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Ken Cuccinelli: The Statue of Liberty poem was talking about ‘people coming from Europe’

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Ken Cuccinelli appears on Fox News (screen grab)

On Tuesday, Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli defended the Trump administration’s new rule barring legal immigrants from public programs by changing the words on the Statue of Liberty’s poem.

On CNN’s “OutFront,” Cuccinelli denied he had done any such thing when anchor Erin Burnett grilled him — and then claimed that the important thing to keep in mind was that the Statue of Liberty was talking about “people coming from Europe.”

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“You heard me play you this morning when you quoted the Emma Lazarus,” said Burnett.

“I wasn’t quoting it. I was answering a question,” said Cuccinelli.

“I’m sorry you were giving your version of what you thought the poem should say,” said Burnett.

“I was answering a question, I’m not rewriting poetry,” said Cuccinelli.

“‘Give me your tired and poor who can stand on their own two feet and not become a public charge,'” said Burnett. “I played you saying it.”

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“Right I was answering a question,” said Cuccinelli. “I wasn’t writing poetry. Don’t change the facts. You’re twisting this like everybody else in the left has done all day today.”

“You’re saying it’s important to stand your own two feet,” said Burnett.

“Yes,” Cuccinelli agreed.

“But the poem doesn’t say that, right?” said Burnett.

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“I didn’t bring up the poem, an NPR reporter did, and now you,” said Cuccinelli. “I didn’t bring it up. I’ll answer substantive intelligent questions. Ask one.”

“The poem reads ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'” said Burnett. “Wretched poor refuse. That’s what the poem says America is supposed to stand for. So what do you think America stands for?”

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“Well, of course, that poem was referred back to people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies. Where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class,” said Cuccinelli.

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2020 Election

CNN host threatens to end interview after Trump spokesperson smears the New York Times

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CNN host Poppy Harlow lost patience with a White House spokesperson on Monday afternoon after he deflected questions about the New York Times reporting on Donald Trump's taxes by trying to smear the paper and the reporters behind the bombshell report.

After White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern tried to smirk his way through an attack on the report and the journalists who compiled it, Harlow warned him the interview would end immediately if he didn't stick the subject and answer her questions.

"In 2017, Brian, in 2017, according to all of these documents, it appears the president paid more in taxes to Panama, India, and the Philippines than he did to Uncle Sam. How is that America first?" the CNN host pressed.

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2020 Election

‘This is the smoking gun’: Carl Bernstein claims Trump’s taxes expose his ‘grifter presidency’

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Appearing on CNN on Monday morning, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein called revelations exposed in the New York Times report on Donald Trump's taxes the "smoking gun" that could end his presidency.

Speaking with "New Day" hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, the author and journalist declared the current administration is the "first grifter presidency."

"The two numbers that jump off the page, the $750, that's what the president paid in taxes his first two years in office, but then, Carl, the other number that I think people need to know is $421 million. this is what the president owes," Camerota prompted. "These are the loans that will come due over the next four or five years. So when you see this article, Carl, what's your major takeaway?"

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CNN

Former GOP governor slams Trump over ‘disturbing’ tax revelations — and throws his support behind Biden

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On CNN Monday, former Pennsylvania Republican governor and inaugural Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge — one of many Republicans who has come out in endorsement of Joe Biden — reacted with outrage to the bombshell New York Times report that President Donald Trump has paid virtually no taxes and papered over financial losses for years.

"The fact that he has paid $750 annually in income tax is revealing of many, many things," said Ridge. "Most of all, I think, it kind of reveals the lack of transparency, the lack of honesty, and his inability ultimately, I think, to connect with people who scramble, maybe two household incomes, scramble to pay $1,000 or two in taxes, and speaks to not only the lack of transparency but I think historically he's shown a tremendous lack of empathy and appreciation for those people who struggle with limited income. He certainly doesn't live the lifestyle of limited income, although he's paying taxes as if he has limited income, and professes to be different, but he has no empathy and no transparency there. That's probably more disturbing than anything else."

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