President Trump has had a rough couple of weeks. After the talks with North Korea marked a high point in ratings, he came home to heated debates about policies meant to deter illegal immigration ad the separation of children from families. He gave a speech on Monday defending those policies, and then walked across the stage and hugged the American flag.
For Trump’s fans, the moment seemed like a demonstration of patriotism. The cynics argue that Trump hasn’t fully understood the policies he is defending, and that hugging the flag while the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” played over the loud speakers showed his lack of understanding.
Moments before, President Trump had criticized Mexico allowing migrants to reach the American border. He was critical, too, of previous American policies that have resulted in the lack of border security.
“He also attacked the Democrats for family separations at the US border, said legal loopholes are encouraging families to being children with them, and claimed smugglers are providing children to people who do not already have them,” The Daily Mail writes.
“As a result of Democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws,” Trump said, “most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together or removed together, only released.”
“Child smugglers exploit the loopholes, and they gain illegal entry into the United States, putting countless children in danger on the perilous trek to the United States.”
“They come up through Mexico. Mexico does nothing for us. You hear it here: They do nothing for us. They could stop it. They have very, very strong laws.”
“Try staying in Mexico for a couple of days. See how long that lasts. Okay?”
“We want a great country. We want a country with heart,’ Trump said. ‘But when people come up, they have to know they’re not going to get in. Otherwise it will never stop.”
Those in attendance at the National Federation of Independent Business meeting praised the President’s position. As they were clapping at the end of his speech, the President crossed the stage.
At first, he seemed to be waving and acknowledging the crowd, but then he stepped up to the flag.
He then gave it a gentle hug.