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CNN’s Sciutto Fires Back at WH Official Who Challenged Him to Deny ‘Crisis’ at Border: ‘Let’s Look at the Facts’

CNN’s Jim Sciutto and White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp went head-to-head on Wednesday during an interview and post analysis of President Donald Trump‘s national address on border security.

Sciutto started the interview with reporting that Trump didn’t really want to give his address last nightand doesn’t want to take a trip down to the southern border. When asked why Trump even bothered if that’s the case, Schlapp argued that it was Trump’s opportunity to talk to the country about the border “crisis.” Schlapp tried to put Sciutto on the spot, but the CNN anchor was armed with the numbers.

Schlapp: “Jim, let me ask you, do you think this is a manufactured crisis?”

Sciutto: “Let’s look at the facts. For instance, let’s show border crossings and how in fact they’ve declined since 2000. They’re a fraction of where they were in 2000 or even 2005, 2006. There’s a small increase from 2017 to 2018.”

Schlapp: “Do you know why?”

Sciutto: “America’s at home would find it hard to say it is a growing rather than shrinking problem at the border.”

When the conversation moved towards whether there’s room for compromise between Democrats and Trump, Sciutto brought up previous bipartisan proposals on border security and asked if Trump might allow protections for DACA dreamers in exchange for his wall. As Schlapp talked up Trump’s barricade on the border, Sciutto challenged her again on whether Mexico’s really going to pay for it if the wall is now going to be funded through taxpayer money taken from the renegotiation of NAFTA.

“That’s not the promise that Trump made,” Sciutto said. “The fact is that at the end of the day taxpayers are going to pay for this wall. Why does he continue to mislead on that?”

“You know what else taxpayers are paying for? The financial burden of this illegal immigration,” Schlapp responded. “We want an orderly legal immigration process. We can’t continue to ignore what’s happening on the border.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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