It started with a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta. “Where does it say in the Bible that it's moral to take children away from their mothers?” he asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during Thursday’s briefing.
Acosta was referring to a justification put forward by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier in the day during a meeting with religious leaders in Indiana for the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.
"Illegal entry into the United States is a crime—as it should be. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution,” Sessions said. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
While Sanders said she was “not aware” of Sessions’ comments, she answered: “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”
After Acosta pressed her to explain further, she took a cheap shot at him, saying, “I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess, and please don't take my word out of context,” adding, “The separation of an illegal alien families are the product of the same loopholes the Democrats refuse to close.”
“How is it a moral policy to take children away from their parents?” Acosta demanded. “Can you imagine the horror these children must be going through, when they come across the border and they’re with their parents and then suddenly they're pulled away from their parents? Why is government doing this?”
Sanders insisted that “following the law” is “moral” and that the Trump administration is only doing it “because it’s the law.” But moments later, Paula Reid from CBS News corrected Sanders’ inaccurate statements.
“First of all, there is no law that requires families be separated at the border,” Reid said. “This was the administration's choice to move from civil matters on immigration to criminally prosecute people who come across the border illegally and therefore have to separate families.”
As Sanders continued to defend the policy and blame Democrats in Congress, other reporters, including Brian Karem, a White House reporter from Playboy magazine, spoke out.
“Come on, Sarah, you’re a parent,” Karem yelled at Sanders. “Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?”
Her refusal to acknowledge that question seemingly spoke volumes.