Barack Obama Tells Voters Exactly Why Donald Trump Is Stoking Fears About the “Caravan”

And it has nothing to do with “securing the border.”

Bastiaan Slabbers/ZUMA

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Former President Barack Obama on Sunday mocked his successor’s efforts to fear-monger over the so-called “caravan” of migrants coming to the United States, warning supporters that such tactics were designed to distract from larger Republican goals, including scaling back health care access and implementing tax cuts for the rich.

“Now, two weeks before this election, they’re telling us that the single most grave threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away,” Obama told supporters at a campaign rally for Sen. Joe Donnelly. He then condemned President Trump’s recent order to send thousands of soldiers to the border.

“Look, look, look caravan, caravan—while they’re giving tax cuts to their billionaire friends.”

The former president also compared Republicans’ recent anti-immigrant rhetoric to the party’s past hand-wringing over the 2014 Ebola outbreak and Hillary Clinton’s emails—instances Obama framed as attempts to stoke fear in spite of the truth. “You know they didn’t really care about it,” Obama said. “Because if they did they’d be pretty upset that our current president has an unsecured iPhone that he leaves in his golf cart that the Chinese are listening to all the time.”

He ended his remarks with a call for truth amid what for many has felt like a relentless onslaught of falsehoods.

“When people lie with abandonment, democracy doesn’t work.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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