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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said it is "morally defensible" for Democrats to approve President Trump's planned border wall if it means protecting 800,000 DACA recipients living in the United States.

O'Malley said the wall is unnecessary and said the president has a history of "scapegoating" immigrants like those coming from Mexico.

But, he said that building a wall as Trump intends is small ball compared to his party's wish to give DACA recipients the ability to live freely in the country.

"I don’t think the people of the country believe that [the wall] is needed... But having to say that, if the trade-off for some legislators is that you have to accept Donald Trump’s obsession with his big wall, given the stable genius that he is, in order to make 800,000 people secure in their citizenship in the United States, I think that’s a morally-defensible trade-off," O'Malley, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said.

He said Democrats' main concern with Trump's wall is the "thinly-veiled racism" that it allegedly implies.

When challenged on the point by the "Fox & Friends" hosts, given that Democrats have approved previous sections of border fences, O'Malley said Trump's history of disparaging illegal immigrants makes the situation different.

"Democrats don't want to be complicit in that," O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, said.

He also responded to remarks by former Vice President Joe Biden, saying he could "take" former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) over Dean's comment that elderly Democrats should let a new generation lead the party.

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