Kayleigh McEnany battles Cenk Uygur on claim that Trump is a 'failure' on border security: 'Don't play dumb'

Republican National Committee spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany and Young Turks CEO Cenk Uygur battled Wednesday over the border crisis, with Uygur calling President Trump a "miserable failure" when it comes to stopping illegal immigration.

The heated CNN debate centered around alarming new figures from the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who warned that a "full-blown emergency" was unfolding at the southern border.

The number of apprehensions last month was the highest monthly total in more than 13 years, with nearly 133,000 arrests reported.

Uygur said the "absolute disaster" at the border is being fueled by Trump's tough rhetoric on the issue and the administration failing to address the root causes of illegal immigration.

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"You just think if you punch them in the face, they're gonna go away?" he argued.

McEnany pushed back by arguing that Trump is the only president to tackle the issue in the last four decades, including by securing funding for stretches of wall.

She highlighted the recent case of a 6-month-old child who was brought across the Rio Grande River last week by a man who was not her father. McEnany said the current law "incentivizes crossing with a child because you're allowed to stay."

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Host Chris Cuomo agreed the law must be changed, as McEnany emphasized the need to stop drugs -- like fentanyl -- from flowing across the border. Both Cuomo and Uygur dismissed the argument by claiming illegal drugs are getting through at legal ports of entry.

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"Don't play dumb and act like you don't know that drugs come across our southern border," she answered.

Uygur said the U.S. drug war is responsible for creating "chaos" in Latin America, forcing families to make the dangerous journey to try to reach the U.S.