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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Trump denies reading Hitler’s "Mein Kampf" even as he doubles down on anti-immigration rhetoric

For the second time in a week, former President Donald Trump told crowds of supporters that immigrants coming to the U.S. illegally were damaging the “blood” of the country, echoing words used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“It’s true that they’re destroying the blood of our country. That’s what they’re doing,” Trump told Iowans at a commit-to-caucus event in Waterloo Tuesday evening. “They don’t like it when I said that and I never read ‘Mein Kampf.’ They said, ‘Oh, Hitler said that in a much different way.'”

In Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf,” the dictator wrote that, “All great cultures of the past perished only because the original creative race died out from blood poisoning.”

Trump also suggested that immigrants who are in the country illegally could “bring in disease” and crime to the U.S.

He told voters at a rally on Saturday in Durham, New Hampshire that illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. were “poisoning the blood of the country,” prompting swift backlash from the White House and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.

“Well, it strikes me it didn’t bother him when he appointed Elaine Chao secretary of transportation,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill. McConnell is married to Chao, a Taiwanese-born immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child.

President Biden’s re-election campaign was swift to call out Trump’s New Hampshire comments.

“Donald Trump channeled his role models as he parroted Adolf Hitler, praised Kim Jong Un and quoted Vladimir Putin while running for president on a promise to rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy,” Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said.

Trump first said illegal immigrants are “poisoning the blood of the country” in an interview with right-leaning news website the National Pulse.

“Nobody has ever seen anything like we’re witnessing right now. It is a very sad thing for our country. It’s poisoning the blood of our country,” he said at the time.

Supporters at the rally in Waterloo told CBS News they aren’t concerned about Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric.

“That’s a very good comment. I think he’s probably the only one that can address exactly what he meant,” Jeanine Ann Tellin, a farmer from Iowa, told CBS News. “I’m not going to speak for him or against him on that issue but I do see that, you know, not all of the people coming in that are immigrants are children and women. There’s a lot of men coming in.”

Benjamin Driscoll, a first time caucus-goer for Trump, said he’s concerned that illegal immigrants coming across the border are “not good for America.”

“We don’t know who these people are. We don’t know their backgrounds because we don’t have the manpower down there to do background checks on all of them,” Driscoll said. “And if we have terrorists or the drug cartels coming in, that’s just going to corrupt America.”

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