Trump Says Media Lost Interest in Mollie Tibbetts Case When Illegal Immigrant Was Arrested

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 25, 2018US News
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President Donald Trump said that the mainstream media lost interest in the case of Mollie Tibbetts, the missing Iowa college student, when an illegal immigrant was arrested after leading investigators to the 20-year-old’s dead body.

Tibbetts’s disappearance in mid-July was covered widely across the media and new developments were reported every few days or so.

But the arrest of Christian Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexican man who committed the crime of entering the United States illegally before allegedly killing Tibbetts, changed the coverage of the situation, Trump said.

“Just this week we learned that Iowa authorities have charged an illegal alien in the murder of a college student—Mollie Tibbetts,” Trump told the crowd at a fundraising dinner for the Ohio Republican Party on Aug. 24, reported Breitbart.

Mollie Tibbetts' Suspected Killer Acted Normal
Cristian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance in Montezuma, Iowa, on Aug. 22, 2018. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

Trump said that he was watching television several weeks ago when Tibbetts’s father was interviewed. Her father said he believed his daughter would come back alive, and Trump found himself agreeing with the man.

“When they found out that it was this horrible illegal immigrant that viciously killed her, all of a sudden that story went down. They [mainstream media] didn’t want to cover it the way it should be covered,” Trump said. “But what happened to Mollie was a disgrace and our hearts go out. We mourn for Mollie’s family.”

A number of outlets seized on comments made by Rivera’s lawyer after the attorney claimed his client was in the country legally.

The attorney later admitted he didn’t know the facts surrounding Rivera’s immigration while federal immigration officials confirmed that there was no record of Rivera entering the country legally or applying for the controversial DACA program.

Trump also released a video standing outside the White House in which he addressed Tibbetts’s death, saying it was a failure of immigration laws.

“Mollie Tibbetts, an incredible young woman, is now permanently separated from her family. A person came in from Mexico, illegally, and killed her. We need the wall. We need our immigration laws changed. We need our border laws changed,” he said. “We need Republicans to do it because Democrats aren’t going to do it. This is one instance of many.”

“Democrat immigration policies are destroying innocent lives and spilling very innocent blood,” Trump added on Friday in Ohio. “We believe that any party that puts criminal aliens before American citizens should be out of office.”

Rivera’s Life

Rivera arrived in the United States at age 17, according to his lawyer.

Rivera began working at a farm in Iowa soon after he arrived and switched to Yarrabee Farms just outside Brooklyn when his former girlfriend and mother to his daughter connected him with the company.

Rivera used a fake ID and social security number to fool the owners of Yarrabee into believing he was a legal immigrant; the owners didn’t know his real name until he was arrested.

He told investigators that he was driving around one day—the car was either purchased under his fake name or borrowed from someone, investigators haven’t disclosed which publicly—when he spotted Tibbetts jogging, as she often did.

Rivera circled the block several times before pulling over, shutting off the engine, and exiting the vehicle.

He began jogging himself, chasing Tibbetts until he was running alongside her. She saw him, grabbed her phone, and told him she was going to call the police.

“Rivera said he then panicked and got mad and that he then ‘blocked’ his ‘memory,’ which is what he does when he gets very upset,” investigators stated.

He told investigators the next thing he knew, he was back in his car driving with Tibbetts’s body in his trunk.

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