NPR

When The White House Can't Be Believed

President Trump's order changing policy on separating children from their parents at the border may dampen the outrage factor. But NPR's David Folkenflik says the disbelief factor will endure.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks Monday during a White House news briefing about children being separated from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally. Source: Alex Wong

This essay isn't about spin, or splitting hairs, or differing opinions.

This involves a reality check about our expectations of the people who act in our name. About credibility at the highest levels of our government. About people whose words are heard abroad as speaking for our nation. About the public and the media that try, however imperfectly, to serve it.

On Monday, reporters Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a news conference held at the White House. They grilled her on the government's policy of separating young children from parents seeking asylum after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
Navigating Culture And Crushes In 'Frankly In Love'
David Yoon's young adult debut follows Frank Li, a Korean American kid who concocts a plan to keep his strict parents from finding out that he's dating a non-Korean girl — what could go wrong?
NPR3 min read
A Stitch In Time Saves A Life In 'A Single Thread'
Tracy Chevalier's new novel follows a woman left alone after her fiance and brother died in World War I. She decides to make her mark on the world by joining a guild of embroiderers at a cathedral.
NPR3 min read
Take A Dark Ride On The 'Night Boat To Tangier'
In Kevin Barry's grim but compassionate new novel, two weary Irish ex-crooks sit waiting in a run-down Spanish ferry terminal, waiting for one man's estranged daughter who may or may not show up.