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Trump admits no proof of Middle Easterners in migrant caravan

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Trump Oval Office
President Donald Trump
admitted to having no proof of Middle Easterners in a caravan
headed to the US from Central America.

Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump admitted on Tuesday that he has no
    proof of ‘Middle Easterners’ among a caravan of migrants headed
    to the US from Central America.
  • Trump claimed on Monday that “criminals and unknown
    Middle Easterners” were “mixed in” with the caravan, with Vice
    President Mike Pence later echoing his assertions in a live
    interview. 
  • An estimated 7,200 migrants from Latin America are headed
    toward the US, fleeing rampant poverty and violence in their
    home countries. They had reached Hitula, Mexico as of
    Tuesday.

President Donald Trump conceded in a Tuesday afternoon press
conference he has no proof to back up his and Vice President Mike
Pence’s repeated assertions that “unknown Middle Easterners” were
among a caravan of migrants heading to the US from Central
America.

Trump said  “there’s no proof of anything, but there could
very well be” when pressed by CNN reporter Jim
Acosta for concrete evidence
that people of Middle Eastern
descent or that suspected terrorists were among the group. 

After initially tweeting that claim on Monday
that “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” were
“mixed in” among the estimated 7,000 migrants headed to the US,
Trump doubled down later that day, telling reporters “if take
your cameras and search … you’re gonna find MS-13, you’re gonna
find Middle Eastern, you’re gonna find everything.”

In a Monday interview with The Washington Post’s Robert
Costa, Vice President Mike Pence echoed
Trump,
calling it “inconceivable there are not people of
Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people
advancing toward our border.” 

Trump’s denial came after White House press secretary Sarah
Sanders said Trump “absolutely” had
proof of Middle Eastern people in the caravan
, with both she
and Pence’s spokeswoman Alyssa Farah emphasizing Department of
Homeland Security statistics stating that an average of 10
“suspected terrorists” a day were apprehended by Border Patrol in
2017.

The migrants in the caravan are mainly fleeing El Salvador,
Honduras, and Guatemala,
three nations riddled with gang
violence, corruption, and poor economic conditions to immigrate
or seek asylum in the United States. As of Tuesday, they had
reached the city of Huixtla,
Mexico, about 1,100 miles from the US border. 

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