Corey Lewandowski garnered widespread outrage on Tuesday when he interrupted a Democratic strategist telling the story of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother with the line “womp womp.”
The political commentator and former campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign dismissed the story during a Fox News segment on New York state suing the federal government over its current “zero tolerance” immigration practices, which includes separating families when adults are arrested for crossing the boarder illegally.
During the segment, Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas said, “I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome, who was taken from her mother and put in a cage.”
Lewandowski interrupted him with “womp womp.”
Petkanas responded, “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! How absolutely dare you, sir.” Later, Petkanas shared video of the encounter on Twitter, which was shared widely.
“There is no low to which this coward Corey Lewandowski won’t sink,” Megyn Kelly wrote in a tweet in response to the video. “This man should not be afforded a national platform to spew his hate.”
Musician John Lurie wrote on repeat, “I want to hurt Corey Lewandowski” in his own tweet.
Another called him an “ambulatory psychotic” while one said it was a “new low” for the 2016 Trump campaign manager.
On Wednesday morning, Lewandowski took to Twitter to say, “Lots of Fake News today. I mocked a liberal who attempted to politicize children as opposed to discussing the real issue which is fixing a broken immigration system. It’s offenseive that the MSM doesn’t want to talk about the fact these policies were started under Obama.”
The tweet prompted the below response from Petkanas.
I repeat. How dare you, sir.
1. The real issue is that Donald Trump is ripping infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens from their parents’ arms to be housed in cages & Republicans are letting him.
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) June 20, 2018
Lewandowski also returned to Fox News on Wednesday and stood by his comments. “I don’t know the young girl,” he told anchor Sandra Smith. “I was mocking Zac, a liberal Democratic National Committee activist who is doing nothing but politicizing the issue of making an example of one particular child.”
When asked if he felt that he owed an apology, Lewandowski did not offer one and instead replied: “An apology? I owe an apology to the children whose parents are putting them in a position that is forcing them to be separated. We owe an apology to Jameel Shaw and Brian Terry and Kate Steinle’s family who have allowed those individuals to be killed by illegal aliens. The American people owe an apology to those people. When you cross the border illegally you have committed a crime and there is accountability for committing crimes and there should be.”
Watch the initial TV exchange below.
June 20, 7:20 a.m. Updated with Corey Lewandowski’s tweet.
9 a.m. Updated with Lewandowski’s Fox News appearance.