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Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman May 29, 2018

Trump correctly tweets that Democrats mistakenly tweeted photo of child migrants being held in 2014

President Donald Trump went on offense against Democrats after liberals attacked the Trump administration’s policy on child migrants. Trump said the Democrats were sharing a photo of detained children from 2014 during President Barack Obama’s presidency.

"Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages," Trump tweeted May 29. "They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires. Dems must agree to Wall and new Border Protection for good of country...Bipartisan Bill!"

Trump’s tweets followed some blame and confusion about nearly 1,500 "lost" immigrant children. In late April, a federal agency reported being unable to locate about 1,500 children who came to the United States alone. Around the same time, the Trump administration announced a "zero-tolerance" policy to ramp up prosecutions of individuals who cross the border illegally.

Trump’s tweet is accurate. One of the Democrats who shared the photo was Jon Favreau, a former Obama speechwriter.

Favreau, who has one million followers on Twitter, tweeted on May 27: "Look at these pictures. This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible."

Favreau included a link to a Arizona Republic story showing a photo of two detainees lying on mats on the ground in a holding cell with the headline "First Glimpse of Immigrant Children at holding facility." While Favreau has since deleted the tweet, Twitchy and Fox News showed screen grabs.

The photo was taken by Ross D. Franklin of the Associated Press in June 2014 at a Customs and Border Protection Agency center in Nogales, Arizona. The photo was used in an Arizona Republic article which described the migrants as "children in cages." The newspaper verified the timing of the photo in a tweet.

Minutes after Favreau’s tweet about the photo, at 3:27 p.m. Favreau followed up with a tweet that cited the actual date of the photo.

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"These awful pictures are from 2014, when the government's challenge was reconnecting unaccompanied minors who showed up at the border with family or a safe sponsor. Today, in 2018, the government is CREATING unaccompanied minors by tearing them away from family at the border."

Favreau responded to our questions by pointing to his May 29 Twitter thread, including this tweet:

"I tweeted a story that multiple journalists were posting. My mistake for not checking the date first. A few minutes later, when I realized my error, I deleted the tweet and immediately tweeted the correct info and date of the picture."

In an email, Favreau told PolitiFact that a New York Times Magazine editor was one of the journalists who posted the photo. Jake Silverstein, the magazine’s editor in chief, tweeted on May 27 "My bad for RT’ing without closer inspection and implying by timing that it’s current."

Trump’s swipe at "Democrats" was broad but there were liberal activists who tweeted about the photo including Shaun King and Linda Sarsour. The Daily Caller and The Daily Mail linked to tweets by other activists and journalists.

Our ruling

Trump tweeted "Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages."

Several Democrats did tweet a photo of a facility where child migrants are detained. While they initially stated the image was something happening right now, the photo was actually from 2014.

Trump’s attack on "Democrats" is broad here, it is nonetheless accurate. We rate this claim True.


Our Sources

President Donald Trump, Tweet, May 29, 2018

President Donald Trump, Tweet, May 26, 2018

CBS Face the Nation, Transcript, May 27, 2018

Jon Favreau, Tweet, 12:34 p.m. May 27, 2018

Jon Favreau, Tweet, 3:10 p.m. May 27, 2018

Jon Favreau, Tweet, 3:27 p.m. May 27, 2018

Jon Favreau, Tweet thread, May 29, 2018

Twitchy, "Jon Favreau, Shaun King, Linda Sarsour and other libs just committed the greatest self-own in the history of Twitter," May 27, 2018

Arizona Republic, "First peek: Immigrant children flood detention center," June 18, 2014

Daily Caller, "Shaun King, Linda Sarsour, Others Try To Hammer Trump On Immigration But Hit Obama Instead," May 27, 2018

Daily Mail, "This is happening right now': Twitter users, including Obama's speech writer, slam ICE picture they believe shows 'cage' that separates immigrant children from their families under Trump - but it was actually taken in 2014," May 28, 2018

Fox News, "Former Obama official, liberal activists share 2014 photos from detention facility as swipe at Trump," May 29, 2018

Associated Press, "Misleading tweets by liberal activists fuel Trump," May 29, 2018

Politico, "Trump blasts critics over outdated Obama-era photo of detained immigrant kids," May 29, 2018

Washington Times, "Liberals wrongly link 2014 photo showing illegal immigrants in cages to Trump administration," May 28, 2018

Chicago Tribune, "Misleading tweets by liberal activists fuel President Trump," May 29, 2018

New York Times, "Did the Trump Administration Separate Immigrant Children From Parents and Lose Them?" May 28, 2018

Crooked Media, Accessed May 29, 2018

PolitiFact, "Jeff Sessions' questionable claim that DACA helped cause spike in minors at border," Sept. 5, 2017

PolitiFact, "Sorting out the facts about nearly 1,500 lost children, Trump family separation policy," May 29, 2018

Email Interview, Jon Favreau, May 29, 2018

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Trump correctly tweets that Democrats mistakenly tweeted photo of child migrants being held in 2014

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