Biden senior advisor Cedric Richmond claimed on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked President Joe Biden “disrespectful” questions about migrant families receiving money from the U.S. government.
Partial transcript as follows:
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS: There’s still confusion on another topic, as to whether or not the government will make payments to illegals. Here’s what the president said on Saturday when asked about it.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border, whether it’s legal or illegal, and you lost your child — you lost her child, he’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation no matter what the circumstance.
HEMMER: So, again, that was yesterday. On Wednesday, however, he said this to FOX News.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that that might incentivize more people to come over illegally?
BIDEN: If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah. But it’s not true.
DOOCY: So, this is a garbage report?
HEMMER: So, within an hour of that comment, the ACLU said, quote, President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department, and went on from there.
Was he in the loop to begin with?
CEDRIC RICHMOND: The president is in the loop. But the president said at the beginning of his administration, on the campaign trail, that he would have an independent Department of Justice, that he would not direct the Department of Justice what to do.
And if you go back to the question, the question was from a FOX reporter asking about whether compensation for being separated and losing a child would be an incentive to come to America. And what he was saying was that was an absurd question from the beginning. No one is coming somewhere to lose their child, to be separated from their loved one.
And the question is so insensitive, disrespectful, that that’s what he’s commenting too.
And I would ask a question of you whether you support that. I mean, at some point, we cannot with a straight face say that parents are willing to separate from a child for a dollar amount. That’s just not true. And we should not talk like that.
We keep saying we’re better than that, but we’re not acting like that.
HEMMER: If the amount is not forwarded $450,000, what amount is it?
RICHMOND: That’s for the Justice Department to decide. If it shows that it saves taxpayers money, if it rights a wrong and the Justice Department determines that there is compensation that should be paid, that is an independent Justice Department.
But, again, the question is, we took children — that President Trump took children from their parents and some children have never been returned. Do we think that’s okay?
HEMMER: There are others who make the case about the victims of fentanyl abuse that crossed the border. There are others talk about the women who were abused along the track across the border as well.
But just back to this amount of $450,000. That would be about four times the amount that we afford Gold Star families.
RICHMOND: We — we don’t talk dollar amounts. That is the Department of Justice. The question about whether it is an incentive to come across to the United States to be separated from your child so that you can get paid is an absurd assumption.
HEMMER: So, there will be —
RICHMOND: No question.
HEMMER: Yeah, there will be a settlement then from this administration. That dollar amount to be determined, am I clear on that?
RICHMOND: No. I want to be clear about this. We do not tell the Department of Justice what to do. The Department of Justice is an independent agency.
HEMMER: I understand that. But what you’re saying is that you would be okay with payment of a certain amount, correct?
RICHMOND: I don’t approve or justify what the DOJ does. If the DOJ determines that it saves the taxpayers’ money and it rights a wrong, then they will make the determination that is necessary. And I would assume if they make a determination, they’ll come up with what they think is an adequate dollar amount.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN