(CNSNews.com) - When challenged Friday about whether he’s concocting a national emergency at the border to get a wall because he couldn’t get the money any other way, President Donald Trump said to ask the Angel Moms, whose sons and and daughters were killed by illegal immigrants, whether he was making it up.
At a White House Rose Garden ceremony to announce that he plans to sign an executive order declaring a national emergency at the border so he can build the wall, CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta asked the president what he says to critics who say he’s creating a national emergency to get the wall built because he couldn’t get it “through other ways.”
“Ask the Angel moms,” Trump responded.
“What do you think? Do you think I’m creating something?” he asked the Angel Moms who were in attendance at the ceremony and were holding pictures of their loved ones who were killed by an illegal immigrant.
The president accused Acosta of asking a “political question” because he has an “agenda.”
“Ask these incredible women, who lost their daughters and their sons, okay? Because your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news. You have an agenda,” Trump said.
“The numbers that you gave are wrong. Take a look at our federal prison population. See how many of them percentage-wise are illegal aliens. Just see. Go ahead and see. It’s a fake question,” the president added.
Here is the president’s entire exchange with Acosta:
ACOSTA: I wonder if you can comment on this disconnect we seem to have in this country where you are presenting information about what’s happening at the border, calling it an invasion, talking about women with duct tape over their mouths and so on, and yet, there’s a lot of reporting out there. There’s a lot of crime data out there. There’s a lot of Department of Homeland Security data out there that shows border crossings at a near record low---
TRUMP: That’s because of us. Excuse me, it’s still massive numbers of crossings.
ACOSTA: That shows undocumented immigrants committing crimes--- It shows undocumented criminals or undocumented immigrants committing crime at lower levels than native Americans. What do you say--
TRUMP: You don’t really believe that stat. Do you relieve believe that stat? Take a look at our federal prisons.
ACOSTA: I believe in facts and statistics. Let me just ask you this: What do you say to your critics who say that you are creating a national emergency, that you’re concocting a national emergency here in order to get your wall, because you couldn’t get it through other ways.
TRUMP: Ask the Angel moms. What do you think? Do you think I’m creating something? Ask these incredible women, who lost their daughters and their sons, okay? Because your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news. You have an agenda. The numbers that you gave are wrong. Take a look at our federal prison population. See how many of them percentage-wise are illegal aliens. Just see. Go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.
Next, Trump fielded a question from White House Correspondent and CNN political analyst Brian Karem, and took Karem to task for claiming there was no violence on the Mexican border. Karem asked the president where he gets his statistics on illegal immigration and violence.
KAREM: Just to follow up on that, you define crime reporting statistics. Numbers from your own Border Patrol, numbers from this government show that illegal immigrants are down. There is not violence on the border ---
TRUMP: There’s no violence on the border?
KAREM: There’s not as much violence as--- Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let me finish the question.
TRUMP: Really? You have 26 people killed--- Two weeks ago, 26 people were killed in a gunfight on the border, a mile away from where I went.
KAREM: I was there. I understand. That’s not the question. The question is--
TRUMP: Do we forget about that?
KAREM: I’m not forgetting about it. I’m asking you to clarify where you get your numbers, because most of the DEA’s crime reporting statistics that we see show that drugs are coming across at the ports of entry, that illegal immigration is down, and the violence is down, so what do you base your facts on? And secondly---
TRUMP: No, no. You get one. Wait, sit down! Sit down. You get one question. I get my numbers from a lot of sources, like Homeland Security primarily, and the numbers that I have from Homeland Security are a disaster, and you know what else is a disaster? The numbers that come out of Homeland Security - Kirstjen - for the cost that we spend and the money that we lose because of illegal immigration. Billions of billions of dollars a month, billions and billions of dollars, and it’s unnecessary.
KAREM: So your own government stats are wrong, are you saying?
TRUMP: No, no, I use many stats.
KAREM: Will you share those stats with us?
TRUMP: Let me tell you, you have stats that are far worse than the ones I use. I use many states, but I also use Homeland Security Next question.