WH Official Defends Obama’s Decision Not to Visit Border

by Molly Wharton

Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, defended President Obama’s decision not to visit the border.

Joe Scarborough grilled her this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “You’ve got a congressman who said this is the president’s Katrina. He’s having two fund-raisers in the state of Texas,” he said. “If it is such a horrific situation, why won’t the president go to the border?”

Muñoz responded that the president and his team’s efforts have been “focused on what’s going to be most impactful in dealing with this urgent humanitarian situation.” She explained that during his trip to Texas, he is meeting with community leaders and faith leaders who are “trying to be part of the solution here.”

“There are people trying to turn this situation into a political football,” Muñoz said. “I understand that — I work in Washington.”

But Scarborough pushed back on this, noting that it was a Democratic congressman, Texas’s Henry Cuellar, who said that the immigration crisis may be Obama’s Katrina. ”Why would a Democrat that represents a majority Democratic district who understands the situation better than anybody else being trying to turn this into a political football?” he asked.

Muñoz responded that this was a great question to ask someone else. “What I can tell you is the president of the United States is going to stay focused on what’s going to have impact,” she said. “These are kids that we’re talking about and families, and we’re approaching it from that perspective.”

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