Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski got slapped down — hard — on “Hardball” Monday for his “Vesuvius of BS” of false immigration statistics to whip up fear for a border wall.
Lewandowski was in the hot seat trying mightily to defend the Trump administration’s debunked figure that 4,000 suspected terrorists were detained last year at the southern border. That’s a bit close to the worldwide number of 2,554 suspects encountered in 2017, the vast majority at airports, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s statistics.
“What about the 4,000 figure?” host Chris Matthews asked Lewandowski.
It’s “made up,” snapped Matthews’ irritated guest, conservative pundit Charlie Skyes.
“Look, this is the Vesuvius of BS that we’ve had to deal with here. Facts are inconvenient things” for the Trump administration, Skyes added. “The reality is that the number of arrests at the border are down dramatically from what they were in the year 2000.”
The president “needs to create a sense of crisis to justify this costly boondoggle,” Sykes added as Lewandowski sat by meekly. “Are we really going to put a steel or a concrete barrier that’s going to cut millions of Americans off from the Rio Grande River? Are we really seriously now talking about the military coming in and enforcing eminent domain? Does the Republican Party really want to preside over soldiers taking away Americans’ private property?”
NBC reported Monday that according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection only six immigrants on a terror watchlist— not 4,000 as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Friday — have been detained in six months at the Mexican border.
Twitter erupted over the Vesuvius comment. But while many loved the attack, they also could not believe Lewandowski was provided a platform on the program. Keith Olbermann, former host of MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” had something to say about that.