Ex Trump Campaign Manager Mocks Migrant Girl with Down Syndrome's Separation from Mom: 'Womp Womp'

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families during a six-week period as the Trump Administration adopted a "zero-tolerance" policy at the border

As the outcry over President Donald Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border intensifies, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski publicly dismissed the story of a child with Down syndrome reportedly being taken away from her mother after illegally crossing into the U.S., sparking outrage.

Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas said during a Fox News panel on Tuesday that he read about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome being “taken from her mother and put in a cage.”

Lewandowski replied live on-air, “Womp womp.”

“Did you just say ‘womp womp’ to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother? How dare you? How dare you, sir? How absolutely dare you, sir? How dare you?” Petkanas furiously asked as Lewandowski shouted to make his argument.

Corey Lewandowski Visits Fox News Channel with Hannity
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Several celebrities saw the exchange and blasted the political operative on Twitter.

Corey Lewandowski, you are a piece of s—,” wrote Anna Kendrick.

Added actress Mary McCormack, “Oh my lord. What have we become? Corey Lewandowski MOCKED a ten yr. old with Down Syndrome who was taken from her mother. Talk about a special place in hell. Where is the @gop? Retweet this until they’re forced to look at themselves.”

“This is so horrible, even by Lewandowski standards,” wrote Meghan McCain, the daughter of Republican Senator John McCain.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families during a six-week period in April and May as the Trump Administration adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy at the border, TIME reported on Saturday. Charged adults are sent directly to federal court while their children are sent to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

On Monday, ProPublica released an audio recording of a man reported to be U.S. Border Patrol agent seemingly joking about immigrant children’s crying while at a detention facility after they had been taken from their parents.

“Well, we have an orchestra here, right? What we’re missing is a conductor,” the man in the recording said as a boy is heard crying loudly for his father.

ProPublica reported the person who made the recording asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation. PEOPLE was not able to independently verify the recording.

Border Patrol Agents Detain Migrants Near US-Mexico Border
John Moore/Getty Images
Migrants Caravan, Tijuana, Mexico - 29 Apr 2018
Hans-Maximo Musielik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

First Lady Melania Trump has issued a surprising rebuke of the controversial policy when she released an uncharacteristic statement over the weekend.

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families,” the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told PEOPLE on Sunday.

“[She] hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” Grisham said, adding that Mrs. Trump “believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

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