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After Warning of Fentanyl Surge at Border, NBC Scoffs at GOP for Trying to Stop It

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On Tuesday, NBC Nightly News surprised some by taking up the border crisis (though they continued to avoid that term) and warning that unprecedented levels of fentanyl and other drugs were making their way across the border. But come Wednesday, the network flipped on a dime and took to scoffing at Republican efforts in Texas to curb the smuggling of the deadly substance along with ending illegal immigrant crossings.

“We have reported on the soaring number of migrants at the border but now another troubling trend, the staggering rise of drug smuggling,” announced anchor Lester Holt on Tuesday. Correspondent Gabe Gutierrez backing him up, noting that “Now with authorities tied up processing a historic number of migrants, more drug smuggling in the desert.”

Adding: “Fentanyl being pushed through the desert around El Paso is up more than 355 percent compared to last year and 4,000 percent more than 2018.” Gutierrez also explained that the drug cartels were now making the drug themselves with materials sourced from China.

He also recounted the tragic story of a 20-year-old woman who died after she ingested “what she thought was an oxycodone pill.” It was fentanyl.

Yet on Wednesday, Holt scoffed at Republicans and suggested they only wanted to make the border a campaign issue for the midterms. “And today the former president was at the southern border joining the Texas governor who’s aiming to pick up where Donald Trump left off. As Republicans try to make immigration key to their party’s future,” declared.

Gutierrez was back and ready to mock Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) for wanting to construct his own border wall and his appearance with former President Trump:

GUTIERREZ: As new video emerges of a Border Patrol agent saving a migrant child from drowning in the Rio Grande, the road to next year’s midterms is already hitting a wall.

ABBOTT: People are coming across our border from more than 150 countries across the entire globe. It is time to make sure we seal this border and close it down.

GUTIERREZ: Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doubling down on plans to set aside $250 million to resume construction of the border wall that the Biden administration had halted. Today, former President Trump joined him at the border for the first time since leaving office.

Neither the former President nor the Governor took questions, but the political optics are clear,” he added. “Texas Republicans overwhelmingly support Abbott’s wall effort, and Republican governors from other states, including Florida and South Dakota are also sending law enforcement personnel to the border.

Gutierrez showed viewers a clip of himself shouting a question at Abbott and Trump. But he came off as foolish because he was several yards away from them and on the other side of a loud crowd.

Governor Abbott has also asked the public for donations to help crowdfund the wall, though he hasn’t given details how much it will cost or how long it will take,” Gutierrez chided as he wrapped up the segment.

NBC’s flip-flop on caring about what’s crossing the border based on political messaging was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Capital One and GEICO. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC Nightly News

June 30, 2021

7:15:31 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And today the former president was at the southern border joining the Texas governor who’s aiming to pick up where Donald Trump left off. As Republicans try to make immigration key to their party’s future. Gabe Gutierrez is there.

[Cuts to video]

GABE GUTIERREZ: As new video emerges of a Border Patrol agent saving a migrant child from drowning in the Rio Grande, the road to next year’s midterms is already hitting a wall.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): People are coming across our border from more than 150 countries across the entire globe. It is time to make sure we seal this border and close it down.

GUTIERREZ: Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doubling down on plans to set aside $250 million to resume construction of the border wall that the Biden administration had halted. Today, former President Trump joined him at the border for the first time since leaving office.

FMR. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We worked with the governor on this. It’s the exact wall that Border Patrol, ICE and all of the professionals wanted.

GUTIERREZ: After the photo op –

Governor, you have the legal authority to build this wall with state money?

– Neither the former President nor the Governor took questions, but the political optics are clear. Texas Republicans overwhelmingly support Abbott’s wall effort, and Republican governors from other states, including Florida and South Dakota are also sending law enforcement personnel to the border.

RAQUEL MARTINEZ (border wall opponent): Totally political theater.

GUTIERREZ: Democrats are furious that at least some of the money had been allocated for COVID relief.

MARTINEZ: He has no legal authority over federal issues. He is a state governor. He can’t do what the federal government is supposed to do.

[Cuts to video]

GUTIERREZ: Governor Abbott has also asked the public for donations to help crowd fund the wall, though he hasn’t given details how much it will cost or how long it will take. Lester?

HOLT: All right, Gabe, thanks.

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