President Donald Trump has demonstrated time and again that when he's cornered he fights back hard.
And when he fights back hard he doesn't let much get in his way... including the facts. This week was no exception to that rule. It began much like his last one ended – mired in controversy over his immigration and border policy and widespread backlash to the separation of undocumented immigrant families.
The president, at times, described immigrants as invaders and said those who cross the border illegally should be turned back with "no Judges or Court Cases." ABC News' FACT CHECK FRIDAY begins with the president's curious story about a request for 5,000 new judges to solve the problem.
They asked for 5,000 judges
As the president pitched his inexecutable plan to turn migrants back at the border with no due process, he complained on three separate occasions this week that he'd been asked to sign a proposal to hire 5,000 new immigration judges to address the backlog of cases. The problem is he won't say to who made the proposal and no one, including his own press staff, is confirming the claim is true.
"They came in to see me last week. They said, "We'd like to hire 5,000 more judges," the president said at the White House on Monday. "5,000, you ever hear of a thing like that?" Turns out no one has.
ABC News' repeated requests for clarification to White House press staff went unanswered and press secretary Sarah Sanders dodged the question when asked about it directly at her lone briefing with reporters this week.
"There have been a number of different proposals – quite a few that we've seen," Sanders said on Monday, never actually addressing the specific question about where the president got that number.
"But they come up, and this was an order, this was – sir, we need five thousand judges. "I said, five thousand?" the president said, whipping up the crowd at a political rally in South Carolina.