Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) told CNN host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is acting like Pontius Pilate — the man who sentenced Jesus Christ to die on a cross.
Markey’s comments came in response to President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that former President Obama signed into effect.
“Next topic: DACA. You are a veteran of the progress, or lack thereof, on this issue," Cuomo said. "What do you make of the president's move, which given in its best light is ‘the courts were going to move on this anyway, this is your job, you're supposed to make the law, not President Obama, I'm sending it back to you. Fix it.’"
"The president is acting like Pontius Pilate. He's just washing his hands of this mess knowing that these are all innocent young people who are caught in a crossfire," Markey said.
Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman governor of Judea, is best known for his role in the crucifixion of Jesus.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, the chief priests gave Jesus over to Pilate because they wanted him to be executed.
Pilate ultimately decided to let the people decide who they wanted him to release — Jesus, whom Pilate found no fault with, or Barabbas, a murderer:
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
Markey’s comparison of Trump to Pilate was from this passage where the Gospel of Matthew states that Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd.