Schiff Explains Away Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Concentration Camp’ Comments: ‘Let’s Not Let That Distract Us’

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff explained away recent comments from Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying on Sunday, “Let’s not let that distract us.”

Schiff, during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” was referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s continued insistence on comparing migrant detention facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border with concentration camps.


“I wonder what you thought about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referring to the detention centers at the border, some of which have — do have horrific conditions,” host Jake Tapper began. “She referred to them as concentration camps earlier this week. Did you think that was inappropriate — an appropriate description?”

“That is certainly not the terminology I would use,” Schiff began by putting some distance between himself and any similar comparison. “Look, these are abysmal detention centers and there is nothing praise-worthy about them in any way, but analogies to the Nazi concentration camps are fraught and should not be used except with great care.”

But then Schiff continued, arguing that the real blame for the conditions lay with the Trump administration. “So it is not the terminology I would use but let’s not let that distract us from the terrible conditions going on that you described,” he said. “And to have Trump lawyers in court saying that this is perfectly acceptable and these conditions are fine, would you like to see those Trump lawyers or people in the cabinet spend a week in one of the facilities sleeping on a concrete floor with an aluminum blanket and see whether they think that is so consistent with American values.” (RELATED: Schiff Wanted Obama To Declassify Russia Docs. If Trump Does It, He’s ‘Un-American’)

Earlier in Sunday’s program, Vice President Mike Pence pointed out that some of the conditions in the border detention centers were a direct result of the House’s failure to act when, during the government shutdown, the president and Republicans had argued for humanitarian aid funding and more detention center beds — only to be shut down by House Democrats.