President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE's former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said on Sunday that the past week was filled with "terrible optics" for the White House — something that, he said, could have been avoided.
"This week has just been gripping imagery and terrible optics for the administration," Bossert said on ABC's "This Week." "Part of this was avoidable."
Former Trump homeland security adviser @TomBossert on the fall out over family separation: "This week has just been gripping imagery and terrible optics for the administration. Part of this was avoidable" https://t.co/2AGIg96u5B #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/dsscCzwd8T— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 24, 2018
Bossert defended the Trump administration's so-called "zero tolerance" policy, which seeks to aggressively prosecute migrants entering into the U.S. illegally, but said that the country's detention centers were not equipped to handle the number of immigrants being apprehended.
"Although it's an understandable and righteous decision ... to prosecute any illegal entrant into the country, almost from the outset, we didn't have the capacity to detain these children, together or separately," he continued.
The Trump administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy earlier this year, leading to the separation of more than 2,000 migrant families between April and May. The practice drew widespread backlash from Democrats and Republicans who called the family separations "cruel" and "immoral," demanding that the policy be reversed.
Trump, bowing to intensifying pressure, reversed course last week and signed an executive order halting his administration's practice of separating migrant families. The order says most families will be allowed to be detained together, though it did not make provisions for the thousands of families who were separated under the policy.