CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark

CNN host Chris Cuomo on Thursday night confronted former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing Washington big names celebrate launch of Hill.TV The Hill's Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution MORE for his mocking comment dismissing a story from a Democratic strategist about a young girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her family at the southern border.

Lewandowski told Cuomo that he "never meant to insult anybody with Down syndrome" when he interrupted Democratic commentator Zac Petkanas during a television appearance earlier this week to say "womp womp" after the Democrat shared the story of the 10-year-old girl.

"I understand what the perception is here, and what the media wants to talk about. But what Zac was attempting to do was to use a child with Down syndrome to politicize an issue. What he didn't tell you, what you need to understand was that person, that poor child, was not taken from her parent because she came to this country illegally," Lewandowski told CNN.

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"That poor child was taken from her parent because her mother has been suspected as a material witness in a smuggling ring. I would never degrade a child. I'm a father of four I understand that. We have to get past using children as political tools and come up with real solutions," he added. 

When Cuomo pressed Lewandowski on whether he should apologize for the "womp womp" comment, the Trump ally reiterated that he did not intend to offend anyone.

"I'm not here to offend anybody. I'm here to defend the laws of this country. So if people are offended then they shouldn't be. We're a nation of laws and those laws are very clear," Lewandowski said. 

Lewandowski faced backlash this week after he dismissed a story from Petkanas about the 10-year-old girl, who was separated from her family at the border, during a Fox News segment on Tuesday.

"I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother,” Petkanas said during the appearance.

Lewandowski interrupted, mockingly interjecting, “womp womp.” 

The comments came as the Trump administration faced backlash for the practice of separating migrant families who crossed the U.S. southern border illegally. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE caved under intense bipartisan pressure on Wednesday, signing an executive order aimed at ending family separations at the U.S.–Mexico border.

The comment led to Lewandowski's speaker's bureau dropping him after he refused to publicly apologize for the comment during a subsequent appearance on Fox News.

"An apology? I owe an apology to the children whose parents are putting them in a position that is forcing them to be separated?" Lewandowski said on Fox News on Wednesday.