In what comes as absolutely zero surprise to anyone, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lied about migrant busing during last week’s gubernatorial debate, begrudgingly acknowledging that, yes, the New York City mayor’s office actually had reached out to his office after all in an attempt to coordinate the arrival of migrants used as human props by the Texas Republican.
During last Friday’s debate against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, Abbott was asked by a moderator if there’d been “coordination with the states and cities these migrants are being taken.” Abbott responded that Mayor Eric Adams “never called my office, never talked to anybody in my administration,” and that it was Adams who was the liar.
But following receipts pulled by the mayor’s office as the debate played out, The Texas Tribune reports that on Tuesday Abbott finally admitted there had been some communication after all. Still, he tried to claim he wasn’t all that wrong because it wasn’t Adams himself who had reached out.
Abbott has in fact lied about this numerous times, making a similar claim last month that Adams’ office had not been in contact with him at all. “Mayor Adams and his staff have at no point made any effort to reach out to Governor Abbott or his office,” Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze claimed to The Texas Tribune.
To quote the late, great Aretha Franklin, lies, lies, and more lies: Following the latest claim from Abbot during the debate, Adams’ Press Secretary Fabien Levy pulled out a screenshot of an email dated Aug. 1 showing New York City communicating with Texas. In fact, the text of the email acknowledges that someone from Abbott’s office had returned a phone call from Adams’ office, meaning communication had been established prior to that.
We already knew that Abbott was full of shit because officials from other cities targeted by the Republican have previously said that his office had been completely “uncooperative.” Not to mention that the only reason why Abbott is making any sort of acknowledgement now is because he’s been caught in a lie. But as referenced earlier, “Abbott stressed that Adams himself had not reached out,” The Texas Tribune said. Oh, give it fucking rest, Greg. You’re a liar.
We do question what other kind of coordination may have happened in relation to this outrageous stunt, not with the elected leaders of cities but with right-wing propaganda. When the Texas Republican bused his first 30 migrants to Washington, D.C., this past April, they were dropped off directly in front of a building housing a number of media outlets, including Fox News. It was not lost on observers that the right-wing outlet already had some propaganda all set for publishing.
“The bus arrived an hour ago,” American Immigration Council Policy Director Aaron Reichlin-Melnick tweeted at the time. “Not sure where people are going now. But this was all coordinated closely with Fox News, which had an article up immediately.”
Recent polling has O’Rourke with a 12-point lead over Abbott among likely Latino voters, particularly among Latinas. During the debate, the former congressman blasted Abbott’s nativist policies and rhetoric, which have continued unabated as the state has continued to see racist hate crimes.
“This hateful rhetoric, this treating human beings as political pawns, talking about invasions and Texans defending themselves–that’s how people get killed at the Walmart in El Paso,” O’Rourke said. He also pointed to the recent horrific shooting death of a migrant by the former warden of an immigrant detention facility previously accused of abuses. “The gentleman in Hudspeth that we just learned about yesterday—this is incredibly dangerous for Texas, and it’s not reflective of our values.” State lawmakers have since urged the Justice Department to pursue hate crime charges.
“This attack was a hate crime, an act of violence against innocent immigrants committed by a man who has a history of attacks on vulnerable people,” Rep. Joaquin Castro said. “Based on the circumstance of this case, it’s hard not to believe that there victims were attacked in cold blood by two men who looked at the color of their skin and decided to make them targets.”