'Part of the stench': CNN's Anderson Cooper skewers Mike Pence for 'awkwardly chuckling' at talk of neglected migrant kids

'Part of the stench': CNN's Anderson Cooper skewers Mike Pence for 'awkwardly chuckling' at talk of neglected migrant kids

While Presiden Donald Trump has been trying to drum up fears about a crisis driven by waves of immigrants trying to invade the United States, the real crisis is a humanitarian one that forced many asylum seekers from Central America to leave their homes in the first place. And that humanitarian crisis continues on American soil in the camps and detention centers where children and others are being held in horrendous conditions, as many recent reports have documented.

CNN"s Anderson Cooper reflected on the crisis and the administration's attempts to shift the blame to others on his show Tuesday night.

He noted that, in one powerful piece by the New York Times documenting the unsanitary and unsafe conditions of the migrants are forced to live in, Director of Columbia Law School's Immigrant Rights Clinic Elora Mukherjee said, "There is a stench." The children at these facilities were unable to clean themselves, she explained, though Cooper noted that the "stench" is also a metaphor for the administration's disastrous handling of the situation.

Cooper also observed that Trump has lied and said that President Barack Obama started the policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the border. This is flatly untrue because it was Trump's own officials who announced the "zero-tolerance policy" that led to the widespread family separations as a deterrent, which were eventually curtailed.

"Right now, it seems the main problem is this influx of migrants into American detention facilities and top U.S. officials who talk tough but don't seem prepared to deal with the consequences of it," Cooper said. "That is, unless 'dealing with it' means awkwardly chuckling while shifting blame elsewhere."

Cooper then showed a clip of Vice President Mike Pence talking to CNN's Jake Tapper, laughing when Tapper pressed him on why migrant children in detention weren't given toothbrushes or soap. Pence tried to avoid responsibility, saying "It's all a part of the appropriations process."

"Oh," said Cooper. "Part of the appropriations, or part of the stench?"

Watch the clip below:

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