In response to the news that Vice President Kamala Harris will make her long-anticipated appearance at the southern border, former President Donald Trump penned a statement alleging that she only decided on the trip as a last-minute attempt to save face.
“If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!,” Trump wrote. After months of Republican urging and criticism, Harris appears to have buckled under pressure and plans to visit the border this week, a whole 90 days after President Biden appointed her to manage the migrant crisis.
Trump and Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently announced they would make a joint trip to the border alongside a group of House Republicans.
The former president took credit for Harris’s move in the statement: “After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created—a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies…”
Harris will stop in El Paso, Texas on Friday accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, her office announced Wednesday.
At a press briefing Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki deflected on a question on whether Harris’s sudden change of heart on visiting the border reflected a political calculation ahead of Trump’s arrival there.
“I would say that we have no way to predict what former President Trump will say when he goes to the border,” she said. She asserted that the purpose of Harris’s and Mayorka’s itinerary is to “assess and take a look at progress that’s been made,” which will not “prevent or change what the former president of the United States says when he goes to the border in another couple of days.”
Harris has redirected the conversation away from her absence at the border on multiple occasions, including during a television interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. Harris dismissed the accusations against her and reiterated to the host that her chief priority is addressing the root causes of mass migration.
At a recent joint press conference with the president of Guatemala, Harris said that her role and responsibility is to help solve the underlying catalysts driving immigration in Central America rather than engage in “grand gestures,” in reference to a border trip.