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Mayorkas stops reporter mid-sentence after she repeats debunked narrative — but his response is even more telling

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas fact-checked reporter April Ryan on Thursday after she accused Border Patrol agents of having whipped Haitian migrants.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the exchange is Mayorkas' admission that the Border Patrol agents are innocent.

What happened?

At the White House press briefing, Ryan, a correspondent for the Grio, asked Mayorkas how the Biden administration is caring for black migrants. That's when she regurgitated the debunked falsehood about migrant whipping.

"The southern border is not just Mexicans. It is Haitians, it's Africans, as we've seen, particularly with that issue with the Haitians being whipped with the reins on the horses. What is there —" she said before Mayorkas interjected.

"Well, let me just correct you right there," he interrupted. "Actually, the investigation concluded that the whipping did not occur."

But Ryan still pushed back.

"I’m sorry, I saw it differently. They were whipped with something from the horse — reins from a horse," she responded. "Maybe the video or the picture was fixed, but what I saw was totally different."

Mayorkas fired back, "Yeah, I'm going to leave you as corrected."

Wait, what did Mayorkas just say?

After Democrats and the media feigned outrage against mounted Border Patrol agents by accusing them of "whipping" Haitian migrants, Homeland Security initiated an investigation and President Joe Biden promised the agents would "pay."

But witnesses — including the photographer who snapped the infamous images — quickly debunked the false narrative. The Biden administration, however, has never publicly exonerated the mounted Border Patrol agents, until Thursday apparently.

The closest the government has come to clearing the agents of guilt was a report from Customs and Border Protection's Office of Professional Responsibility, which admonished the agents for using "unnecessary" force but concluded that agents never whipped migrants. The report was released last summer.

There has not been, however, an admission from a top official like Mayorkas that the Border Patrol agents are innocent.

Despite the CBP report, some of the agents were reportedly subjected to discipline, according to Fox News, and the administration has never — at least publicly — said the investigation is closed.

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