Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a disastrous attempt to defend the White House’s policy of separating immigrant families at the border during Thursday’s press briefing.
CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Sanders to explain Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments earlier in the day about how the White House’s family separation policy is consistent with the teachings of the Bible.
Sanders said she couldn’t speak to Sessions’ specific comments, but added, “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law.”
But family separation is not a law. It is a policy that the Trump administration implemented in April and could end at any time.
When Acosta pointed this out to Sanders, she replied by calling him stupid.
“I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess,” she said. “Please don’t take my words out of context, but the separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close.”
The next reporter Sanders called on again tried to impress upon her that the Trump administration’s policy of separating families is not a law, and could be revisited at any time. But Sanders didn’t want to hear it.
“Our administration has had the same position since we started on day one, that we we’re going to enforce the law,” she said. “We’re a country of law and order, and we’re enforcing the law, and protecting our borders. If Democrats wans to get serious about it instead of playing political games, they are welcome to come here and sit down the president and actually do something about it.”
At that point, something extraordinary happened. Brian Karem, the White House reporter for Playboy, jumped in without being called upon, and yelled to Sanders, “You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?”
“Come on, Sarah, you’re a parent,” Karem continued. “They have less than you do. Seriously. Seriously.”
“I’m trying to be serious, but I’m not going to have you yell out of turn,” Sanders replied.
“It’s a serious question,” Karem responded. “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw their children in cages. You’re a parent. You’re a parent of young children! Don’t you have any empathy for they go through?”
Sanders then called upon another reporter who asked her a question about Russia.
Like Sanders, President Trump has struggled to justify his administration’s family separation policy.
On June 5, Trump managed to pack at least four blatant lies into a single tweet about the separation policy, which he falsely described as a law and baselessly blamed Democrats for.
On Wednesday, an MSNBC reporter became one of the first journalists to tour a facility in Brownsville, Texas, that houses nearly 1,500 immigrant children ages 10 to 17 who have been separated from their parents after crossing the border.
The children “spend 22 hours per day during the week (21 hours on weekends) locked inside a converted former Walmart, packing five into rooms built for four,” MSNBC reported. They stay there an average of 52 days before being placed with a sponsor.