Ivanka Trump says father did not authorise lethal force against migrants, before being shown clip of him authorising lethal force

'Lethal force, in this case, that is not something that anyone’s talking about,' president's daughter wrongly claims

Chris Baynes
Thursday 29 November 2018 13:08
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Ivanka on US border: 'It makes me angry that we haven't been able to come together as a nation and change our laws'

Ivanka Trump insisted her father had not authorised the use of lethal force on migrants at the US border.

There was one problem: footage which showed him doing exactly that.

The president’s daughter and adviser appeared visibly uncomfortable after being confronted with the video during an interview on ABC News.

Moments earlier she had described pictures of migrant families being tear-gassed by American forces at the US-Mexico-border as “devastating” and “heartbreaking”.

Asked whether she was concerned about Mr Trump authorising troops to use deadly force if necessary, she told Good Morning America’s Deborah Roberts: “I don’t believe that that’s what he said, but his primary role as commander in chief is obviously to protect the nation’s borders. He has to protect our country’s security.

“But lethal force, in this case, that is not something that anyone’s talking about.”

Ms Trump was then confronted with a clip of her father telling reporters last week: “If they have to, they’re going to use lethal force. I’ve given the OK, if they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”

After seeing the footage, Ms Trump defended her father.

“Lethal force under any circumstance would be the last resort,” she said. “But he is the commander in chief of the armed forces of this country so he always has to protect the border.

“He’s not talking about innocents. He’s not talking about innocent asylum-seekers.”

An order signed by the president last week gave permission for troops US-Mexico border to execute “military protective activities that the secretary of defence determines are reasonably necessary,” including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search”.

The order applied to 5,900 military personnel deployed to the region ahead of the arrival of a caravan of Central American migrants, mainly of them seeking asylum in the US after fleeing poverty and violence.

On Sunday, US border agents fired tear gas at migrants they said they been trying to illegally enter the country from the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

Pictures emerged of families with young children fleeing the gas, scenes condemned as “shameful” by American activists and Democrat politicians.

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