A surrogate from Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign dodged and made excuses when asked questions by CNN's Anderson Cooper — and the host didn't let him get away with it.
Cooper pointed out to Steve Cortes, a member of Trump's 2016 National Hispanic Advisory Council, that pundits like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have criticized the president for signing a stopgap spending bill to reopen the government temporarily without funding for the wall.
"Ann Coulter called Trump a wimp for agreeing to fund the government without wall money," the host said. "How much sway do you think she and Rush Limbaugh actually have over the president?"
"Look, you know, I don't know about specific commentators, but I think Donald Trump is incredibly loyal and pays terrific attention to his supporters," Cortes responded. "And for very good reason, by the way, because, you know, we pulled off the greatest electoral upset in U.S. political history."
After the Trump surrogate claimed he "implored" Trump to "hold the line" and keep the government closed until Democrats agree to fund the wall and claimed there's a "crisis" at the US-Mexico border, his co-panelist Paul Begala called B.S.
"I just got back from South Texas — there's not a crisis," Begala, a former advisor to Bill Clinton, said. "There's a problem with asylum seekers. They're not going to be stopped by a wall. They're coming to the ports of entry and the president is putting those kids in cages, that's the crisis."
After a heated back-and-forth between Begala and Cortes about where undocumented migrants enter the country, the Trump pundit claimed he would rather those seeking asylum from drug cartel violence do so in Mexico than the United States — even as Cooper tried to end the panel.
"I wouldn't march [my family] across Mexico," he said. "I would take asylum, Paul, in Mexico. To take children on that incredibly long journey across the gigantic country of Mexico tells me it's not about asylum — they're economic migrants."
Cooper responded by bringing up a violent Mexican border city that has been at times referred to as "the world's murder capital."
"Steve," the host said, "would you want your kids living in Juarez, Mexico?"