CNN presenter Jim Acosta has been applauded online for his “sincere” response to Trump supporter and Newsmax host Steve Cortes, who criticised the United States’ decision to fly hundreds of Afghan refugees out of a country now under the control of the Taliban.

Sharing a viral photograph to Twitter of Afghan citizens crammed into the back of a US plane, Cortes wrote on Wednesday: “Raise your hand if you want this plane landing in your town?”

“I can think of somebody raising their hand,” replied Acosta on his CNN programme. “Anybody ever heard the line: ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’?”

The line is taken from the poem The New Colossus from Emma Lazarus, found in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Acosta went on to add that America has “a long history” of welcoming refugees, and that the famous monument has “always symbolised that beacon of hope” to the world.

“If we wanted to end that ‘forever war’, if we really want to get home from Afghanistan, I know one light showing us the way,” he concluded.

Twitter has since commended the broadcaster for his comments, with Acosta described as a “poet” and a “treasure”:

It looks like Acosta borrowed Lady Liberty’s flame too, as Cortes has quite clearly got burned.

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