Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump, misquoted and misrepresented the words of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who was speaking about a woman who was recently killed by an undocumented immigrant.
Warren was discussing the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who went missing weeks ago and whose body was recently discovered after Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an undocumented immigrant who was in the country working on an Iowa farm, admitted to police he had killed her.
Trump Jr. wrote in an Instagram post, purportedly quoting the senator, that Warren had told the family members directly to focus more on the problem of families being separated at the border.
“Asked about Mollie Tibbetts being murdered by an illegal immigrant, Elizabeth Warren says ‘I know this is hard’ for her family, but they ‘have to remember’ that we need to focus on ‘real problems’ like illegal immigrants not being able to see their kids,” Trump Jr. wrote.
“How stupid can someone be and how stupid can we be to keep re-electing these Democrats?” he added. "Time to finally put Americans First!!!”
Yea the real problem is not the murder of a young American girl.?!?! You can’t make this crap up. Is the left’s platform really defend anyone but actual Americans? I don’t know how to interpret it any other way. How stupid can someone be and how stupid can we be to keep re-electing these Democrats? Time to finally put Americans First!!!
In actuality, Warren had not directed her comments toward the family — instead of saying “they,” for instance, she had said “we” — and in her full quote, she expressed sincere sorrow for the grieving family.
“I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard not only for her family, but for people in her community, the people throughout Iowa,” Warren said in a recent interview. “But one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are.”
Warren was criticized for her comments, but they’re not entirely misplaced; in truth, studies have demonstrated that undocumented immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes on average than are documented citizens of the United States.
That didn’t stop the Trump administration from politicizing Tibbett’s death, which they did soon after her body was discovered. It was a move that some friends and family members of Tibbetts’ said is wrong.
A second cousin of Tibbetts took to social media after conservative pundits started politicizing Tibbetts’ death, and a friend of Tibbetts spoke out publicly against others doing the same, saying she would not have wanted her death to be used in such a way.
“I also know what Mollie stood for ... and she would not approve,” Breck Goodman, her friend, said. “So I don't want her death to be used as propaganda. I don't want her death to be used for more prejudice and for more discrimination, and I don't think she would want that, either.”
Trump Jr. is free to criticize others for comments they make about this tragedy, and he should also be allowed to suggest policies that could prevent these sorts of incidents from happening again. But taking Warren’s words out of context goes too far because it mischaracterizes the sympathy and true meaning behind the words that she expressed.
Moreover, those who have decided to use Tibbetts as a means to push their political agenda forward cross an ethical line that should not be violated. The family deserves time to grieve — and it is far from proper to use them as political pawns for an aggressive and racist immigration policy put forward by the president.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Adnan Abidi/Reuters