AP apologizes for tweet calling migrant caravan 'a ragtag army of the poor'

AP apologizes for tweet calling migrant caravan 'a ragtag army of the poor'
© Getty Images

The Associated Press apologized on Monday for its “poorly chosen” words in a tweet that described a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. border as being “like a ragtag army of the poor.”  

“We’ve removed an @AP tweet from Oct. 21 that said a migrant caravan in Mexico was ‘like a ragtag army of the poor,’ ” the AP wrote to its more than 13 million followers. “That wording was poorly chosen and has been removed from our coverage of the caravan.”

The removal came not long after former CNN morning anchor Soledad O'Brien scolded the news organization for applying the word “army” in describing the caravan of thousands of people.

“Hey @AP —it’s not an army. Really inappropriate to call it as such. Do better,” wrote O'Brien to her more than 880,000 followers.

The tweet was "liked" more than 5,500 times. 

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists also criticized the AP, cautioning that “terms such as ragtag and poor must be exchanged for words that are less bias and assumptive.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE has repeatedly highlighted the caravan while expressing frustration that Mexico and countries in Central America are not stopping migrants from coming to the U.S. border.

On Monday, he said he was prepared to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. 

“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States,” he continued. “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National [Emergency]. Must change laws!”

The president’s rhetoric appears to be aimed at firing up his base. It comes with the 2018 midterm elections in 15 days and Democrats needing to win 23 seats to take back the House of Representatives.