President Donald Trump seems to be running out of ideas to keep the public away from his Russia ties and his tax returns. So he’s back with his favorite distraction tactic: Blame Obama.
On Tuesday, Trump criticized Obama for being “weak” on illegal immigration and blamed him, without evidence, for allowing the violent MS-13 gang to form in America.
“The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!” the president said on Twitter at about 4:39 a.m.
The MS-13 gang, which is based in Central America, was formed by Salvadorans fleeing that country’s civil war in the 1980s. The FBI recognized that the gang was a growing threat in the early 2000s — before former President Barack Obama was elected — and in 2004 created a task force “to investigate this violent international street gang,” according to the FBI. In 2008, the FBI stated that MS-13 had expanded to at least 42 states and D.C.
During an interview on “Fox and Friends” aired Tuesday, Trump said his administration has already kicked out dangerous illegal immigrants who were in this country. He didn’t specify MS-13 gang members.
“I’m talking about illegal immigrants that were here that caused tremendous crime that have murdered people, raped people; horrible things have happened. They are getting the hell out, or they are going to prison,” he says. “It is a serious problem and we never did anything about it, and now we’re doing something about it.”
The president has taken a hardline stance on immigration since the 2016 campaign trail, advocating for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and saying at one point of undocumented immigrants, “We have some bad hombres and we’re going to get them out.”
Since taking office, Trump has used the power of his attorney general, former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, to crack down on sanctuary cities and order a DOJ review of local police reform agreements.
“Sanctuary cities dangerously undermine this process. Harboring criminal aliens only helps violent gangs like MS-13,” Sessions said. “Sanctuary Cities are aiding these cartels to refill their ranks and putting innocent life — including the lives of countless law-abiding immigrants — in danger.”
The attorney general also indirectly criticized the previous administration, blaming the rise of MS-13 on “an open border and years of lax immigration enforcement.”