CNN’s Symone Sanders said that reports of violence within the migrant caravan amounted to a “conspiracy theory” during a panel discussion on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon.
The panel consisted of Adolfo Franco, Symone Sanders, Amanda Carpenter, and Jen Psaki, and it began to heat up when Franco expressed his skepticism towards the caravan. It came on the heels of a speech by President Donald Trump, in which he outlined how the U.S. planned to handle said caravan.
“The Ambassador to the United States from Mexico, Ambassador Gutierrez, said of this caravan when it entered Mexico, they are violent. Many violent elements,” Franco stated. “That’s the Mexican ambassador’s assessment of what happened on the Guatemala/Mexico border so this picture of all these people coming in, which are really intending immigrants, that is the term when someone comes for economic reasons, I don’t buy it. I don’t think most Americans buy it.”
When asked for a clarification, he added, “I do not buy this is a 7,000-person caravan of asylum seekers.”
Sanders interjected, “This is a conspiracy theory.” (RELATED: Trump Promises Sweeping Asylum Changes As Caravan Nears)
“Stop, stop. This is a lie, Jake. This is a conspiracy theory,” she added as Franco was trying to continue his point.
He then argued that the caravan was coordinated by Sin Fronteras, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose name is translated to “without borders.”
“We had reporters embedded with the caravan, okay, and I’m not denying that there have been violent incidents or that the Mexican ambassador said that there have been violent incidents with the caravan, I can’t account for 7,000 people. I don’t know who’s in there,” Tapper said. (RELATED: Trump: President Obama Separated Children From Parents)
Franco then pointed out that “two thirds [of the caravan] are men.”
“Our reporters that were embedded there saw a lot of families, saw a lot of women and children. I don’t know what the numbers are,” Tapper responded.
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