Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday, March 28, hammered White House press secretary Jen Psaki for refusing to allow media access to facilities at the border, saying the Biden administration is being “less transparent than the Trump administration.”
Wallace, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump when he was in office, said “the only way we know how bad conditions are” at the border is because members of Congress, who have toured some facilities, have taken and released photos of the detention centers.
“These kids are living in these conditions now. They’re not living in these conditions some indeterminate time from now when the president says everything will be fixed,” Wallace said. “So why not allow reporters and camera crews in on a pool basis safely to take pictures and show the American people what’s happening in those Border Patrol facilities right now?”
Psaki responded by claiming that the president is “absolutely committed” to allowing media access.
“When?” Wallace demanded.
“We want to provide access into the border patrol facilities. We are mindful of the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic,” Psaki said. “We want to keep these kids safe, keep the staff safe, but we are absolutely committed to transparency and providing access to media to the border patrol facilities.”
Psaki claimed that the administration gave Fox News access to a facility just last week. Wallace made it clear that it was a different facility operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not a Border Patrol illegal alien detention facility.
“Just to clarify, Jen, you allowed a camera crew in to see the HHS facilities. What we’re talking about here are the Border Patrol facilities, the detention cells,” Wallace said. “There is a law—let me just finish—that they are not allowed to be there for more than 72 hours, many of them are there for 10 days.”
“At this point, in terms of allowing access to Border Patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration,” Wallace added.
Psaki deflected by blaming Trump for the growing border crisis and insisting that the surge at the border is “cyclical.”
Media personnel have not been granted access to detention and border patrol facilities where thousands of migrants, including unaccompanied children, are being held in unacceptable conditions.
“I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now—zero access is granted to media,” award-winning photojournalist John Moore said earlier this month. “Until now, US photojournalists haven’t needed to stand in another country to photograph what’s happening—in the United States.”
Some members of Congress who have toured the facilities have released disturbing images of overcrowding and inhumane living situations. On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared a video of a woman he identified as a “senior adviser” attempting to block him from taking photos of illegal aliens detained in an overcrowded border facility in Donna, Texas.
Sen. Ted Cruz says this video shows a senior Biden advisor trying to block him from showing us the inhumane conditions that migrants are being kept in thanks to Biden’s disastrous policies at the border.
So much for Dem’s contrived concern over kids in cages, right? pic.twitter.com/Ef8w19hut1
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 28, 2021