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Watch: Rachel Maddow cries at the family separation crisis. Corey Lewandowski mocks it.

Lewandowski remarked “womp, womp” on a child’s plight in the family separation crisis. Later in the evening, Maddow struggled through tears to report on the crisis.

Two moments from cable news on Tuesday sum up the vast differences between how Trump supporters and opponents are reacting to thousands of children being separated from their families at the border: On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow was too choked up to speak.

On The Story With Martha MacCallum, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded to news that a 10-year-old with Down syndrome had been separated from her mother with a dismissive “womp, womp.”

As Maddow was closing her show, she received word of an Associated Press report that babies and very young children have been sent to “tender age” shelters.

Doctors and lawyers who have visited the shelters noted there were “playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis ... hysterical, crying and acting out.” Struck by the severity of the news, Maddow broke down, unable to speak. She began to cry and passed the show on to Lawrence O’Donnell.

She later apologized for “losing it” in a series of tweets:

The gulf between MSNBC and Fox is massive

Contrast that with what happened earlier Tuesday when former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on The Story With Martha MacCallum. Fellow panelist Zac Petkanas detailed a story on “a 10-year old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage.”

Lewandowski interrupted Petkanas mid-sentence with “womp, womp,” setting off an astounded Petkanas as he repeatedly exclaimed, “How dare you!” (Lewandowski later claimed on Twitter that he was mocking Petkanas because he “attempted to politicize children.”)

But the comment drew outrage, including from the right — just as Trump’s family separation policy has split Republicans.

To some supporters of the policy, though, Lewandowski’s response — and Maddow’s — are the whole point. Critics are accusing Maddow of being weak, faking her tears, or expending tears that should be shed for issues such as abortion.

And Lewandowski’s dismissive response is typical of how the architect of Trump’s immigration policy, Stephen Miller, sees the crisis. As Vox’s Jane Coaston wrote:

Miller has no interest in convincing the opposition of the correctness of his views. Like he did in high school and in college at Duke University, he simply wants to enrage. As National Review columnist Dan McLaughlin told me, this follows his boss’s style of political discourse. “A hallmark of the Trump approach to politics is the assumption that politics is all about activating emotional reactions, not persuading anyone to change their mind,” he said. In short, “triggering the libs.”

In that worldview, bringing an MSNBC host to tears over the cruelty of your policy is a victory.

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