First-term Democrat Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois accused the Trump administration of murdering children during a hearing with Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan on Wednesday.
People keep dying, and so this is obviously more than a question of resources. Congress has been more than willing to provide the resources and work with you to address the security and humanitarian concerns, but at this point, with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like — and the evidence is really clear — that this is intentional. It’s intentional. It’s a policy choice, being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane.
McAleenan responded: “That’s an appalling accusation, and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day. We’ve asked for those resources three weeks ago, it hasn’t been responded to by Congress, and we’ve asked for changes in authority for the last three years that would have prevented this from happening.”
Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL) objected, and moved that Underwood’s remarks be “taken down.”
After the chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), asked Underwood to clarify her remarks, she essentially repeated them.
Rogers protested: “Mr Chairman, you cannot impugn the character of the witness by stating that he intentionally murders children.” He asked that her words be taken down again.
“I did not say ‘murdered’,” Underwood objected, claiming that she merely said “that five children have died as the result of a policy choice that he stands by.”
The chair rejected Rogers’s request, ruling instead that Underwood’s language was “appropriate, and that it should not be taken down.”
A vote was taken to appeal the ruling of the chair, and after considerable confusion, the chair ruled that the committee was in recess. When the vote resumed after the recess, the committee voted 9-to-7, entirely on party lines, to overturn the chair’s ruling, and Underwood’s words were taken down. There are 18 Democrats and 13 Republicans on the committee.
Update: Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), a member of the committee, issued a statement: “It’s absolutely disheartening to see some radical Democrats stoop so low to say that the Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan is murdering children. McAleenan left the private sector to serve his country after the towers fell on 9/11. This is a sad day for America and the Democrat party.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.