White House press secretary Sarah Sanders bashed CNN’s Jim Acosta on Thursday, saying she knew it was "hard" for him “to even understand short sentences” amid a conversation during the daily press briefing.
Following a question about North Korea, Acosta asked Sanders about comments made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier in the day, in which Sessions quoted a verse from the Bible while seeking to explain immigrant children being split from their parents.
“Can I just ask a second question, completely unrelated, on these children who are being separated from their families as they come across the border,” Acosta asked. “The attorney general earlier today said that somehow there’s a justification for this in the Bible. Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?”
In response, Sanders initially said she wasn’t aware of what Sessions had said but added “that it is very biblical to enforce the law.”
“That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the bible,” she said, before Acosta cut in asking “where in the Bible does it say it’s okay to take children away from their parents?”
After Sanders said she wouldn’t respond to Sessions’ “specific comments that I haven’t seen,” Acosta retorted, “Well you just said it’s in the Bible to follow the law.”
“That’s not what I said. I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess, but please don’t take my words out of context,” Sanders fired back, before adding the government’s actions at the border are “the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close,” and that Trump was “simply enforcing,” the laws.
Scoffing of sorts emanated from the group following Sanders' “short sentences” comment, as Acosta’s face remained relatively expressionless.
But the CNN correspondent picked up where he’d left off, probing “How is it moral policy to take children away from their parents?” and “Why is the government doing this?”
“Because it’s the law and that’s what the law states,” Sanders said.
“It doesn’t have to be the law, you guys don’t have to do that,” Acosta replied, before Sanders leveled blame at Democrats who “have failed to come to the table” and “failed to help this president close these loopholes and fix this problem.”
Brian Karem, a Playboy Magazine reporter who is also a CNN political analyst, chimed in on the topic, shouting at Sanders while she was responding to another reporter’s question: “You’re a parent, don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.