Donald Trump Jr. on Friday accused Democrats of being responsible for Mollie Tibbetts’ killing as he ignored the pleas of relatives not to sacrifice the Iowa college student’s memory to a political agenda.
Trump Jr. railed in an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register on Friday that Tibbetts, 20, was a “casualty of the left’s love for open borders.” Authorities have said the man accused of abducting and killing Tibbetts is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Tibbetts vanished after she left for a jog in Brooklyn, Iowa, in July.
“The Democrats are pushing policies that are a direct existential threat to the lives of innocent Americans,” wrote Trump Jr.
President Donald Trump’s eldest son resurrected his father’s controversial attack earlier this month after Tibbetts’ relatives criticized the opportunism of using the tragedy to push an anti-immigration agenda. The Trumps have not contacted the Tibbetts family to offer condolences.
“We need the wall,” Trump said in a video about Tibbetts’ death that he posted to Twitter. “We need our immigration laws changed.”
Trump Jr. called the Democrats “despicable” and “heartless.” They are “seemingly more concerned with protecting their radical open-borders agenda than the lives of innocent Americans,” he wrote.
Of 16 responses to the piece as of Friday night, only two supported his comments. A number of the responses called Trump Jr. “heartless” for ignoring the wishes of Tibbetts’ relatives not to politicize her death.
Mollie Tibbetts father, Ron Tibbetts, defended Iowa’s Latino community on Sunday at his daughter’s funeral, saying, “The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans.” He added, “As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food.”
Mollie Tibbetts’ aunt, Billie Jo Calderwood, posted a message after the young woman’s body was found: “Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color.”
She told CNN: “I don’t want Mollie’s memory to get lost amongst the politics. It’s not about race; it’s about people joining together to do good.”
Sam Lucas, a distant cousin of the slain college student, was infuriated by tweets from a conservative commentator about her death.
“I was just like, ‘Holy cow, my family just lost a member and this is the immediate response?’” Lucas told The Washington Post.