WASHINGTON – The current White House has come under fire for delivering false statements to the American people. This practice spilled over into American Indian affairs on Thursday when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a false statement regarding the Dakota Access pipeline. He said the White House team has been in contact with all parties involved, which would have included the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, if true. After the press briefing, both tribes issued statement refuting the claim by Spicer.
Here is the exchange:
“On Dakota Access Pipeline a few weeks ago President Trump said he would try to negotiate a solution between the Standing Rock Sioux and um, Energy Transfer Partners. aah. Why hasn’t the president intervened and tried to initiate those negotiations yet?”
“Our team has been in contact with both, with all the parties involved. Aah, they have been working and communicating back and forth. so um, if we have an update on that but, but there has been work at the staff level. Between the parties.”
Dave Archambault II, Chief of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
“Spicer claimed that the Trump administration has been ‘constantly’ in contact with our Tribe. That claim is absolutely false. We repeatedly asked for meetings with the Trump administration, but never received one until the day they notified Congress that they were issuing the easement. I was on a plane to Washington, D.C. when the easement was issued. It was an insult to me and to the Tribe. I cancelled the meeting upon hearing this news. We have since filed a lawsuit for the immoral and illegal issuance of the easement and suspension of the environmental impact study.”
Mark Charles (Navajo):
I feel genuine pity for President Trump and his administration. Being treated unjustly is painful. But treating someone unjustly and not having the morality to repent or the courage to own your actions is emasculating. Wealth, power and fame cannot buy integrity.
You can watch the reporter’s question and the White Hose response here: