Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade helped President Donald Trump smear those recently detained or deported by ICE as “gang members, drug lords, in some cases murderers.” During a February 28 interview, Trump claimed that his administration directed ICE agents to only target the “bad” immigrants for detention and deportation. Rather than pointing out many recent examples in which ICE detained and deported undocumented immigrants who posed no threat to the community and the fact that immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes, co-host Brian Kilmeade helped Trump expand on his assertion by asking, “Do you think that has not been communicated effectively?” Fox News has repeatedly associated undocumented immigrants with criminality, almost exclusively describing undocumented immigrants using the anti-immigrant slur "illegal." Additionally, the network has routinely relied on skewed data by anti-immigrant groups to support their false claims.
From the February 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Mr. President, you'll have the biggest -- if tradition means anything, and I know everything's a little bit different these days -- you'll have the biggest audience for a State of the Union-like address this year, bigger than any other year. Having said that, how do you plan on capturing that opportunity for yourself and for your administration?
DONALD TRUMP: Brian, all I can do is speak from the heart and say what I want to do. We have a really terrific, I believe, health care plan coming out. We have to understand Obamacare has been a disaster. It's way out of control, doesn't work. We're coming out with a health care plan that I think will be terrific. It will be very inclusive, and I think it's going to do really what people are wanting it to do. But I'll be talking about that. I'll be talking about the military. I'll be talking about the border. And remember this, on the border and throughout our country, we're getting the bad ones out, the bad people. Gang members, drug lords, in some cases murderers.
KILMEADE: Has that not been communicated? Do you think that has not been communicated effectively?
TRUMP: I don't think so. No. Maybe it's my fault. But when they show people being taken out, these are people that are -- we're looking at the bad ones. And I said that from day one. I said from the day I'm president we're getting rid of the bad ones. And a lot of people understand it. I can tell you the communities where we're removing people that are really trouble and really frightening to a lot of the people who live there, those communities are very, very happy.