President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski mocked the story of a 10-year-old immigrant girl with Down syndrome being separated from her parents at the U.S.-Mexican border, during his appearance on one of the debate segments on Fox News on Tuesday.

Lewandowski’s political opponent, Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist, was saying how appalled he was to learn about the story of a young child with Down syndrome being separated from her mother, when the former interrupted him with a mocking gesture.

“I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage," Petkanas said.

"Womp womp," Lewandowski interrupted.

"Did you say womp womp?" Petkanas replied, shocked. "How dare you. How dare you. How absolutely dare you, sir."

At this, Lewandowski defended his stance. “What I said is you can pick anything you want but the bottom line is very clear. When you cross the border illegally, you have given up the right of this country," he said.

Corey Lewandowski
President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski mocked the story of a 10-year-old immigrant girl with Down syndrome being separated from her parents at the U.S.-Mexican border. In this photo, Lewandowski is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2018. Getty Images/ Tasos Katopodis

“We are a country with borders, we are a country of laws. And when you choose to cross this country illegally, your parents understand this, they understand something very clearly. When you cross the border illegally, when you commit a crime, you are taken away from your family and that’s how this country works,” he added.

According to Better Health, an Australian medical website, the support of family members is of utmost importance for a child suffering from Down syndrome. Many children with this condition tend to not have proper communication skills, which mean they cannot interact with other humans normally, hence depending on their parents to take care of them.

From May 5 to June 9, officials separated more than 2,300 children from the adults who had crossed the border illegally, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as part of Trump's "zero tolerance policy" on illegal immigration.

Lewandowski’s comment was met with immediate backlash on social media, with many high profile personalities condemning Trump’s former campaign manager.

“There is no low to which this coward Corey Lewandowski won't sink,” Megyn Kelly tweeted. “This man should not be afforded a national platform to spew his hate.”

Actress Mary McCormack‏ tweeted: “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."

Similarly, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz wrote: “Womp womp will be the sound Corey Lewandowski's soul makes as it descends to Hell.”

Here are a few more reactions on Lewandowski’s comment:

The controversial comment comes just days after Fox News host Laura Ingraham downplayed the less-than-habitable conditions in which the children who are being separated from their parents, are kept in by the DHS.

She said on her news segment “The Ingraham Angle”: “As more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents. And temporarily housed at what are, essentially, summer camps.”

As soon as she made this comment, social media users started tweeting pictures of children in cages and other metal fencing in detention centers where they were being held, causing the Fox News host to backtrack her comment toward the end of the show.

“Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps,” said Ingraham. “The San Diego Union Tribune today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school. So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools.”

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