CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta clashed with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday after Acosta asked her to respond to Attorney General Jeff Sessions citing the Bible as justification for separating families.
Sanders did not directly address Sessions’s comments, but said that “it is very biblical to enforce the law.”
“Where in the Bible does it say that it’s OK to take children away from their parents?” Acosta fired back. “You just said it’s in the Bible to follow the law.”
“I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess, but please don’t take my words out of context,” Sanders retorted.
“How is it a moral policy to take children away from their parents,” Acosta asked. “Can you imagine the horror that these children must be going through when they’re coming across the border? Why is the government doing this?”
“Because it’s the law and that’s what the law states,” Sanders responded.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who unveiled the administration’s zero-tolerance policy last month, directed border agents to separate children from their parents at the border and prosecute the adults. The administration has framed the new policy as a deterrent to stop migrants from attempting to enter the country.
On Thursday, Sanders falsely blamed Democrats for the policy and for their failure to address flawed immigration laws.
“We would like to fix these loopholes, and if Democrats want to get serious about it instead of playing political games, they’re welcome to come here and sit down with the president and do something about it,” Sanders said.
WATCH: During a tense exchange over immigration policy, White House Press Sec. Sanders tells CNN correspondent Jim Acosta that it is "hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess." pic.twitter.com/qvGQe3WsIA
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 14, 2018
Playboy’s Brian Karem jumped in to question if Sanders felt empathy for the migrant children.
“Come on, Sarah. You’re a parent. Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?” he asked.
Sanders responded: “I know you want to get some more TV time but that’s not what this is about.”
“These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and they throw children in cages,” Karem continued. “You’re a parent. You’re a parent of young children. Don’t you have any empathy for what they go through?”
Sanders did not address Karem before taking the next question.
Reporter asks @PressSec about the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border.
"Sarah, you're a parent. Don't you have empathy for what these people are going through?" pic.twitter.com/Jh41PUR3Uj
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 14, 2018