Donald Trump's former presidential campaign manager has refused to apologize for appearing to dismiss the significance of the removal of a 10-year-old Mexican girl with Down's syndrome from her mother.
"Did you say "Womp womp" to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother?" fellow panelist Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist, asked in disbelief. An incensed Petkanas repeatedly stated to Lewandowksi, "how dare you?!"
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during a rally at Total Sports Park in Washington, Michigan, on April 28, 2018.
Lewandowski talked over Petkanas' response, saying, "What I said is you can pick anything you want, the bottom line is clear".
Lewandowski, who was sacked from the Trump campaign in 2016 but has since regained the president's support, stood firm on his stance Wednesday morning as criticism of his comments grew.More news: Hillary Clinton masterfully mocks James Comey over his misuse of private email
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Host Sandra Smith then cut off the argument and steered the conversation back to immigration policy in general.
The girl's case was originally highlighted by Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray in an interview with CNN.
Lewandowski, who was briefly a CNN commentator after he was sacked from the Trump campaign, said no one wants to see parents separated from their children, but placed the blame on the parents for entering the country illegally.
He said the girl and her brother went to a facility in McAllen, Texas, while her mother was sent to a different centre, an hour away. Their father, a United States resident, is trying to gain custody of them. Among those who spoke out against Lewandowski's comment were former Fox News personality Megyn Kelly, current Fox News contributor Guy Benson and March for Our Lives advocate Ryan Deitsch.