Corey Lewandowski, top-level surrogate and former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, offered the world a revealing moment on Tuesday night when he issued a sarcastic fake cry in the form of "womp, womp" after a fellow guest on Fox News referenced a story of a ten-year-old girl with down syndrome being taken from her mother as part of the Trump administration's family separation policy—a practice whose cruelty has sparked national, and global, outrage over recent days.
Witnesses to the exchange, and the millions who later watched the clip as it spread virally on social media, could hardly contain their shock even as the issuance of shocking and heartless comments—especially towards immigrants—have become rather commonplace among the president and his closest allies.
Even as Chris Hayes was reporting from outside a child detention center in Texas, the MSNBC journalist cut into his live coverage to show his viewers the clip:
"Womp, womp" former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says on Fox News during a discussion about a migrant girl with Down syndrome who was recently separated from her family at the US border. pic.twitter.com/eNgcoRjbz7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 20, 2018
As the clip spread, so did the outrage and outcry.
"One of the most inhumane moments I've ever seen," declared journalist Shaun King.
Columnist Jeet Heer, writing for The New Republic, argued the moment perfectly "distill[ed] Trumpian cruelty."
"In his obdurate cruelty in sticking to the party line of the moment as well as his childish reliance on sound effects," Jeer continued, "Lewandowski became the perfect emblem of Trump’s immigration policy. If anyone wants a few seconds that capture the essence of the Trump administration's pigheadedness all they need to do is watch this exchange."
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And watch they did. On Twitter, "Lewandowski"—who currently enjoys a fellowship position at Harvard University's Insitute of Politics—was officially trending and not in a good way:
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) June 20, 2018
This is where we are right now.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager. literally says "Womp Womp" when it is mentioned that a young child with Down Syndrome was separated from her mother at the American border.
It's one of the most inhumane moments I've ever seen. pic.twitter.com/WkbZ4izwbM
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 20, 2018
— David Roberts (@drvox) June 20, 2018
It's accurate to say that Trump has offered his base wide permission to revel in the vitriol and dehumanizing cruelty he has aimed at non-white immigrants, but who would think that such abject cruelty would also be aimed at an innocent 10-year-old girl with down syndrome? Who would ever think it decent to show such indifference to those with disabilities?