Fox News ridiculed after host wrongly tells Trump in live interview that homeland security chief has quit

Fox News host Harris Faulkner on Monday reported live on air that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had resigned – but immediately had to correct herself as producers informed her Mr Mayorkas had done no such thing. The head-spinning mistake was made during a live phone-in with former President Donald Trump, in which he mouthed off about the surge in the number of people entering the US via the Mexican border, the same subject with which he launched his campaign in 2015. As Mr Trump talked to her, Ms Faulkner interrupted him: “I want to double-check this with our producers: the DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has resigned, Mr President.

Your first-” Mr Trump jumped in. “Well I’m not surprised. Good.

That’s a big victory for our country.” But the host was quick to stop the discussion. “Hold on, let me stop, let me listen to my team one more time … forgive me. Forgive me, that has not happened.

And I apologise, listening to the team and you.” Read more: “Okay, cross off that victory,” Mr Trump replied.

Immediately after Ms Faulker’s mistake, social media users began having fun at the segment’s expense, imagining the panic she must have heard in her earpiece while also pointing out the absurdity of announcing the imagined resignation and asking Mr Trump about it while also saying she had not verified it yet. Mr Mayorkas was sworn into his post only seven weeks ago, which would make a resignation this week astonishingly abrupt. The Biden administration is under severe pressure not only to accommodate the scores of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border every day, but to ensure they are housed in humane and secure conditions.

Current reports indicate that many are being held at facilities ill-equipped to house children or adults for any sustained length of time, and especially not the number of people currently arriving in the US. Fox News has been covering the influx of people at the southern border intensively for several days, featuring heavyweight political guests above a chyron reading “BIDEN’S BORDER CRISIS”. Its emphasis is on the supposed security threat posed by people entering the US illegally from Latin American countries, whom many guests say carry the twin threats of crime and Covid.

Among those making an appearance wasTexas Governor Greg Abbott, who used an interview on Friday to warn that the housing of migrant adults and children in his state was a potential coronavirus risk.

“The Biden administration is importing Covid into the state of Texas,” he said on air, “exposing more Texans to that, and who knows what we’re gonna see, whether or not there will be an explosion of Covid in the locations where the Biden administration is putting these migrants.” However, Mr Abbott recently went out on a limb and cancelled all his state’s anti-Covid regulations, allowing businesses to operate at 100 per cent capacity and lifting mask mandates. This means that there are no measures in place to slow the spread of any new outbreak in any part of the state where migrants are being held – and while the state’s Covid hospitalisations are as low as they’ve been since October,

Ms Faulkner’s live phone-in with Mr Trump saw him share many of the same falsehoods about migrants he has voiced since he began his political career in earnest in 2015, in particular that Latin American countries “aren’t sending us their best” and that among them are a great number of violent criminals.

He also repeated his lie that he won the 2020 election.

While Mr Trump has given only a handful of public interviews since he left the White House on 20 January, his limited appearances have seen him mainly railing against long-established enemies and boasting about his administration’s supposed achievements rather than shaping the current news cycle as he was able to while he was president and before he was banned from social media.

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