not a federal agency, and says it operates as a “federal instrument” to carry out responsibilities delegated by the government, such as disaster relief. The organization says it does not generally receive federal funding on a regular basis.
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, is a vocal critic of Trump and left the party last year while criticising the GOP for its failure to stand up to the president. He slammed Trump supporters as racist during a discussion on the family separation policy on the Morning Joe show on Saturday. MSNBC, meanwhile, has been consistently branded by Trump as “fake news.”
Earlier this week, Trump backed down on the family separation policy, signing an executive order requiring immigrant families caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally to be detained together.
The ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy requiring all adults caught crossing the US border illegally to be referred for criminal prosecution still stands.