In an exclusive interview with uPolitics, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico), one of the first Native American women ever to serve in the House of Representatives, said that Vice President Mike Pence was clearly “in complete denial about what was happening” during his trip to visit border facilities earlier this month.

“Well, my first reaction is that he was in complete denial about what was happening right in front of his eyes,” said Haaland. “You could hear the screams from the people who were detained saying ‘we’re not terrorists, we need a shower’ for God’s sake.”

“The vice president was in complete denial about what was happening when he went out to the microphone later that day and said they’re being well taken care of and blaming it on the Democrats,” added the representative.

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Last week Pence visited two detention centers on the southern border last week, where he witnessed adult immigrants needing permission to drink water, sleeping on concrete floors, and being forced to endure what others on the visit described as a “horrendous” stench. Many of the men kept there were corralled inside a fenced-off cage that was clearly too small to contain them all.

“We passed a bill that would have done a tremendous amount to help the situation at the border, the self-made crisis by President Trump, and we were stuck with the Senate bill,” said Haaland, referring to the Democratic version of the border aid bill which was unable to take flight due to fighting between the progressives and the moderates.

“I’m appalled, I’m saddened, I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed at the way that this administration has not only made this crisis what it is but at how they’re handling it and at the denial that they’re exhibiting about what they have done to these people and to these children,” added Haaland.