Jun 20, 2018, 10:41 AM ET

Former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski mocks immigrant child with Down syndrome

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Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is facing backlash after he mocked the story of an immigrant child with Down syndrome in a Fox News interview about the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.

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Lewandowski, who was in charge of Donald Trump's presidential campaign from January 2015 to June 2016, made the disparaging comment on "The Story With Martha MacCallum" Tuesday evening. Fellow guest Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist and former Hillary Clinton aide, relayed a story about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother after they crossed the border illegally.

"I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage," Petkanas began. But before he could finish, Lewandowski replied "Womp, womp" in apparent sarcasm.

Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, center, and his lawyer Peter Chavkin, second from left, arrive to meet behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2018.AP
Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, center, and his lawyer Peter Chavkin, second from left, arrive to meet behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Petkanas immediately took issue with Lewandowski, responding, "Did you just say, 'Womp, womp' to a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome being separated from her mother? How dare you? How absolutely dare you, sir? How dare you?"

Lewandowski talked over Petkanas' response, saying, "What I said is you can pick anything you want; the bottom line is clear."

Lewandowski had said prior to Petkanas’s relaying the story of the girl with Down syndrome that "as soon as you cross the border illegally, you have committed an act which is a disservice to all of the people who have stood in line and waited to get into this country legally."

Host Sandra Smith then cut off the argument and steered the conversation back to immigration policy in general.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, left, shakes hands with Mexicos Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray during a photo opportunity at their joint press conference in Mexico City, Monday, March 26, 2018.AP
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, left, shakes hands with Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray during a photo opportunity at their joint press conference in Mexico City, Monday, March 26, 2018.

Lewandowski responded to the backlash this morning, criticizing the mainstream media and what he called "fake news."

"Lots of Fake News today,” he wrote on Twitter. “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 [sic] that the MSM [mainstream media] doesn’t want to talk about the fact these policies were started under Obama,” which is a false claim the president has often repeated.

Petkanas was relaying a story told earlier in the day Tuesday by Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who condemned the separation of families in a news conference.

He described recent cases involving Mexican children, including the 10-year-old Mexican girl with Down syndrome who last week was separated from her mother after they crossed the border. He said the girl is in McAllen, Texas, while the mother was taken to a center in Brownsville, Texas. The father is a legal resident in the United States and they are trying to get them reunited, Videgaray said.

"Our consulate in McAllen is doing the gestures so that, in an immediate fashion, the girl is taken out of the shelter and is reunified with her father, who has the status of a legal resident," Videgaray said. "Of course, this case, in particular, we have pointed it out to the American authorities at the highest levels."

Videgaray called the policy of separating children from their families "cruel and inhumane" and said Mexico had a "moral responsibility" to speak out.

Among those who immediately condemned Lewandowski's comments was former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who tweeted, "There is no low to which this coward Corey Lewandowski won’t sink."

ABC News' Kirit Radia, Sarah Shales and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.

News - Former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski mocks immigrant child with Down syndrome

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  • Robin

    Corey Lewandowski needs a womp womp on the head

  • MtnGirl

    Lewandowski, the pathetic neanderthal. No brains, morals, guts, or glory. He must have something on Trump, how else would he have gotten *another* job in Trump's regime?

  • Former Earthling

    Hopefully Mueller also locks up this pathetic racist idiot.

  • Snug Harbour

    This is an awful man. Like Stephen King's Randall Flagg .

  • disqus_VTtXsRxSgB

    Abcnews deleted my comment - maybe because I didn’t mince words.

    So to stay compliant - I’ll repost my thoughts in milder much softer language.

    Corey is of Polish descent. Polish people suffered a lot under the Nazis.

    The Nazis looked down on Slavs like Corey Lewandowski as being almost subhuman.

    The Nazis also despised people with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities.

    So the take home message for people of Polish descent - like Corey - is to respect people with Down’s syndrome and to respect refugees fleeing brutal regimes and fleeing violence.

    Corey - Please honor the memory of the countless Poles - including perhaps some of your own distant relatives - who suffered and died under the Nazis.

    Respect Jews, Roma, refugees, people fleeing persecution - whether from Syria or El Salvador - and respect those with physical and mental disabilities.

  • Top shelf

    Lewandowski used to work for Trump, so it's no surprise that he's heartless scum.

  • Siestasis42

    Trump -"He was just a coffee boy".

  • sdoubledub

    I'm shocked......

  • MS2789

    He's a little punk who will meet his just reward and the sooner the better.

  • wd65

    We have to remember that he said this on Fox News where nothing is true. Trump's base loves this type of thing and they only watch Fox. Deplorable yes, but then so are Fox News and their viewers.

  • End of Life Ritual

    He ran Trump's campaign and had to be removed for assaulting a woman, then he does this. I also saw him absolutely light up a female commentator on CNN with personal insults.

    I don't know why anyone would want him on TV, even Fox. He's dumb as a box of rocks and hotheaded to boot.

  • Trip

    I agree with trump on a lot but not everything. One thing i agree on is that we need to be tough on immigration But what this guy said is indefensible what a cold hearted, callous, mean spirited response.

  • Mr559rick

    And you thought Trump sycophants couldn't go any lower.

  • Joe Peter

    What a Fool to MOCK a child . Where is he from? Russia.a Disgrace to the Polish Folks that came here to escape the Nazism. He is a FOOL???

  • Mirage2020

    Lewandowski is an insignificant troll, backed by Russians. Plus, a predator of Hope Hicks ,.. physically menacing human leech.

  • rgcook2003

    He learned it from his leader - the Orange Fuhrer did it so it must be ok.

  • Elise Jachali

    I didn't think he was saying 'womp womp', whatever that is, I heard 'wah wah' like he's saying boo hoo about the account of the child with Down Syndrome being separated from parent. You can say that was directed at EITHER the child OR the story, and it makes not one iota of difference. It was a disgusting and immature thing to say and the man should feel ashamed and this behavior should not be tolerated.
    Horrible human being. What is wrong with people?

  • darksock

    We are literally at the point where the Trump goons should be twirling their waxed thin black mustaches...they'd be comically evil if this were not real life.

    The mid-terms cannot come fast enough...

  • VoteNovember 6th

    wow, seems to me that Trump is using all his fired cronies to do his bidding for him! Sad!

  • TexWho

    PERFECT example of why Trump supporters are called DEPLORABLES !

  • Singing Bear

    Shame Shame Shame on this immature creature of a so-called politician. Lock him up.

  • Louise McMurtry

    How pathetically immature this "grown man" is.

  • PerchLady

    I saw this interview and my initial thought was yes, he is mocking the child. It sure didn't sound like he was poking at the other fellow. So let's change Corey's name to "Oliver" because he can sure twist things.... What an ass.

  • Apollo Elevo

    Readers, viewers, democrats who feel that Donald Trump was elected wrongly by illegal activity, be careful to not fall for a sort of trap. Corey Lewandowski seems to be attempting to be branded by the short term situation at the US border, while in actuality Mr. Lewandowski's behaviors elsewhere are illegal and tangible, not emotional and run of the mill contemporary political news. If we were to associate the name Lewandowski with the separation of families, then Mr. Trump's ability to ease this short term issue might just mislead you. Of course Lewandowski is going to be hidden away very soon by Trump's self protective policy machine. The reason he is soon to be distanced from Trump Organization is not due to his buffoonery, short term antics, but due to evidence of bribes which are being processed in the New York Supreme Court.

  • A Man Has No Name

    He's just like his Puppet Master Trump. Both like mocking the handicapped.

  • Siestasis42

    Lewandowski has always been a low life. If I lived in his city I would stage a protest outside his home. What a jerk. With any luck he will end up the same place Manafort is.

  • Justbkind16

    Despicable to the core!

  • gmannfromchitown

    May this administration, every last one of them, rot in hell. And same to those who support them.

  • Hawkman100

    Lewandowski - just another Trump toadie who leaves a trail of slime everywhere he goes.

  • Lee Thompson

    Message to Lewandowski - It isn't 'fake' news since you said what you said.
    This supposed 'administration' is populated with losers from the top down.

  • Blue Wave

    I see Trump's influence is as broad as it is poisonous.

  • Weazerdogg

    Why is this thug getting any air time? They pretty much neutered Conway, wish someone would do the same to this idiot.

  • Kaboom Nik

    OMFG....

  • Bill S

    Again how was dump the lesser of two evils?

  • Truth-B-Me

    He learned this from Trump when he mocked a handicapped person. Typical behavior that should surprise no one. How can any intelligent person in America support this president or the GOP that enable him. They are the laughing stock of the world and an embarrassment to America!

  • Stella

    Does anyone remember when Obama was still in office and there were refugees coming to the USA and he only wanted to take only around 10,000 (don't remember the exact number) and Congress verbally attacked him for not wanting to take all of them; yet, now they have nothing to say about what's going on.

  • Stella

    Nobody should be surprised by this. Remember when Trump insult a Gold Star family and McCain?

  • John bailey

    There is a special place for this idiot.