Lewandowski lied, saying the mom of a 10-year-old with Down syndrome was a 'potential member of a child smuggling ring.' In fact, she was helping the government prosecute a smuggler.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is probably one of the least civil political commentators in America today. So when he was invited to talk about civility on the Wednesday edition of CNN's "New Day," the results weren't just as bad as you'd expect — they were much, much worse.
In response, Lewandowski made the shocking — and completely false — claim that the girl's mother was "a potential member of a child smuggling ring." This, he said, was the reason the two had been separated, and not Trump's zero tolerance policy at the border.
But according to a June 20 statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), that's not at all what happened.
The girl's mother wasn't an accused member of a child smuggling ring — she was helping the government prosecute a child smuggler.
The truth is pretty much the opposite of what Lewandowski claimed, which makes his smear all the more grotesque.
According to CBP, the child was separated from her mother "as a result of a smuggling attempt on June 3, 2018," and that the mother was not being prosecuted; rather, she was "being held as a material witness to support the prosecution of the smuggler."
As if that appalling smear weren't bad enough, Lewandowski also repeatedly refused to apologize or express any regret for his "womp, womp" remark.
He claimed that "womp, womp" wasn't directed at the 10-year-old child with Down syndrome, but at Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas for bringing up the story of the child during that segment.
Lewandowski claimed he was simply mocking Petkanas for being "a left-wing activist who was trying to use a child as a political tool."
LEWANDOWSKI: The incident that was discussed was not directed at a child or individual. It was directed at a left-wing activist who was trying to use a child as a political tool, and he was inaccurate because he said that child was separated from her mother because of the Trump policies. But the truth was that 10-year-old that was separated at the border was separated because her mother was a member, or a potential member, of a child smuggling ring.
BERMAN: OK, Corey.
LEWANDOWSKI: So let's get the facts straight.
BERMAN: I let you talk, all I was asking was whether or not you thought that "womp womp" was the right response to that. I just wanted to know if you had any regrets about it now. Is the answer no?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, John, the answer is it wasn't directed at a child. My statement on that specifically was directed at a left-wing Democratic activist who's trying to use a child as a political tool, and I was appalled by that.
And before that, Lewandowski repeatedly avoided answering Berman's question by attacking Berman himself, berating him for "talking over" Lewandowski well after Berman pulled back and invited Lewandowski to speak uninterrupted.
BERMAN: Do you wish you hadn't said it?
LEWANDOWSKI: John. John. Would you like me to answer the question, or do you want to have the interview by yourself? Because I was trying to talk, and you keep talking over me.
BERMAN: Corey, go ahead. Do you wish you hadn't said it?
LEWANDOWSKI: OK, let me know how much time I have so I can answer your question. Or if you want to keep talking over me, we can just stop. It's up to you.
BERMAN: Corey, go ahead.
It's no surprise that Lewandowski abusively berates his interviewers; he has shown a consistent pattern of boorish, abusive behavior in the past.
Last year, he was accused of sexual assault by pro-Trump singer Joy Villa, who said he slapped her buttocks at a party. He was arrested for battery for grabbing the arm of reporter Michelle Fields. And he had to be escorted out by a security guard when he was fired from the Trump campaign.
If CNN was trying to show us how little Trump and his allies care about "civility," interviewing Corey Lewandowski was a good way to demonstrate that.
But it's probably wiser to just deny people like him a platform to spew their hate in the first place.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.