Hillary Clinton: Trump's blaming of 'zero tolerance' family-separation policy on Democrats is an 'outright lie'
- Hillary Clinton spoke out Monday against President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy.
- Trump has blamed the policy on Democrats, which Clinton called "an outright lie."
- Clinton also criticized Republican officials who have referenced religion to defend the policy, condemning "those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty."
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke out Monday against President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy and its defenders.
The former first lady zeroed in on Trump's repeated false blaming of legislation passed by Democrats for the policy his administration is enforcing, which is not mandated by law.
"That is an outright lie," Clinton said during remarks at an event in New York. "It is incumbent on all of us, citizens and journalists, to call it just that."
The policy was announced as a deterrence measure in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It has resulted in almost 2,000 children separated from their families at the border over six weeks, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.
Clinton also took aim at the Republican officials who had referenced the Bible as a defense for the policy, saying "those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenet of Christianity."
Sessions responded to a Texan archbishop's criticism of the policy last week by citing a verse from the Book of Romans that says God ordained laws from the government "for the purpose of order."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later backed up Sessions' use of the verse, saying "it is very biblical to enforce the law." Clinton said this interpretation of the Bible didn't line up with her personal knowledge.
"I went to a lot of years of Sunday School. I even taught it from time to time," Clinton said. "I studied the Bible, the Old and New Testament, and what has been done using the name of religion is contrary to everything I was ever taught."
Clinton then cited a verse from the Book of Luke, in which "Jesus said suffer the little children unto me, he did not say let the children suffer."
"So the test of any nation is how we treat the most vulnerable among us," Clinton said.
Clinton also cited an op-ed in The Washington Post this weekend by fellow former first lady Laura Bush, whom Clinton called "absolutely right" when she wrote "this policy is cruel, it is immoral and it breaks my heart."
Clinton and Bush are among growing bipartisan outcry over the policy.
Watch clips of Clinton's remarks below:
JUST IN: "That is an outright lie," Hillary Clinton says of Trump White House saying separation of families at the US border is mandated by law. pic.twitter.com/iTMEmzRzss- MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 18, 2018
Hillary Clinton: "Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenant of Christianity … [Jesus] did not say, "Let the children suffer." pic.twitter.com/OTJqShBCAT- MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 18, 2018