Confronted on Friday with evidence of cramped conditions in a migrant detention facility, Vice President Mike Pence said he “can’t account for that.”
During a CNN interview following his tour of a detention center in McAllen, Texas, Pence applauded Customs and Border Protection for “doing their level best in an overcrowded environment and a difficult environment,” calling out “slander against” the agency.
“I think what we saw today was a very fair representation of how families are being treated,” he told the cable outlet’s Pamela Brown.
With that, Brown showed Pence a photo of migrants sitting practically shoulder to shoulder. The image was included in a May alert from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, which sounded the alarm on “dangerous overcrowding.”
“When you look at that, what do you see?” she asked.
“Well, I can’t account for that,” Pence replied, shifting the focus back to the McAllen facility.
“What I can account for ... is the facility that you saw today represents the level and the standard of care that we are working to bring to all those caught up in this crisis,” he said.
Continuing, Pence said it was only last month that “Congress finally acknowledged the crisis” with its decision to pass a bill for humanitarian aid and funding for security at the border.
“We’re going to continue to improve, we’re going to continue to provide care at the standard the American people expect,” he added.
According to The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, there were “384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete” without mats or pillows, and the “stench was overwhelming.”
On Friday night, Pence spoke out against CNN in a tweet, blasting the outlet as “so dishonest” and stating that he was told families at the border “were being treated well.”