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President Obama Clashes With TV Anchor In Testy Interview

"You called me deporter-in-chief," the president said before he was cut off by Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos.

Posted on December 10, 2014, at 1:44 a.m. ET

President Obama sat down for an interview Tuesday with Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos, and when the topic turned to immigration things got tense.

Ramos asked Obama, "as you were saying, you already had the legal authority to stop deportations, then why did you deport two million people?"

"For six years you did it," he continued. "You destroyed many families. They called you deporter-in-chief."

Fusion / Via

Obama was not pleased with the question, and the two spent the next several seconds cutting each other off.

"You called me deporter-in-chief," Obama said, prompting Ramos to retort that it was actually Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza, an activist group, who used the phrase.

"But you could have stopped deportations, that's the whole idea," Ramos said.

"That is not true," Obama replied. "Listen, here's the fact of the matter."

"You could have stopped them," Ramos said.

"Jorge, here's the fact of the matter," Obama said. "As president of the United States I'm always responsible for problems that aren't solved right away." Obama then explained he regrets that millions of people were unable to obtain health insurance until the Affordable Care Act was passed and implemented.

"And those like you sometimes, Jorge, who suggests that there are simple quick answers to these problems, I think," Obama said before being cut off.

"I never said that though," Ramos replied.

"Yes you do," Obama shot back, "because that's how you present it, and I think when you present it..."

"But you had the authority," Ramos said.

"When you present it that way, it does a disservice," Obama said. "Because it makes the assumption that the political process is one that can easily be moved around, depending on the will of one person and that's not how things work."

Fusion / Via

The portion of the interview can be seen here:

View this video on YouTube

Ramos also asked Obama about a scathing Senate report released Tuesday on CIA interrogations.

"In an interview you said that 'America doesn't torture,' however the Senate report clearly confirms that we did torture many detainees after 9/11," Ramos said.

Fusion / Via

"First of all, I didn't say 'we didn't torture,'" Obama replied. A clip of Obama from a previous 60 Minutes interview then played, showing the president say "I've said repeatedly America doesn't torture and I'm going to make sure that we don't torture."

"You said 'America doesn't torture,'" Ramos responded.

Obama then clarified he meant America wouldn't torture detainees "after I issued that edict" banning enhanced interrogation techniques.

Fusion / Via

Obama said the U.S. "engaged in some brutal activity," and admitted that "we did some things that violated who we are as a people."


The full video is below:

View this video on YouTube

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.