CNN's Jake Tapper asked DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday how the public can be sure the Biden administration is governing based on " facts and not based on Twitter outrage" after the administration's response to false reports that the Border Patrol used "whips" on Haitian refugees on the Texas border.
TAPPER: But, Mr. Secretary, you also said that the images -- quote -- "horrified us."
How can DHS claim to have an independent investigation into these Border Patrol agents, when the president says -- quote -- "Those people will pay" and you say the images "horrified us"?
MAYORKAS: Jake, I think it's quite clear that what the images suggest horrified the American public.
That is quite different than learning what actually happened, determining the facts. And the fact determinations will be made in an independent investigation by the Office for Professional Responsibility.
And the facts that are adduced, the facts that are determined will drive the outcome, nothing less and nothing more.
But what those images...
TAPPER: Some of the initial descriptions -- go ahead. I'm sorry.
MAYORKAS: But, Jake, what those images -- what those images suggest, what they appeared to portray was horrifying.
And that, I think, deserves attention. That is quite different than fact determinations. And I will tell you, I served as a federal prosecutor for 12 years.
MAYORKAS: And we conducted independent investigations, despite what appearances might have been and the public outcry about them.
But that's the thing. Some of the initial descriptions of those images were just patently false. There's now video out there that provides more context. Having seen the video, are you certain that there was actually wrongdoing?
MAYORKAS: I am going to let those investigators make that determination. And then that determination will drive the outcome of the investigation.
TAPPER: Can the Border Patrol count on you and President Biden, who has said that people will pay, to come to a determination based on the facts, and not based on Twitter outrage?
MAYORKAS: They sure can.
And let me say something about that, Jake, because I have worked very closely with the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for many years, many, many years. And they are heroic, what they do.
And I saw their heroism displayed in Del Rio, Texas, last Monday when I was there on the ground. And that is emblematic of who they are, their commitment to this country, their talent and tireless dedication to mission. I'm incredibly proud to work alongside them.