Trump says migrant detention centers are 'not concentration camps'

Trump says migrant detention centers are 'not concentration camps'
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE on Tuesday hit back at Democrats who have likened migrant detention centers to “concentration camps,” a term used by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire' These 3 women are defining the race to unseat Trump CBS to Ocasio-Cortez on Sanders support: 'As a woman of color, why back an old white guy?' MORE (D-N.Y.)

Speaking to reporters during a Cabinet meeting, Trump accused “far-left” Democrats of distorting the conditions inside the facilities that are reportedly overcrowded and dirty.  

“They’re not concentration camps. They’re really well-run,” Trump said.


He asserted that “some of the news” reported detention facilities were “clean” and children were being taken care of. 

Trump has repeatedly defended the conditions inside the facilities, but it is the first time he has directly rebuked the term “concentration camps” used by Ocasio-Cortez and others. 

When asked about the term last month in an interview with The Hill, Trump did not address it but claimed he was running migrant detention centers better than former President Obama. 

The comments come days after Vice President Pence witnessed harrowing conditions at a detention center near the southern border, where nearly 400 men were kept inside fenced cages without enough room to lie down. Some migrants said they had been there for as many as 40 days, were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. 

They also came amid a roiling controversy sparked by Trump telling Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshman, minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries, even though they are all U.S. citizens. Democrats, and a few Republicans, have decried the comments as racist.