The problems at the southern border can either be solved or used for political reasons, and President Donald Trump is "hell-bent on playing politics with it," by pushing out key members of the Department of Homeland Security such as outgoing secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Sen. Jon Tester said Tuesday.
"It creates more turmoil and, quite frankly it appears to me that the president is using this as a political tool for the next election," the Montana Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We need to work together to solve it."
Tester, who recently visited the border, commented that a processing center he visited was not the "best of conditions," but at the same time, there are a "ton a folks' coming across the border, especially families, and processing must be sped up.
He further said Trump is wrong in pulling aid away from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador because that money is vital to improving conditions in those countries in hopes of keeping people from leaving them.
"I can't imagine a mother and her son or daughter wants to take a three-or-four-week trek through Mexico to get to the southern border," Tester said. "Let's do what we can do to keep them in their home countries. Instead, the president cuts aid to these countries, doing the opposite of what needs to be done."
However, Tester said he does think that if the administration gives Congress a plan of where it wants to go, solutions can be reached.
Tester also discussed the growing 2020 presidential race, saying that he thinks someone must be found who will speak to the issues of rural America, including infrastructure and tariffs.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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