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Confronted That His Rhetoric Echoes Nazis, Trump Repeats Racist Attacks on Immigrants

When confronted about describing immigrants with terms like “vermin” and “poisoning the blood” favored by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, former president Donald Trump not only defended using Nazi rhetoric but repeated it: “I didn’t know that, but that’s what they say. Because our country is being poisoned.”

Trump made the comments in an interview with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz that aired less than 24 hours after the former president said at a rally that some migrants to the U.S. are “not people… these are animals.”

“When you talk about illegal migrants — and after three years obviously the Democrats bear the primary responsibility — why do you use words like vermin and poisoning of the blood?” Kurtz asked. “The press, as you know, immediately reacts to that by saying, ‘Well, that’s the kind of language that Hitler and Mussolini use.'”

“That’s what they say. I didn’t know that, but that’s what they say. Because our country is being poisoned,” Trump responded. “Look, we can be nice about it — we can talk about, ‘Oh, I want to be politically correct’ — but we have people coming in from prisons and jails, long-term murderers… They’re all being released into our country. These are murderers, these are people at the highest level of crime, and then you have mental institutions and insane asylums… and then you have terrorists pouring in at a level we have never seen before.”

Trump, as usual, offered zero evidence to back up his xenophobic assertions. Kurtz then cynically tried to justify Trump’s rhetoric by claiming he does it to drive the news cycle.

Sources told Rolling Stone late last year that Trump favors inflammatory words and thinks his claim that immigrants are “poisoning the blood of the nation” is a “great line.” One source said that Trump has even privately wondered if he has been “too nice” in his comments about immigrants.

When the topic of the interview turned to abortion, Trump boasted about “things we’ve done with Roe [v. Wade] by killing it,” taking at least partial credit for the Supreme Court’s reversal of the landmark decision that granted federal abortion protections. He also said he is open to imposing a national abortion ban at 16 weeks.

“The Democrats are the radicals on this issue because [they say] it’s okay to have an abortion at seven, eight, nine months, and even after birth,” Trump falsely claimed.

Kurtz jumped in at that point, saying, “I know that’s in dispute.”

That’s putting it mildly. The abortion after birth claim is a false conservative canard used to demonize and stigmatize abortion. Trump then went on to claim that former Virginia governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, “said you put the baby on the side and you discuss with the mother whether or not, essentially, you want to kill the baby.”

Kurtz issued a clarification on Trump’s outrageous claim after the interview.

“On late-term abortions, former Virginia governor Ralph Northam did say that in cases of severe deformity or non-viable fetus, the mother and doctors would decide what to do once the baby was born,” Kurtz said. “But [Northam] later backed off with a spokesperson saying he was not talking about killing babies, but extremely rare and tragic cases.”

At the time, a Northam spokesperson clarified the governor’s remarks, saying he was speaking about “tragic and extremely rare cases in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor.” And Northam’s remarks made that clear when he began with, “When we talk about third trimester abortions … it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that is non-viable.”

Kurtz added, “A CDC survey says fewer than 1% of all abortions take place at or after seven months of pregnancy.”

On the issue of Russia, Trump speculated that President Vladimir Putin may have been involved in the death of political dissident Alexei Navalny. “I don’t know but perhaps. Possibly, I could say probably. I don’t know,” Trump said of Putin’s involvement. “[Navalny was] a young man, so statistically he’d be alive for a long time. If you go by the insurance numbers, he’d be alive for another 40 years. So something happened that was unusual.”

“You certainly can’t say for sure, but certainly that would look like something very bad happened,” Trump added.

Trump also continued his false claims that the election was “rigged.”

“You can cut this if you want, but the election was rigged,” he said. “You know, Fox may want to cut that one out, but that’s OK… It was so rigged, it was so crazy, but we’re gonna do it again.”

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