Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, was supremely unsympathetic when informed of a 10–year–old girl with Down syndrome being separated from her mother at the border.

All he could say was: “Womp, womp.”

Lewandowski appeared on Fox News Tuesday to debate with former senior Democratic National Committee advisor Zac Petkanas about the Trump administration’s practice of taking children from parents crossing the border. Petkanas began sharing the girl’s story when Lewandowski cut him off to make his remark.

“Did you say, ‘womp womp,’ to a 10–year–old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother?” Petkanas said. “How dare you! How dare you!”

“What I said is you can pick anything you want to, but the bottom line is very clear: When you cross the border illegally you have given up the rights of that country,” Lewandowski responded. “When you cross the border illegally, when you commit a crime, you are taken away from your family because that’s how this country works.”

The story of the 10–year–old girl was initially shared by Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray at a press conference Tuesday. According to Videgaray, the girl’s father is a U.S. resident, but was detained a week ago and has been in an immigration detention center in McAllen, Texas. He said the girl and her brother are among more than 2,300 children who have been separated from their parents and held in government detention centers.

The separation and subsequent holding of these children is a result of the Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy that calls for criminal prosecution of anyone caught crossing the border illegally. Previous administrations handled such cases in civil court in order to avoid breaking up families, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the decision to change that in May and has refused to back down from it thus far.

Lewandowski made another appearance on Fox News Wednesday morning, where he refused to apologize for his remark.


“Apologize? I owe an apology to the children whose parents are putting them in a position that is forcing them to be separated. We owe an apology to Jamiel Shaw and Brian Terry and Kate Steinle’s family who have allowed those individuals to be killed by illegal aliens,” Lewandowski said. “The American people owe an apology to those people. When you cross the border illegally, you have committed a crime and there is accountability for committing crimes and there should be.”

Lewandowski was fired from the Trump campaign in 2016 after grabbing a Breitbart reporter at a Florida news conference. Megyn Kelly, a former Fox News host now working at NBC, called Lewandowski a coward on Twitter.

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“There is no low to which this coward Corey Lewandowski won’t sink,” Kelly wrote. “This man should not be afforded a national platform to spew his hate.”

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