White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded Thursday to Jim Acosta’s attempts to interrupt by taking a shot at the CNN correspondent’s comprehension abilities.
Acosta asked during the daily press briefing about comments made the same day by Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the immigration situation at the southern U.S. border.
“On these children that are being separated from their families as they come across the border, the attorney general earlier today said that somehow there’s a justification for this in the Bible,” Acosta started. “Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?”
Sanders said she was unaware of Sessions’ comments but that “it’s very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”
“Hold on Jim, if you’ll let me finish,” Sanders said as Acosta began to interject. “Again I’m not going to comment on the attorney’s specific comments that I haven’t seen.”
“You just said it’s in the Bible to follow the law,” Acosta replied.
“That’s not what I said, and I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences I said, I guess. But, please don’t take my words out of context,” Sanders said.
Several reporters in the room groaned or chuckled, with one saying “that’s a cheap shot, Sarah.”
“Why is the government doing this, Sarah?” Acosta asked again in reference to the children of illegal immigrants being separated from their parents while the parents are detained and processed at the southern border.
Sanders explained the administration is enforcing the current law, which she said has been on the books for years and the president is working to fix.
“The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close and these laws are the same that have been on the book for over a decade and the president is simply enforcing them,” Sanders said.
“It doesn’t have to be the law,” Acosta said.
“You’re right, it doesn’t have to be the law. And the president has actually called on Democrats in Congress to fix those loopholes,” Sanders said. “The Democrats have failed to come to the table, failed to help this president close these loopholes and fix this problem … we’ve laid out a proposal and Democrats simply refuse to do their job and fix the problem.”
Acosta also asked during the briefing why President Donald Trump saluted a North Korean general during the Singapore summit.
“It’s a common courtesy when a military official from another country salutes that you return that,” Sanders said.
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