White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders turned criticism of President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections for young undocumented immigrants into an attack on Democrats during a Tuesday press briefing, calling liberal fundraising in the wake of the decision “the most heartless thing that I’ve seen all day.”
Following the administration’s announcement that it would terminate the Obama-era policy, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, Trump has faced widespread condemnation from his political rivals, including some Republicans.
Several reporters at the press briefing asked whether the president is violating his own promise to treat the young people — a group of about 800,000, known as DREAMers, who were brought to the US illegally as children — with compassion.
“The president vowed to treat DREAMers with ‘great heart.’ How is this move treating them with great heart?” NBC reporter Kristen Welker asked.
Sanders began by responding that the decision would create a more “orderly process,” but then, looking down at her notes, parlayed her response into an attack on Democrats.
“You know, there’s a lot of people that I’ve seen attacking the president for not showing the level of compassion that they feel like he should,” she said. “To me, the most heartless thing that I’ve seen all day today is that Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, are using this decision today for fundraising while the president’s trying to fix the situation. They are politicizing an issue instead of actually doing their job.”
Sanders continued, “If they would spend less time fundraising a more time focusing on solutions, we wouldn’t even be in this problem in the first place.”
On Tuesday morning, Pelosi, the House minority leader, released a statement calling the president’s decision a “cruel act of political cowardice.”
“President Trump’s decision to end DACA should break the hearts and offend the morals of all who believe in justice and human dignity,” Pelosi said in the statement.
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