Washington Post Reporter Misconstrues Trump Statement on Heroin to Smear Him

Donald Trump
The Associated Press

A Washington Post reporter misconstrued Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s remarks on heroin trafficking and the deadly overdose epidemic.

The Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker claimed Trump called “immigration” poison, not heroin:

At a town hall in Sandown, New Hampshire, Trump spoke at length about the heroin epidemic raging across the nation. Some 47,000 Americans died from overdoses, mostly from heroin and other opiates, in just a single year, 2014.

“The open border policies of Hillary Clinton, including catch and release, another terrible practice, have allowed a massive influx of drugs into New Hampshire, and frankly, to states all over our country. Almost every state. And it’s really fueled the tremendous drug and heroin crisis that we have,” Trump said.

We’re going to close up those borders, folks. Believe me. And I promise that to you in New Hampshire, more than anything else—I said, I talk about it no matter where I go and I mention this state, because it was really the first glimpse I got at how serious a problem we have. They’re poisoning our youth. They’re poisoning more than our youth—they’re poisoning everybody. But they’re poisoning our youth. It’s tough enough out there. Our youth doesn’t have a chance with what’s happening, and we’re not going to let it happen anymore.

“We’re going to help the people that are so badly addicted,” he added to applause. “We’re going to help them… I’m going to stop the drugs from coming in.”

Nearly all of the heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from Mexico and is brought across the border by Mexican traffickers, the Washington Post reported before Trump’s presidential run.

While answering a question during the town hall, Trump repeated that he would stop the flow of deadly drugs pouring into the country. He said he had asked border patrol and ICE agents, “How important is the wall?”

“They said, ‘Mr. Trump, it is absolutely necessary for us to do our proper job,'” Trump said. “Which gave me a little additional security as far as the wall is concerned.”

“We need the wall. We have to stop the drugs—heroin—but many drugs. We have to stop the drugs from pouring into our country. Believe me, it is poisoning our country. It’s poisoning our youth. And we’re going to stop it, and stop it fast, long before the wall gets up,” he continued. “We’re going to start that wall fast. I get ’em built fast. But I’ll tell you, long before, we’re going to stop that poison from flowing into our country.” The audience applauded.

While media outlets shut down their comments section so readers can’t talk back, they can still receive massive blowback on Twitter. Users slammed Rucker for his tweet:

Other journalists corrected Rucker’s misinterpretation as well.

After others pointed out his mistake, Rucker tried to backtrack, more than an hour and a half after his original tweet bounced around pundits’ and reporters’ feeds.

Rucker was also the reporter who bellowed “WHAT ABOUT YOUR GAFFES?” at Mitt Romney in Poland in 2012.