CNN on Migrant Caravan: 'We've Been Playing Spot the Middle Easterner for Days'

October 23, 2018

While traveling with the migrant caravan from Honduras through Mexico towards the United States, CNN anchor and special correspondent Bill Weir said he has been playing "spot the Middle Easterner for days" in an attempt to corroborate President Donald Trump's claims that there are "unknown Middle Easterners" traveling with the caravan.

"We have been playing spot the Middle Easterner for a few days now," Weir said, "and have yet to turn up any."

On Monday, Trump tweeted, "Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy[sic]. Must change laws!"

"We all know the dog whistle implied in the Middle Easterner line," Weir said on Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump's concerns at an event on Tuesday, saying, "It's inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people."

"What seems inconceivable," Weir said,"is some terrorist would fly to the very southern tip of Mexico and then walk for a couple months through the searing heat when they can just fly to the United States the way the 9/11 hijackers did."

CNN anchor Kate Baldwin acknowledged during the segment, however," Officials from the Department of Homeland Security tell me they have arrested criminals and immigrants from Middle Eastern countries before, coming over the border." She said they were focused on the administration's comments about "Middle Easterners" because of the lack of evidence thus far that they're part of the current caravan moving toward the United States.

Trump has tied the caravan to the larger debate over illegal immigration and the midterm elections. He has called on voters  to "blame the Democrats" and said the caravan is "so unfair to those who come in legally."