“NEVER SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 17, 2017) — (12:34 p.m. EST) – As The Post & Email reported approximately 90 minutes ago, the Trump administration is denying the accuracy of an Associated Press report referencing a memo purportedly advocating the use of state National Guard units to assist in the removal of illegal aliens.
Once published, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer almost immediately tweeted that the article is “not true.”
Just before 12 noon on Friday and after publication of our story, The Post & Email contacted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by telephone and asked for the press office. We were on hold a short time when an operator greeted us and took our inquiry. She then directed us to submit the question by email, which we did.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 12:04 PM
To: Media Inquiry <MediaInquiry@HQ.DHS.GOV>
Subject: AP STORY – POSSIBLE USE OF NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS FOR IMMIGRATION ACTIONS
Hello, I just called and spoke with the press office at DHS and was given this email address to send an inquiry.
Approximately an hour ago I noted that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the accuracy of report issued by the Associated Press referencing a memo allegedly indicating that Pres. Trump is considering mobilizing state National Guard units to effect the removal of illegal aliens from the country.
I read the AP report and contacted them, asking if they would release the purported memo.
I would like to get your official statement as to whether or not the allegation is accurate. Also, are you able to release any existing memo pertaining to this topic, or should I file a FOIA request for it?
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
At 12:25 PM, we received two responses from two different individuals, which read:
Attributable to me:
The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard.
The report referenced by the AP was a very early, pre-decisional draft that never made it to the Secretary and was never seriously considered by the Department.
Gillian M. Christensen
Press Secretary (Acting)
Department of Homeland Security
(202) 282-9296 (o)
(202) 760-5509 (c)
Sharon: It’s incorrect. The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard for immigration enforcement.
Please call me if you need additional details.
Office of Public Affairs
Department of Homeland Security
Upon rereading the AP article, The Post & Email believes it has been updated since it was published at approximately 10:30 a.m. EST on Friday. An item we believe has been changed is the first line of the first paragraph, from “The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize…” to “The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize…”
The alleged newer version also includes Spicer’s response, which we are sure was not there before, having read the story twice. The AP itself stated that it “had sought comment from the White House beginning Thursday and DHS earlier Friday and had not received a response from either,” then evidently published its article.
National Guardsmen normally report to the governor in their respective states, not the President of the United States.
As draft documentation is normally exempt from FOIA, The Post & Email will not be filing a FOIA request at this time.
As of 1:01 p.m. EST, The Post & Email has received no response from the AP regarding releasing the alleged “memo.”