Vice President Kamala Harris snapped at a reporter during her visit to the United States-Mexico border, Friday, lashing out at Fox News’ Peter Doocy who asked why Harris scheduled her first visit to the border for this week, just ahead of former President Donald Trump’s tour.
“As she arrived in El Paso, she was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy why right now was the time to make her first trip to the border,” the outlet reported Thursday.
“It’s not my first trip, I’ve been to the border many times,” Harris snapped back, apparently referencing a number of trips she made to the border during her time as a Senator.
She went on to claim that her visit comes on the heels of her Northern Triangle tour because it “builds” on what she accomplished during visits to Guatemala and Mexico; however, her trip was widely criticized as unsuccessful and, in some cases, embarrassing.
“Because as I’ve long said, I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan, but the reality of it is we have to deal with the causes and we have to deal with the effects,” Harris said.
“And being in Guatemala, and being in Mexico talking with Mexico as a partner frankly on the issue, was about addressing the causes and coming to the border at the advice and invitation of [Rep. Veronica Escobar] is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America,” she continued, per Fox.
Harris has given mixed messages on the border, telling reporters during her Northern Triangle tour that she planned to visit border states and view the situation on the ground, largely regarded as a crisis, but not until after she spoke to leaders in Guatemala and Mexico.
“We are going to the border. We’ve been to the border,” she said in an interview with Lester Holt of NBC News earlier this month. When Holt responded, “You haven’t been to the border,” Harris fired back, “And I haven’t been to Europe.”
Earlier in the trip, Harris snapped at a Univision reporter for posing the same question.
“I’ve said I’m going to the border,” Harris told the anchor. “And I-”
“When are you going to the border, Vice President?” Calderón responded.
“I’m not finished,” Harris fired back. “I’ve said I’m going to the border.”
Back in March, the time period Harris referenced in her exchanged with Doocy, her spokesperson, Symone Sanders was clear that Harris was charged with handling the “root causes” of the immigration crisis and would not be visiting the United States-Mexico border or touring migrant detention facilities even though, at the time, a record number of unaccompanied minors were flooding across the southern border.
“I will just reiterate that the vice president is not doing the border,” Sanders said in an interview aboard Air Force Two when asked whether Harris’ assignment involved a border tour.
Republicans have suggested that Harris finally decided to visit El Paso, Texas, because former President Donald Trump is set to tour a similar stretch of the border next week, alongside Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has proposed building his own “border barrier” so that Texas law enforcement can intercept illegal immigrants who slip past United States Customs and Border Protection.