Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2018

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1924-2018 [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:36 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Knowing that he had been in declining health, the announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the 41st President, George H.W. Bush, died earlier this evening in Houston. And though he achieved the distinction of being the oldest living ex-President in history, for many of us currently in middle age and older he remains a poignant final chapter of the generation of World War II veterans we grew up with who dominated Washington politics for a half-century, from Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy’s election to the House in 1946 to Bob Dole’s defeat in the Presidential election of 1996.

It seems a little bit silly to sketch out the details of the man’s life, considering they are probably largely known by readers of the blog. The obituary in the Houston Chronicle does a nice job filling in those details, so if anyone needs a refresher I urge you to go there. He led a patrician’s life — son of a Senator, educated at Andover and Yale, country club dances where he met his wife, connections to get him started in the oil business, and entree into GOP politics, and so on.

But, crucially, he had the sense of duty which we once thought was inculcated within the upper classes, but now have cause to wonder if it isn’t passé in this wretched age of Kardashians, Hiltons, and their ilk. He famously went off to war on his eighteenth birthday, flying 58 combat missions and earning distinction as a pilot. After amassing a small fortune in the awl bidness, he entered politics, serving as a Congressman for two terms before moving on to various jobs in the Republican party and with GOP Administrations, culminating with his two terms as Vice President and one term as President.

He was the first Presidential candidate I ever voted for. He wasn’t Ronald Reagan — he didn’t have the stage presence of the Gipper and his conservatism was more tempered and bureaucracy-accommodating than that of his former boss — but he largely pursued a traditional Republican agenda. The two biggest mistakes his administration made were leading the Kurds to believe that U.S. troops would come to their aid and giving in on raising taxes way too early in budget negotiations which probably prevented Republicans from extracting deeper spending concessions from Democrats. On the other hand, the spending limits that he did get in exchange for tax increases ended up vexing his successor during his first year when Congressional Democrats bluntly informed Mr. Clinton that they would have to at least make a semi-legitimate attempt to adhere to the spending caps that had been negotiated, which scotched Bubba’s plans for dozens of new spending initiatives. Based upon what has happened since he left office, a good case can be made that Mr. Bush was overall a successful President.

When he was defeated for reelection in 1992, it amounted to replacing a man whose life had been defined by family, work, and service with one of the worst embodiments of a largely spoiled and selfish generation. Mr. Bush, who sadly turned out to be a rather uninspiring campaigner that year, was disappointed and embittered to lose to a man whom he undoubtedly felt was dishonest and shady. But, ever a true gentleman, Mr. Bush ultimately made his peace with Mr. Clinton and even worked with him on various charitable initiatives during the administration of his son and namesake. He charmed everyone with his self-deprecating humor, his insistence on sky-diving to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and his justifiable pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

He’s now reunited with his beloved Barbara, and sadly I don’t think we’ll see the likes of him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon, if indeed ever again. Rest in peace, sir. We miss you already.

UPDATE: The estimable David Burge — “Iowahawk” — reminds us that there is one remaining World War II veteran who is a current head of state.

– JVW

This Season’s Warm and Fuzzy Holiday Story

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:18 pm



[guest post by JVW]

A heartwarming local tale:

Payless taught fashion influencers a lesson about shoes by opening a fake store that sold Main Street shoes at Madison Avenue prices.

Payless ShoeSource held a launch party in Los Angeles for the bogus label Palessi and invited the fashionistas to sample the merchandise. Payless posted a video of what happened on Facebook.

The VIP shoppers paid as much as $645 for shoes that sell from $19.99 to $39.99 at Payless. The store rang up $3,000 before Payless came clean with the reveal.

One shopper exclaimed, “Shut up! Are you serious?”

The pranked shoppers got their money back and were allowed to keep the shoes.

Their reactions will be featured in a series of commercials.

That’s modern America for you. Once upon a time these gullible “influencers” would have slunked away in bitter embarrassment, but today when you tell them they will be in a commercial they are happy to sign the release form and showcase their pretentiousness to the entire world. I guess Ovid pegged this two millennia ago: spectatum veniunt, lenient spectentur ut ipsae.

– JVW

There Is No Collusion! OK, Maybe a Bit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:13 am



This column by Michael Gerson, highlighted by Allahpundit on Twitter, has a nice summary of some of the latest collusion evidence:

In the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, there are at least three offenses that could lead to indictment or impeachment. There is obstruction of justice — which Trump seems to attempt persistently, publicly and shamelessly. There is possible financial corruption concerning Russia on the part of Trump and the imperial family — about which the recent plea deal with Michael Cohen hints. This is likely to be interesting reading in Mueller’s report. And there is the initial matter of collusion with a hostile foreign power to influence a presidential election. This is hardly a fanciful charge, given that Trump, while a candidate, publicly invited Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails as a way to influence a presidential election.

What else do we know related to this charge? We know that Trump adviser Roger Stone allegedly told associates he was in contact with WikiLeaks, the conduit for emails hacked by Russian intelligence. (Stone denies this.) We know that Stone contacted conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, encouraging him to gather information on hacked Clinton emails. We know that Corsi responded to Stone: “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps . . . Impact planned to be very damaging.” (The “friend” in this email — amazingly and disgustingly — appears to be the anti-American cybercriminal Julian Assange.) We know that Stone issued the tweet, “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” six weeks before WikiLeaks began releasing 50,000 emails that Russian agents had reportedly stolen from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. And we know, from Corsi himself, that he and Stone conspired to lie about the motivation of this tweet.

Trump is left to claim — which he has now apparently done in written testimony — that he never discussed these matters with Stone or Corsi. This would have required candidate Trump to adopt a strategy of plausible deniability — in this case, encouraging Russian hacking in public but carefully avoiding the topic in private conversations with Stone.

Gerson goes on to discuss how unlikely the prospect is that Trump avoided personal involvement in this matter, given how personally involved he was in the Stormy Daniels payoff, and given that he publicly called for Russia to “find” missing Hillary Clinton emails (I never agreed that he invited Russia to “hack” Hillary, but he did invite them to meddle in the election). Why would he stay personally removed from this nasty work, when he personally involved himself in the Stormy Daniels nasty work? Answer: he wouldn’t.

A disinterested observer, initially inclined to dismiss accusations of collusion, increasingly finds them plausible.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

11/29/2018

Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress About Trump Tower Moscow Project

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:31 pm



Michael Cohen appeared to have been protecting Trump with his lies, which included covering up how long the Trump Tower Moscow project was discussed with Russians (deep into the general election season) and plans to have Trump travel to Russia to discuss the deal with Russian leaders. New York Times:

Donald J. Trump was more involved in discussions over a potential Russian business deal during the presidential campaign than previously known, his former lawyer Michael D. Cohen said Thursday in pleading guilty to lying to Congress. Mr. Trump’s associates pursued the project as the Kremlin was escalating its election sabotage effort meant to help him win the presidency.

Mr. Trump’s participation in discussions about building a grand skyscraper in Moscow showed how the interests of his business empire were enmeshed with his political ambitions as he was closing in on the Republican nomination for president. During the early months of 2016, when the business discussions were taking place, he was publicly pressing for warmer relations between the United States and Russia and an end to economic sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, policy positions that might have benefited his family business.

Court documents made public by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, detailed new accusations against Mr. Cohen, the president’s former fixer, who already pleaded guilty this year to committing campaign finance violations and financial crimes. Mr. Cohen was the point person at Trump Organization for negotiating a deal for the Moscow project, and on Thursday he admitted lying to congressional investigators about the duration of the negotiations and the extent of the involvement of Mr. Trump — who is identified in the court documents as “Individual 1.”

. . . .

Mr. Cohen said on Thursday that he discussed the status of the project with Mr. Trump on more than the three occasions he had previously acknowledged and briefed Mr. Trump’s family members about it. Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen discussed Mr. Trump himself traveling to Russia after the Republican National Convention, though that trip never materialized.

You can read Michael Cohen’s unsealed plea agreement and (more interesting) the information against him here. The information charges that Cohen lied to Congress when he represented that the Trump Tower Moscow deal was over by January 2016 and that it was not discussed extensively with others in the Trump Organization. The information also alleges that Cohen lied when he said that he never agreed to travel to Russia to follow up on the project, and never considered asking Donald Trump (called “Individual 1″ in the information) to travel for the project. The fact that Cohen has entered a plea agreement states that Cohen will agree to the truth of the allegations in the information as part of his cooperation.

Remember what I said here on March 29:

There’s really no scenario in which this plays out well for Cohen. We know that Robert Mueller is looking at some of Cohen’s involvement in Russia-related activities like Trump Tower Moscow. Mueller seems like a thorough guy, and if he runs across illegal activity by Cohen of any kind in the course of his investigation, he can at a minimum refer those matters to the Justice Department, and conceivably take them on himself.

Disbarment might be the least of Cohen’s worries at this point.

On August 29, I passed along the news that Michael Cohen had emailed Putin lieutenant and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov about Trump Tower Moscow. Peskov initially denied responding, but in a statement issued today he is telling a different story, and says the Russians did reply after all:

Oddly enough, and I feel weird saying this, but a BuzzFeed story from May 17, 2018 co-authored by (shudder) Jason Leopold appears to have gotten a lot of this right before anyone else did — in particular the extent to which Cohen had continued to push the Trump Tower Moscow deal months after January 2018, when (according to what Cohen had told Congress) the deal had supposedly been dead. Here is an interesting passage from that article:

[I]n a statement he released a week before he was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee last September, Cohen said the Trump Moscow effort “was terminated in January of 2016,” which Cohen noted was “before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary.”

But the venture did not end in January.

. . . .

Sater told BuzzFeed News that he and Cohen had a conversation about setting up Cohen’s trip to Moscow to reignite the tower project. The next day, May 4 [2016], they discussed when in the presidential campaign Trump should take the extraordinary step of flying to a country at odds with the United States in order to negotiate a major business deal. Sater texted Cohen: “I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention. I said I believe, but don’t know for sure, that it’s probably after the convention. Obviously the pre-meeting trip (only you) can happen anytime you want but the 2 big guys were the question.”

Cohen wrote back that day: “MY trip before Cleveland. Trump once he becomes the nominee after the convention.”

Sater: “Got it. I’m on it.”

The following day, Sater told Cohen that Peskov — the press officer whom Cohen had written to in January — “would like to invite you as his guest” to an economic forum in Russia. The country’s top government and finance officials would gather at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Sater said, and Peskov “wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev.”

“The entire business class of Russia will be there as well. He said anything you want to discuss, including dates and subjects, are on the table.” He concluded, “Please confirm that works for you.”

“Works for me,” Cohen said.

Now the same reporters have a story today claiming that the Trump Organization planned to give Putin a pricey condo in the tower:

President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan.

Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.

I find it very difficult to believe that Donald Trump did not know that Michael Cohen lied to Congress about all of this. Ken White, writing in The Atlantic, agrees:

The third remarkable thing about Cohen’s plea was its substance. The president of the United States’ personal lawyer admitted to lying to Congress about the president’s business activities with a hostile foreign power, in order to support the president’s story. In any rational era, that would be earthshaking. Now it’s barely a blip. Over the past two years, we’ve become accustomed to headlines like “President’s Campaign Manager Convicted of Fraud” and “President’s Personal Lawyer Paid for Adult Actress’s Silence.” We’re numb to it all. But these are the sorts of developments that would, under normal circumstances, end a presidency.

They still might. Cohen admitted that he lied to Congress to support President Trump’s version of events. He notably did not claim that he did so at Trump’s request, or that Trump knew he would do it. But if Cohen’s telling the truth this time, then this conclusion, at least, is inescapable: The president, who has followed this drama obsessively, knew that his personal lawyer was lying to Congress about his business activities, and stood by while it happened.

Those are Ken’s italics.

Meanwhile:

If they truly delve into Trump’s business or his taxes, I suspect they will find criminality.

[UPDATE: A clarification courtesy of commenter nk:

A source told the Sun-Times the raids were in response to new allegations, and not prompted by any past controversies that have swirled around Burke. That means, for now, the investigation isn’t focused on Burke’s property-tax-appeal work for President Donald Trump, or Burke’s oversight of a city workers’ compensation fund, among other matters.

Thanks for that, nk.]

What was it I said this morning? “The Trump presidency: a constant exercise in seeing whether the last bizarre stunt can be topped. So far, the answer is always ‘yes.’ How long can that go on?”

The answer is: another day, at least.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

The Strange Case of Paul Manafort’s Cooperation … with Donald Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:17 am



Paul Manafort got a deal to be a cooperator — but as the New York Times revealed the night before last, his cooperation was not with Robert Mueller, but Donald Trump:

A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the president’s onetime campaign chairman, repeatedly briefed President Trump’s lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal investigators after Mr. Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, according to one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers and two other people familiar with the conversations.

The arrangement was highly unusual and inflamed tensions with the special counsel’s office when prosecutors discovered it after Mr. Manafort began cooperating two months ago, the people said. Some legal experts speculated that it was a bid by Mr. Manafort for a presidential pardon even as he worked with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in hopes of a lighter sentence.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of the president’s personal lawyers, acknowledged the arrangement on Tuesday and defended it as a source of valuable insights into the special counsel’s inquiry and where it was headed. Such information could help shape a legal defense strategy, and it also appeared to give Mr. Trump and his legal advisers ammunition in their public relations campaign against Mr. Mueller’s office.

Prosecutors have now accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to them, and one wonders why someone in such dire circumstances would lie. I’m joking of course. The motive is clear. It rhymes with “harden” and begins with a “p.”

Manafort and Trump had operated under a joint defense agreement, but any privilege under that agreement could not exist once Manafort was facially cooperating, and Mueller can now seek to discover the substance of the conversations between Manafort’s and Trump’s lawyers.

Trump seems to be taking this all in stride, retweeting this delightful meme:

This is the calm and unflappable Donald Trump we’ve all come to know and love. Note the presence of Rod Rosenstein in the picture. If you think Trump didn’t notice this, think again:

It was no accident that President Trump Wednesday retweeted an image of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein locked up.

When asked during an interview with The Post: “Why do you think he belongs behind bars?” Trump responded: “He should have never picked a Special Counsel.”

The Trump presidency: a constant exercise in seeing whether the last bizarre stunt can be topped. So far, the answer is always “yes.” How long can that go on?

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

11/28/2018

Using Empathy for a Reasonable Purpose: Ending U.S. Support for the War in Yemen

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am



Yemeni Girl Starving

This photo prompted Facebook to remove posts containing the picture. I’m going to go link this post on Facebook right now, and include this picture.

The tale of Jamal Khashoggi might be more well known to most Americans than the war in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of people, both directly (as when Saudi Arabia killed 40 children on a school bus with a U.S.-manufactured bomb) and indirectly (as with the starvation and disease-caused deaths of as many as 85,000 children under the age of 5).

But the single death of Khashoggi may be the key to stopping the misery in Yemen. In a crucial vote that will take place today on U.S. support for the Yemen war, several Senators may be changing their vote — and the Mohammed bin Salman-ordered murder of Khashoggi may be the decisive factor in their changed position:

OPPONENTS OF THE war in Yemen have picked up momentum heading into a critical Senate vote on Wednesday on whether to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee has said that he would support the measure. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, also on the Foreign Relations Committee, has told colleagues that he supports the effort as well, Democratic aides told The Intercept.

Both senators voted to table the effort — which was introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy — the last time it arrived on the Senate floor in March. Menendez is one of the more hawkish Democrats in the chamber, and his support for the resolution is a sign that the party is coalescing around opposition to the war.

. . . .

Four Democratic aides told The Intercept that in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing, many of the Democrats who voted against the measure in March are likely to flip. In addition to Menendez and Coons, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and others are considering a vote in support of the measure. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday that he was undecided and would wait until after a Trump administration briefing Wednesday morning to decide how he would vote.

As I have pointed out before in discussing the death of Khashoggi, the war in Yemen is far worse than the death of a single journalist or dissident, but the psychological effect of a single death holds the attention better:

Khashoggi is hardly the first innocent person Mohammed bin Salman has had killed. We’re sending weapons to a regime that created a humanitarian crisis in Yemen and conducted an air strike on a school bus. But, to paraphrase Stalin, if only one man dies of torture and is cut up with a bone saw, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.

Paul Bloom, a psychologist, Yale professor, and famous opponent of empathy, has elaborated on the way in which empathy for a single person can outweigh statistical expressions of misery:

The key to engaging empathy is what has been called “the identifiable victim effect.” As the economist Thomas Schelling, writing forty-five years ago, mordantly observed, “Let a six-year-old girl with brown hair need thousands of dollars for an operation that will prolong her life until Christmas, and the post office will be swamped with nickels and dimes to save her. But let it be reported that without a sales tax the hospital facilities of Massachusetts will deteriorate and cause a barely perceptible increase in preventable deaths—not many will drop a tear or reach for their checkbooks.”

You can see the effect in the lab. The psychologists Tehila Kogut and Ilana Ritov asked some subjects how much money they would give to help develop a drug that would save the life of one child, and asked others how much they would give to save eight children. The answers were about the same. But when Kogut and Ritov told a third group a child’s name and age, and showed her picture, the donations shot up—now there were far more to the one than to the eight.

The number of victims hardly matters—there is little psychological difference between hearing about the suffering of five thousand and that of five hundred thousand. Imagine reading that two thousand people just died in an earthquake in a remote country, and then discovering that the actual number of deaths was twenty thousand. Do you now feel ten times worse? To the extent that we can recognize the numbers as significant, it’s because of reason, not empathy.

As Bloom explained in his book Just Babies (affiliate link), the effect is even more stark than this. After all, the effect just described could be attributed to the difference between one scenario which personalizes a tragedy and another which doesn’t. But psychologists have shown that if you personalize a tragedy by showing the misery of one child, you actually decrease the amount of donations by adding a phrase like: “and there are thousands more just like her.” It’s not just the personalization of a single child that stirs the heart. It is the thought that this is the only person so situated — so if you cure this child’s problem, the problem is cured. The knowledge that this child’s problem is representative of the suffering of many … all that knowledge does is harden people’s hearts and deaden empathy.

Which is why reason is a better way to make decisions. But it’s not the way most human brains work.

So let’s take advantage of the empathy that Senators are feeling over the brutal murder of a single person, Jamal Khashoggi, and put it to use while Senators’ emotions are still manipulable. The Yemen war is arguably the worst thing in the world that the United States is supporting right now. If it keeps up, millions could starve in a widespread famine. Those are real people, not just statistics. So let’s hope the Senate votes against that war today.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

11/27/2018

The Weaponization of Children in Immigration Battles

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am



The Washington Post yesterday ran a piece about the confrontation at the border, with a picture of a crying girl and a headline that focused on the suffering of children:

Crying Girl at Border

But making decisions about immigration based on sobbing children leads to disastrous results.

In July 2015, Angela Merkel confronted a sobbing Palestinian girl who wanted to study in Germany. Merkel said girls like her could not stay in Germany. There were too many people who wanted to stay, and Germany could not handle it:

The incident made international headlines. The phrase #MerkelStreichelt (Merkel strokes) trended on Twitter. Merkel was criticized in all parts of the globe. Just weeks later, Merkel announced that Germany could handle a huge influx of immigrants, with the famous line “Wir schaffen das” (“we can manage that” or “we can do this”). I need not belabor how disastrous that declaration was.

Few (if any) seem to have noticed how directly Merkel’s three-word declaration derived from her confrontation with the young Palestinian girl. Here is a transcript of the key moment when Merkel said the words that caused the tears to flow:

und wenn wir jetzt sagen „Ihr könnt alle kommen und ihr könnt alle aus Afrika kommen und ihr könnt alle kommen“, das, das können wir auch nicht schaffen.

Which roughly translates as:

“if we now say, ‘you can all come here and you from Africa you can all come and you can all come’, we cannot manage that.”

Do you see the parallel there? Merkel told the little girl “das können wir auch nicht schaffen” (we can’t manage that) and, after being pilloried by the international community, changed it to “Wir schaffen das” (we can manage that). The Wikipedia entry for “Wir schaffen das” does not mention the connection. This POLITICO article about the phrase does not mention the parallel. But it’s clear. All you have to do is look.

I hate having Donald Trump as president. I think he is corrupt and criminal and moronic. I could go on. But …

… but at times like these, the silver lining of his presidency becomes clear: that he can be seemingly impervious to the criticism of Big Media, and their attempts to emotionally manipulate the public through images of children being harmed.

Well, except for the bombing of Syria.

Although he emphasised he was not part of the White House administration, Eric Trump said he could tell his father was “deeply affected” by the images of injured children in the aftermath of the chemical weapons attack, in Idlib province, north-east Syria.

“I stay out of politics and I stay out of the administration but you can tell he was deeply affected by those images of the children,” he said.

But, you know, other than that.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

11/26/2018

Is This What the Kids Call Subtweeting?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:37 am



[guest post by JVW]

As we prepare for the NASA InSight Lander to touch down on Mars later today which will be relayed back to Earth at six minutes before noon Pacific Time, it is imperative that NASA scientists get every — and I mean every — detail perfect:

If you don’t quite get the reference, here’s a refresher.

– JVW

11/25/2018

Jesse Kelly Banned from Twitter: Is This Tweet Really the Reason?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:49 pm



Twitchy reports that a fella named Jesse Kelly has been permanently banned from Twitter. No explanation has been given.

Instapundit says this is the final straw, and has deactivated his Twitter account in protest.

Although Twitchy doesn’t know what the reason for the ban is, they cite a lot of replies from lefties about a tweet concerning the confederacy. A friend passes along the tweet. Is this tweet why he was banned?

You don’t have to agree with that opinion to believe that it doesn’t justify a permanent ban from Twitter.

It’s almost like there’s actually something to conservatives’ complaints about a bias on the part of the lefties who run the thing.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Illegals Storm Border South of San Diego, Throw Projectiles at Agents

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 pm



There was a confrontation at the border south of San Diego today, as 500 “migrants” stormed the port of entry at San Ysidro. This is the beginning of the drama of the “caravan” that Democrats said would take months to arrive. If you buy CNN’s spin (I don’t), authorities fired tear gas at the “migrants” — to “disperse” them:

US authorities fire tear gas to disperse migrants at border

A major US-Mexico border crossing in San Diego was closed for hours on Sunday after a group of migrants on the Mexican side rushed the border area, leading US Border Patrol agents to fire tear gas at the group.

About 500 migrants on the Mexican side of the border overwhelmed police blockades near the San Ysidro Port of Entry Sunday afternoon, two journalists at the scene in Tijuana told CNN.
A migrant family runs from tear gas released by US border patrol agents near the fence between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.

A migrant family runs from tear gas released by US border patrol agents near the fence between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.

As the migrants tried to cross the border, authorities on the US side used tear gas to disperse them, the journalists said. Video of the scene showed a cloud of tear gas that sent people running and screaming, including families with young children.

But if you keep reading the story, or if you are active on Twitter, you see a different story:

US Customs and Border Protection said the migrants threw projectiles that struck several agents.

“Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety,” the agency said on Twitter.

Here is the tweet:

More pictures:

The Tweeter in Chief has not directly referenced the story, although a complaint about a 60 Minutes story seems to allude to it:

Illegal aliens cannot be allowed to overrun our border. Period.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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