MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow used powerful images on Tuesday of immigrant children sleeping on a floor to make a point that the Trump administration has “deliberately” hurt families -- but a pair of key photos used by the liberal host were actually from the Obama era.
“In terms of permanent damage done to humans, in terms of the severity of the damage deliberately done to humans, the Trump administration, no matter what else they do, they will never ever get out from the shadow of the fact that they really did, as a policy and a deliberate practice, they really did take little kids away from their moms and dads,” she said to open "The Rachel Maddow Show" as photos appeared on the screen.
One of the images featured immigrant children lying on the floor, covered in aluminum foil-looking blankets, at an Arizona facility in 2014. The very same photo was used by Al Jazeera in 2018 to prove family separation occurred during the Obama administration, too.
“They outfitted the kids with mylar blankets and a lump of padding that was supposed to qualify as a mattress, and they told them to sleep on the floor,” Maddow said as the Obama-era photo appeared on the screen.
Another image that Maddow used to bash Trump was also taken in 2014 back when Obama was in office and the current president hosted a reality television show. The powerful image of two children shot through a chain-link fence was used in a 2014 Los Angeles Times story headlined, “Obama administration acts to ease immigration legal crunch at border.”
MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The isn’t the first time that mainstream media has used Obama-era photos to attack Trump and the Associated Press published a fact check when similar images were used
“THE FACTS: The photos, taken by The Associated Press, were from 2014, during the Obama administration, but were presented by liberal activists as if they showed the effects of Trump’s immigration policy now,” the AP wrote.
“Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages. They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires,” Trump tweeted at the time, according to the AP.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who was vice president in 2014 when the photos were taken, was awarded a “false” by Politifact for claiming the Obama administration didn’t “lock people up in cages.”
Two of the images Maddow presented to MSNBC viewers on Tuesday were part of the evidence Politifact used to prove Biden was wrong.