Trump defends Stephanopolous interview
Trump claims Dems are to blame for deaths of migrant children in US custody
President Trump on Saturday blamed Democrats for the death of two migrant children in U.S. custody.
"Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally," Trump tweeted. "They can't. If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try! The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol."
"The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn't given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!"
Two migrant children have died in American custody in recent weeks, prompting calls for investigations into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by many Democratic lawmakers.
Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, died in federal custody earlier this month from dehydration and shock.
Emergency responders found that she "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days," eight hours after she was detained at the border in New Mexico.
Caal's father said she actually had been given food and water and appeared to be in good health during their journey to the U.S.
Felipe Gómez Alonzo, an 8-year-old boy also from Guatemala, died in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody on Dec. 24 after being transferred to a hospital for flu-like symptoms, high fever and vomiting.
Sine his death, CBP has ordered medical checks on all children in its custody.
DHS promised earlier this week to change how the agency handles the health of migrant children.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said they will adopt a "series of extraordinary protective measures," including having the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate an uptick in "sick children" crossing the border.
Trump is locked in a fight with Democrats over border wall funding which has led to a partial government shutdown, going into its eighth day today.
Trump is demanding $5.7 billion for a wall, which he claims will stop illegal immigration, and the "Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals" that come with it.
The House passed a bill last week with the funding, but the measure does not have the votes to pass in the upper chamber.
Democrats argue that the wall would ineffective and send a signal of division.