Trump goes on ad-libbed riff on human trafficking

President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE on Friday delivered an extended, apparently ad-libbed warning about the consequences of failing to secure the southern border as he announced he would sign a short-term government funding bill that did not include money for a border wall.

At one point during his remarks, the teleprompter in the White House Rose Garden stopped as it read "Talk about Human Trafficking.”


For roughly two minutes, Trump gave a graphic description of people being brought across borders against their will in a modern form of slavery, describing women bound and with duct tape covering their mouths.

"They can’t come through the port because if they come through a port people will see four women sitting in a van with tape around face and around their mouth," Trump said. "We can't have it."

"But they come through areas where they have no protection, where they have no steel barriers, where they have no walls," he added. "And we can stop almost 100 percent of them."

The Washington Post reported that human trafficking experts and immigration advocates suggested that the president's vivid descriptions of taped-up women do not reflect reality.

The Post said it spoke to nine academics or immigration aid workers who expressed skepticism about Trump's description of women being covered in duct tape.

Edna Yang, the assistant executive director of Texas-based immigration advocacy center American Gateways, told the news outlet that it was possible women are bound and gagged as they're brought into the country, but that she had not seen a case like the ones Trump described.

“It’s clear that he just doesn’t have an understanding of what happens at the border,” Yang told the Post. “I think that all President Trump is doing is pushing a wall. A wall is not going to stop individuals fleeing to the United States when home conditions are terrible. He’s just trying different tactics to get what he wants.”

Six trafficking experts from the U.S. told The Toronto Star they had not met victims who experiences mirrored what Trump spoke of.

Trump has long painted human trafficking and the flow of drugs and crime as urgent problems that could be solved in part by constructing a wall along the southern border, though his description of women being bound has grown more specific in recent speeches.

The president spoke Friday in the Rose Garden for roughly 20 minutes, where he announced he would sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks that does not include funding for a wall.

Trump triggered a government shutdown that has lasted since before Christmas when he demanded more than $5 billion for a border wall. Democrats have offered money for other border security measures, but nothing for the wall.

Jordan Fabian contributed to this story.