On Friday, Juan Williams, one of the co-hosts of “The Five” on Fox News, claimed that President Trump called Mexicans “rapists and thieves” during his 2015 announcement speech.
During the segment, the hosts were discussing recent calls by progressives for a boycott campaign against Latin food company Goya after its CEO, Bob Unanue, praised President Trump and subsequently refused to walk his statements back.
“Their hate is so dug in,” co-host Jeanine Pirro said after claiming that leftists seem zeroed in on criticizing the Right without recognizing their accomplishments for the needy.
The co-host added that those on the Right didn’t “do this to Obama” despite many disliking him intensely. “But this is like cancel them out, boycott them, make them lose their jobs.”
“Aren’t you uncomfortable with that?” Pirro asked co-host Juan Williams.
I don’t like boycotts if that’s what you’re asking … but let me just say, we live in politically polarized times, and if you’re talking about who likes division, President Trump pushes buttons of division and polarization quite regularly. I think you’ll remember he started his campaign by going after Latin immigrants. He said Mexicans were rapists and thieves.
As some of the other hosts voiced their disagreement with Williams’ claim, Pirro replied: “He didn’t say that.”
The segment continued with extensive crosstalk between Pirro and Williams.
Williams’ characterization of President Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants being “rapists and thieves” lacks context, and has been rebutted numerous times.
In June 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president.
During his speech, he said the following about the economic dynamics between the United States and several other countries:
Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.
When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time.
When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity, and now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me, but they’re killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems…
It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
But I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.
It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably – probably – from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop, and it’s got to stop fast.
In context, it’s clear that President Trump wasn’t claiming that “Mexicans were rapists and thieves,” as suggested by Juan Williams, but that a subset of individuals entering the United States from Mexico were criminals – which is a factually accurate statement.