FIRST ON FOX: House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign amid new revelations in the agency’s ‘whipping’ scandal.
Stefanik hopped on a video interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, where she made the call for Mayorkas to step down as DHS secretary when asked whether he should resign amid the new information on the Border Patrol ‘whipping’ allegations.
A Tuesday Fox News report revealed Mayorkas knew that no Haitian migrants had been ‘whipped,’ hours before the White House press conference where he did not dispute the whipping allegations.
‘Absolutely, I call for Secretary Mayorkas to resign,’ Stefanik said. ‘He should absolutely resign.
‘The fact that he knew that was a blatant lie and smeared Border Patrol officers and then yet stood next to the President of the United States and allowed this character assassination to happen with the all-too-willing mainstream media, which acts like stenographers for the Democrat Party,’ the Republican said.
‘Shame on the media,’ Stefanik added. ‘Shame on this administration. Secretary Mayorkas absolutely should resign.’
Stefanik said the ‘whipping’ scandal is ‘one of many, many reasons he should resign’ and slammed Mayorkas as having ‘failed to do any aspect of his job,’ calling the southern border ‘the most insecure border in our nation’s history.’
The New York Republican also warned that not only does the scandal ‘impact morale negatively, but it also impacts our ability to recruit more patrol agents.’
‘And I represent Border Patrol agents on the northern border who have been transferred over and over again to the southern border,’ Stefanik said. ‘It’s created huge stress for their families. So he should resign. Shame on him. And we will hold him accountable in the next Congress.’
Stefanik’s call for Mayorkas to resign comes after Tuesday’s report that the secretary had been told that the photographer who had captured a clash between Border Patrol agents and Haitian migrants in Del Rio had said that the incident was being misconstrued – hours before Mayorkas joined a White House press conference where he didn’t challenge the false narrative.
The Sept. 24, 2021, email, obtained by the Heritage Foundation via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, shines light onto internal deliberations surrounding the controversy in Del Rio, Texas, where Democrats and the White House pushed a narrative that migrants had been ‘whipped’ or ‘strapped’ by Border Patrol agents, despite it having been quickly debunked.
In fact, agents were using split reins to control their horses as migrants rushed across the river. But a narrative, based on a misinterpretation of photographs, was running and on Sept. 24 was further fueled by President Biden.
The investigation is still pending more than a year later, but findings by the Office of Professional Responsibility in July found that no whips had been in their possession and that no migrant had been struck by the reins, although it did find other alleged infractions.
But just hours after Biden had made his inflammatory remarks to cameras, Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary of DHS public affairs, emailed Mayorkas and copied other DHS leadership, alerting them to a news article that showed that the photographer who had taken the images had not seen any whipping. In the email, Espinosa highlighted the comments from the photographer where he directly said he had not witnessed any whipping.
Two and a half hours after receiving that email, Mayorkas joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki at a White House press conference, where he continued to push the narrative:
‘Our nation saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are. We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,’ Mayorkas said.
Fox News Digital’s Bill Melugin and Adam Shaw contributed reporting.