"It's absolutely appropriate ..."

The Trump administration has officially endorsed the notion that Democrats are accessories to murder.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign released an ad this weekend depicting undocumented immigrants as criminals, and accusing Democrats of being “complicit” in “all murders by illegal immigrants” — a desperate attempt to salvage the failed messaging strategy on the Trump shutdown.

The ad has been widely criticized, albeit mildly by the likes of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who called the ad “not productive.”

But veteran Republican pundit Jennifer Rubin pulled no punches on Sunday’s “AM Joy” show, calling the ad a “parade of lies and racism,” and adding that it indicates “the Republican Party has now been reduced to a single issue, which is race and xenophobia.”

Even Trump administration official Marc Short tried to distance the White House from the ad, saying it was made by an “outside group,” despite Trump’s own voice at the end of the ad saying he approved the message.

But by Monday morning, the Trump White House was ready to embrace the despicable ad. During an appearance on “Good Morning America,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the ad, and she broke with her tradition of referring campaign-related questions back to the campaign.

“Is it appropriate for the president to be saying the Democrats could be complicit in murder?” anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Sanders.

“Look, the president’s number one job, as commander in chief and the president, is national security,” a grinning Sanders replied. “We cannot protect American citizens, we cannot protect this country, if we don’t secure our border. That’s the point the president is trying to make.”

Sanders added, “It’s absolutely appropriate for the commander in chief of this country to do everything he can to make sure he’s protecting our citizens.”

Trump and his flunkies have spent the weekend exploiting the Trump shutdown to sow racist division, to hold brave military service members hostage, and to lie about all of it. Trump himself has not lifted a finger to solve the problem.

Now Americans can see why. This is the “good shutdown” that Trump wanted, and the despicable racial and political divisions he’s exploiting are not by-products of it — they are the entire point.