Former Republican congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough compared the methods used by U.S. Border Patrol to separate migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to those employed by the Nazis.
Scarborough referenced reports that several migrant families were told by Border Patrol agents that they were taking their children to give them a bath, but did not then return the child.
“I know children are being marched away to showers, marched away to showers. Being told they are — just like the Nazis said that they were taking people to the showers and then they never came back,” Scarborough said.
“You think they would use another trick like, ‘hey, got a Slurpee room over there; we’re going to take them to get a Slurpee,'” he continued. “That would be better than ‘we’re marching them to the showers and we’ll be right back’ and they never come back.”
The Trump administration’s so-called zero tolerance approach to illegal immigration was unveiled last month by Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said the changes would help deter future immigrants from attempting to cross into the United States illegally.
The practice has led to hundreds of cases of children being separated from their parents at the border.
The White House on Friday called Scarborough’s remarks “appalling” and “categorically false.”
“It is appalling that Joe Scarborough would compare sworn federal law enforcement officers — who put their lives on the line every day to keep American people safe — to Nazis,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. “This is the type of inflammatory and unacceptable rhetoric that puts a target on the backs of our great law enforcement.”
“It is also horribly insulting to the memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust,” Gidley continued. “Not only is Scarborough’s rhetoric shameful, but his facts are categorically false.”