On Friday’s The Beat with Ari Melber, fill-in host Ayman Mohyeldin led a panel discussion in which he and other MSNBC regulars complained about President Donald Trump’s success in getting Mexico to shoulder some of the cost and responsibility for keeping illegal immigrants out of the U.S.
Mohyeldin and NBC Justice Department/Homeland Security correspondent Julia Ainsley used the words “cruel,” “sad,” and “disturbing” to describe Mexico’s assistance.
At 6:42 p.m. Eastern, Mohyeldin showed a clip from last June in which regular host Ari Melber spoke with Trump aide Marc Lotter about the issue of whether Mexico would pay for the wall as promised during the campaign. After a clip of Lotter declaring that “Mexico is paying a lot for our Southern security,” and that their efforts could be called “a virtual wall,” Mohyeldin then mocked him as he turned to his panel members and exclaimed: “What the hell does that even mean? What does that even mean?”
For some reason, even though the clip came from the very show he was guest hosting and more of it could have been shown for context, the part of the June 24 interview was omitted in which Lotter argued that Mexico was spending money to use its troops to stop illegal immigrants and to house and feed asylum seekers.
Mohyeldin seemed more interested in sneering at the clip and letting his anti-Trump panel members do the same. After MSNBC Republican contributor Susan Del Percio claimed that Lotter was “making stuff up” and “living in an alternate reality,” Ainsley commented:
JULIA AINSLEY: If he’s talking about it in the one way this could be interpreted, it’s actually quite cruel. What Mexico is doing is harboring 60,000 asylum seekers that are trying to come into the United States to have their day in court and make their claim. And, instead, Mexico is keeping these people in terrible conditions in tent cities where they have been robbed — they have been ransacked — there have been accounts of rape and assault. If that counts as Mexico paying for border security, that’s a pretty sad state of affairs.
Mohyeldin then reacted:
MOHYELDIN: Yeah, so I guess he’s implying that Mexico is not letting them cross, and by doing that, so that is the wall in and of itself, that Mexico is now holding onto these migrants, so, as Julia said, that is perhaps one interpretation, a sad one — a disturbing one if it is.
The show never got around to showing the fact that Lotter had clarified his meaning at the time:
MARC LOTTER, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE:: Right now, Mexico is doing more to secure our border than the United States Congress and Democrats in the House of Representatives.
ARI BERMAN: But they’re not paying for the wall.
LOTTER: They’re paying for it by sending 6,000 troops down to the border to protect their Southern order to stop the migration of people from Central America.