Donald Trump Jr. wrote an opinion piece expressing his racist views about immigrants. And even though they published it, The Des Moines Register also pointed out immediately that what Don Jr. had written was not true.
On Friday the Register ran an editorial from the president’s oldest son, entitled: “Democrats’ reaction to Mollie Tibbetts‘ death is heartless, despicable.”
Obviously Junior was trying to help the Republican candidates who latched on to the tragic murder of Tibbetts as a way to promote their own racist, anti-immigrant agenda.
In the editorial Trump Jr. made the false claim that Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts “apparently believes that illegal alien parents being separated from their children is a bigger problem than American parents having to bury theirs.”
Here is an excerpt of what Trump Jr. wrote in his opinion piece:
“The mask is off and the true radical face of the Democrats has been exposed. They are seemingly more concerned with protecting their radical open-borders agenda than the lives of innocent Americans.”
“When asked about Mollie’s murder, Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who is for some reason considered a leading contender for the Democrats’ 2020 ticket — played down the killing and said the focus should be on the “real problems” of our immigration system, such as the separation of families at our border.”
“Think about that for a minute. She apparently believes that illegal alien parents being separated from their children is a bigger problem than American parents having to bury theirs.”
What was unusual was that editors of the newspaper did not allow Trump Jr.’s claims to simply go unchallenged. Instead they put an editor’s’ note in the middle of Junior’s column that read:
“Editors’ note: Here’s what Warren said on CNN: “I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard not only for her family, but for people in her community, the people throughout Iowa. But one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are.” In the same interview, speaking about the separation of children from their parents, she said, “I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat and I don’t think mamas and babies are the place we should be spending our resources.”
The Register’s editors also fact-checked other claims made by Junior and wrote at one point, “Fact check: Here are the facts on immigrants committing crimes in US.” Like many in the GOP, Trump Jr. is promoting the false belief that immigrants commit more violent crimes than other Americans, and that is simply not true.
When challenged, the Register defended the publishing of Don Jr.’s editorial even though they knew it was full of errors, and even though the Tibbetts family does not want Mollie’s death to be politicized.
“We deeply respect the Tibbetts family and we used our own editorial voice to support the position that undocumented immigrants in general are not responsible for this tragedy,” the editorial team wrote. “But we continue to do our job and our pages reflect the conversations in our community, even when it means publishing opinions with which we strongly disagree.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.