Madeleine Albright Blasts Ken Cuccinelli’s Statue of Liberty Rewrite: ‘One of the Most Un-American Things’ Ever Heard

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, wearing a large, multi-colored Statue of Liberty pin, blasted acting ICE Director Ken Cuccinelli over his attempts at reinterpreting the poem welcoming immigrants that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “It’s one of the most un-American things that I’ve ever heard.”

Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Albright, a former refugee herself, was clearly incensed at the Trump official’s “stand on their own two feet” and “people coming from Europe” comments, which she strongly condemned and said undermined the universal message of Emma Lazarus’ poem.

“I’ve been a refugee twice, once from the Nazis and we were in England and then we came to the United States when the Communists took over in Czechoslovakia,” she noted, before turning to Cuccinelli’s comments. “I think that it’s one of the most un-American things that I have ever heard and I will remember seeing the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by. And my father used to say that when we were in England, people would say, ‘We’re so sorry your country has been taken over by a terrible dictator, you’re welcome here and when are you going home?’ And when we came to the United States, people said, ‘We’re so sorry, you’re country’s been taken over by a terrible system, you’re welcome here and when will you become a citizen?’ And my father said ‘That’s what made America a different country.’ And now we are forgetting that great history of our country.”

When Cooper pointed to the nation’s long history of taking in immigrants from different countries—and the resentment those new immigrants faced from those who had come before them, Albright cited that willingness to keep embracing others as an example of the true greatness of America.

“People do not leave the countries of their birth willingly, they do it because there’s something terrible going on,”  she added. “I do think people are — want to be a part of the country they’re coming to. They want to contribute, they want to participate. People want to be free. They want to be able to live a decent life and so I found what he said insulting and something that he — I hope — he deeply, deeply regrets and that it does not signify an entire view of this country because I think the American people are incredibly generous and do want to, and really celebrate our diversity, don’t hate it.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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