On Friday morning, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz doubled down on her accusation that acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli promotes white supremacy through enforcing President Donald Trump's immigration policy.
"What I stand by is that Ken Cuccinelli is the tip of the spear of the president’s immigration policy that has persecuted and gone after people of color since day one of his presidency," Wasserman Schultz told CNN. "And that, yes, I used my ability, as a member of the oversight committee, to call that out and to insist, rightfully so, that Ken Cuccinelli has advanced a white supremacist ideology that I think is a thread through the president’s immigration policy."
"[Trump] started his presidency by initiating a Muslim ban that was repeatedly thrown out by the courts. The subject of the hearing itself was the separation, the persecution of sick children who have been allowed into the country that he sent a letter to and they had to — they were demanded to leave initially in 33 days until our oversight committee stopped that from happening by shining a spotlight on it," she continued. "He advanced a policy of separating children from their parents at the border who were fleeing persecution. We’ve now required through this policy political applicants for asylum to stay in another country, living in tent cities and in horrible conditions?"
"Yes, Ken Cuccinelli is the tip of the spear of a white supremacist ideology that is the thread of the president’s immigration policy targeting people of color," she added. "And I’m a member of Congress on the oversight committee, and I had an opportunity to call it out, and I did, and I don’t regret it."
On Wednesday, Cuccinelli got into a heated exchange after the Florida congresswoman accused him of being a white supremacist. Cuccinelli stood his ground and told the Democrat she was lying and using her congressional powers to defame him.
"Mr. Cuccinelli, under your leadership, USCIS has actually bragged about systematically restricting legal immigration. And I think its important for us all to be clear about what you have been aiming to accomplish. My constituents, Americans across the country, are not fooled by this administration’s facetious attempts to distinguish between documented and undocumented immigration," Wasserman Schultz stated. "You and Mr. Trump don’t want anyone who looks or talks differently than Caucasian Americans to be allowed into this country."
"That’s false," Cuccinelli interjected.
"I’m sorry, please don’t interrupt me and I’d like my time back," Schultz pointedly said back.
"That’s defamatory," Cuccinelli said in protest.
"Excuse me, there’s nothing defamatory about it," Wasserman Schultz replied. "You want to block all immigration and made life harder for immigrants and you have demonstrated that you will pursue this heinous white supremacist ideology at all costs even if it means making critically ill children your collateral damage in the process..Mr. Cuccinelli, has USCIS done any analysis as to how many children may stop receiving critical services due to fear of losing legal status under this rule? And I’d like you to answer that question please."
"After declaring that I am not a white supremacist as you alluded..nor is the president," Cuccinelli said.
"You have white supremacist policies," she remarked. "Facts matter."
"Yes, they do. Truth matters," Cuccinelli said.
"That’s why I’m stating them here today," she stated.
"No, you certainly are not," Cuccinelli said in defense. "You’re certainly cloaked in legislative privilege. That means you can get away with not telling the truth."
Friday morning, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Tom Homan defended Cuccinelli and slammed Wasserman Schultz for her accusations.
"It's really pathetic that a U.S. congresswoman can't have an intelligent debate or ask an intelligent question because she's unarmed. She's ignorant to the facts. The facts don't support her false narrative on this administration's immigration policies, so she spends her five minutes attacking and calling people racist," Homan told Fox News.
He also noted Cuccinelli was not given the proper time to respond to the defamatory statements.
"This is the game she plays and it's really quite sad for a congresswoman to do that," Homan said. "They're going to attack our president because they haven't got a good argument to support their position. It's really sad because hearings used to be about getting to the truth, but it's political theater now."