Democrats, liberals, and media figures repeatedly compared President Trump to fascists, Nazis, and Adolph Hitler this past week, much of which was centered on Trump’s reignited hard-line rhetoric on immigration.
However, some of the comparisons mistakenly conflated his comments on MS-13 gang members as his stance on all asylum-seekers.
At a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke compared Trump’s rhetoric on immigration to Nazi Germany. “When the president of the United States has called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals.’ He then went on to call asylum seekers ‘animals’ and an ‘infestation,’” O’Rourke said.
“Now we would not be surprised if in the Third Reich other human beings were described as an infestation, as a cockroach or a pest that you would want to kill. But to do that in 2017 or ‘18 in the United States of America, doesn’t make sense,” O’Rourke added.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes said in a tweet Thursday that O’Rourke’s characterization of Trump’s rhetoric as Nazi language is “100% correct.”
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, expanded on O’Rourke’s comparison.
“What the president is trying to do is to dehumanize, to otherize these immigrants. And that’s very similar, whether it’s to what Congressman O’Rourke was talking about or other regimes that try and dehumanize people,” Castro said on MSNBC.
The comparisons flooded in after a tweet Friday said that Trump called people asking for asylum “animals,” attaching a video in which Trump said “these are not people. These are animals.”
The tweet, however, misrepresented the context of the video. The clip showed Trump speaking at a White House roundtable on sanctuary cities in May 2018, and he appeared to be referencing MS-13 gang members and illegal immigrants, not all asylum-seekers or immigrants.
Nevertheless, Democrats and media figures cited the tweet and video when comparing Trump to Nazis and fascists.
“Hitler couldn’t have said it better,” Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said in a tweet Saturday.
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