EXCLUSIVE: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy,R-Calif., on Friday called on President Biden and Vice President Harris to apologize to Border Patrol agents who were falsely accused of whipping Haitian migrants — after Customs and Border Protection found they didn’t whip anyone or hit anyone with their reins.
“Our brave Border Patrol agents work to secure our border every day despite the fact that President Biden makes their mission more difficult and more dangerous because of his unconscionable support for a wide-open southern border,” McCarthy said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Their reputation was smeared by President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their allies in the media – and they should all apologize to these Border Patrol agents,” he said.
McCarthy was reacting to the announcement by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the conclusion of the months-long investigation into the incident in Del Rio, Texas in September where agents on horseback encountered Haitian migrants crossing the river. It was in the middle of a massive migrant crisis where thousands had gathered under a bridge in Del Rio.
CBP FINDS ‘NO EVIDENCE’ BORDER PATROL AGENTS WHIPPED HAITIAN MIGRANTS, BUT STILL SEEKS TO DISCIPLINE THEM
The incident made headlines as reporters and lawmakers saw the reins the agents were twirling to control the horses and misinterpreted them as whips. It was a claim quickly debunked, but repeated by the President days later.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped — it’s outrageous,” Biden told reporters, making a whipping motion with his hand. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Harris, meanwhile, said she was “deeply troubled” by the incident.
CBP PROPOSES DISCIPLINE FOR TEXAS AGENTS ACCUSED OF ‘WHIPPING’ HAITIAN MIGRANTS
“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were, was horrible,” Harris told reporters. “And I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there. But human beings should never be treated that way. And I’m deeply troubled about it. And I’ll also be talking to Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas about it today.”
The CBP report found that the whipping narrative, which was spread by media outlets and top Democrats, was false.
“[DHS’ Office of Professional Responsibility] found no evidence Border Patrol agents involved in this incident struck anyone with their reins intentionally or otherwise,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said at a press conference, in which he also said that agents were not carrying whips.
BORDER PATROL AGENTS FUME AS DHS PREPARES TO PUNISH OFFICERS CAUGHT UP IN ‘WHIP’ CONTROVERSY: ‘BULL—-’
But while the core complaint against the agents was found to be false, the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility found multiple infractions, but ones that were a far cry from Biden’s claim that migrants were whipped. Magnus said that an agent was found to have used “denigrating and offensive” language against migrants regarding national origin and gender, and was accused of having maneuvered a horse around a child in an “unsafe manner.”
The report also faults agents for using an “unmoderated” tactical radio, of having insufficient training for the situation, and for an “unnecessary use of force” to drive the migrants back.
The results drew additional criticism from top Republicans who saw the faulting of agents as a face-saving exercise from the administration.
“These agents were cleared of criminal wrongdoing months ago, but instead of admitting they were wrong, the Biden administration is doubling down on baselessly attacking these agents to perpetuate their open-border agenda,” McCarthy said.
“Rather than disparage the men and women tasked with protecting our border, President Biden should give them the tools they need and deserve to secure our southern border once and for all,” he added.