Police finally found the man who killed Mollie Tibbetts, the Iowa college student who went missing in July: 24-year-old illegal immigrant Cristhian Bahena Rivera.
But the mainstream media–who initially built Tibbetts’ disappearance into a national news story–tried their best to throw the brakes on the report, and downplay Rivera’s illegal status.
USA Today led the charge, trying to tie Rivera instead to Republicans. Their headline on Tuesday morning? “Man charged in Tibbetts’ death worked at Iowa farm linked to prominent Republican.”
The article doesn’t mention Rivera’s illegal immigration status until nearly the end of the article. They instead reported that he was employed by a farm owned by the brother of the 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture–a detail seemingly trying to draw nonexistent ties between Rivera and the Republican Party.
MSNBC also tried to downplay the story, with guest Christina Greer claiming that Mollie Tibbetts was merely “some girl in Iowa” that “Fox News is talking about”–despite the fact that MSNBC had reported on Tibbetts previously.
Republicans, however, have taken to social media and rallies to express their outrage over the fact that an illegal immigrant was caught brutally murdering an American woman–including President Trump, who said that Tibbetts’ death “should’ve never happened.”
Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds also slammed the killing, saying, ““As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry,” she said. “We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can (to) bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”