Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said criticism of President Donald Trump’s border policy and foreign policies has reached a point where “The whole purpose here is to demonize Donald Trump.”

Appearing on ABC-TV’s This Week with ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, Bannon defended the president’s initiatives, saying in the case of family separation that he’s merely following the law and promises to seal the border.

The administration has undertaken a zero tolerance immigration policy, resulting in the separation of children from their parents. The policy has provoked widespread criticism. .

“It’s zero tolerance. I don’t think you have to justify it,” Bannon said of family separation. “We have a crisis on the southern border. But the elites in this city, and this ties into Korea, ties into everything that took place this week, the elites, the permanent political class in this city want to manage situations to un — you know, to bad outcomes. And Donald Trump is not going to do that. He’s just not going to kick the can down the road, whether that is China, whether it’s tariffs, whether it’s Korea, whether it’s the southern border.”

Bannon added, “We ran on a policy, very simply, stop mass illegal immigration and limit legal immigration, get our sovereignty back, and to help our workers, OK? And so he went to a zero tolerance policy. Zero tolerance, it’s a crime to come across illegally, and children get separated. I mean, I hate to say it, that’s the law and he’s enforcing the law.”

Karl pushed back at the bad imagery of family separation. “But how is that American?”

“Give me a border wall for security, OK?” said Bannon. “Give me border wall security. We won’t have this problem. He has a zero tolerance situation. He has drawn a line in the sand. I don’t think he’s going to back off from it. And by the way, I don’t see the mainstream media, and I don’t see the liberal left embracing the Angel Moms, those people that were permanently separated from their children because of illegal aliens that came over here and committed crimes and killed people.”

Karl also cited religious leaders who objected to the policy. Bannon shot back. “By the way, the pope, more than anybody else, has driven the migrant crisis in Europe. That’s why you have a new government in Italy.”