Trump put on the spot about anti-immigrant rhetoric: "I'm not a student of Hitler!"

Palm Beach, Florida - During a recent interview, Donald Trump was put on the spot about his highly criticized anti-immigrant rhetoric, which he defended while insisting that he is "not a student" of Adolf Hitler.

Former President Donald Trump recently defended himself against criticism over his anti-immigrant rhetoric and insisted he is "not a student" of Hitler.
Former President Donald Trump recently defended himself against criticism over his anti-immigrant rhetoric and insisted he is "not a student" of Hitler.  © Collage: HEINRICH HOFFMANN/FRANCE PRESSE VOIR/AFP & ALMOND NGAN/AFP

On Friday, the former president was interviewed by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who pressed Trump about the criticism he has faced for publicly saying that immigrants are "poisoning the blood of our country."

Trump defended himself, reiterating that immigrants "from all over the world" are "coming from mental institutions and insane asylums."

"They have people coming in – we don't even know what the language is that they speak... we're loading up our classes... with children that don't speak the language," he said. "And nobody knows what's going on. No, we are poisoning our country."

Trump softens hard-line immigration stance with new green card option
Donald Trump Trump softens hard-line immigration stance with new green card option

Trump has faced heavy criticism after he repeated the phrase during recent rallies and on social media. Many critics labeled his remarks as racist and xenophobic, pointing out similarities to sentiments Hitler wrote of in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf.

When Hewitt brought up the comparison to the Nazi dictator, Trump insisted, "I know nothing about Hitler."

"I'm not a student of Hitler," he added. "I never read his works. They say that he said something about blood. He didn't say it the way I said it either, by the way – it's a very different kind of a statement."

Donald Trump's allies share similar sentiments

Trump has been ramping up his remarks on immigration in recent weeks as Republican candidates prepare for next month's caucus in Iowa. Immigration is projected to be a key issue for Republican voters ahead of the 2024 elections,

While a few Republicans have condemned Trump for his language, many of his allies and other vocal proponents of immigration reform have either defended him, only lightly pushed back, or evaded the subject entirely.

Earlier this week, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham argued that he "couldn't care less" about having a conversation about Trump's use of language. When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who is running against Trump in the primaries – was asked, he similarly dismissed the language, which he said doesn't "move the ball forward." DeSantis did however note that he shared his rival's ideas that immigration is a "disaster" which is bringing "criminal aliens", terrorists, and others that "don't mean us well" into the country.

When Hewitt offered Trump one last chance to clarify his statements, Trump simply responded, "Exactly what I said – people are pouring into our country unchecked."

Cover photo: Collage: HEINRICH HOFFMANN/FRANCE PRESSE VOIR/AFP & ALMOND NGAN/AFP

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