President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE appeared at an event Friday with family members whose relatives were killed by immigrants in the country illegally, with the family members holding images of their loved ones that had apparently been signed by Trump.
The event at the White House featured 14 relatives of angel families standing on stage against a backdrop emblazoned with the phrases "Protect Our Communities" and "Secure Our Borders" over an American flag.
Trump spoke about the relatives who died at the hands of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, saying they had been "permanently separated" from their family members.
Each of the 11 photos of deceased relatives held by the family members on stage during the event featured Trump’s signature in black ink, CNBC noted.
It is unclear when Trump autographed the images or if the families requested it.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment, but White House adviser Dan Scavino tweeted about the issue.
REQUESTED by family members after their private meeting and visit to the Oval Office - which took place before public remarks, as seen in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, below. https://t.co/vP0ac11YpD— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) June 23, 2018
Trump took a jab at the press during the event, saying “these are the families the media ignores.”
“Where is the media outrage over the catch-and-release policies that allow deadly drugs to flow into our country?” Trump said Friday. “Where is the condemnation of the Democrats’ sanctuary cities that release violent criminals into our communities?”
The event, announced the night before, was aimed at shifting the narrative over the administration's “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has drawn intense scrutiny this week.
Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at ending his administration's controversial practice of separating children from their parents while the adults face prosecution for crossing the border illegally.
More than 2,300 immigrant children have been separated from their parents at the border while the adults face criminal proceedings.