Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke repeatedly suggested on Sunday during an MSNBC interview that President Donald Trump was inspired by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and misrepresented Trump’s previous statements and policies.
“President Trump, perhaps inspired by Goebbels and the propagandists of the Third Reich, seems to employ this tactic that the bigger the lie, the more obscene the injustice, the more dizzying the pace of this bizarre behavior, the less likely we are to be able to do something about it,” O’Rourke said.
Moments later, Al Sharpton, apparently surprised by O’Rourke’s comments, sought to make sure that he heard O’Rourke correctly.
“Did I hear you correctly say that perhaps [Trump] was influenced by Goebbels and the Third Reich in terms of telling a big lie?” Sharpton asked. “I just want to make sure that’s what I heard you say.”
“That’s right,” O’Rourke responded.
“There is so much that is resonant of the Third Reich in this administration, whether it is attempting to ban all people of one religion and saying that Muslims are somehow inherently dangerous or defective or disqualified,” O’Rourke claimed.
“The things that he says about immigrants committing crimes, being rapists, being predators, and animals, seeking to dehumanize them, that’s how we get them in cages,” O’Rourke continued.
O’Rourke falsely claimed that Trump called “white supremacists and neo-Nazis and Klansmen ‘very fine people’” and then blamed Trump for the tragedy in the El Paso, Texas, Walmart earlier this year.
Robert Francis O’Rourke claims that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels inspires President Donald Trump
Al Sharpton asks O’Rourke if that’s what he really said, to which O’Rourke responded: “That’s right”
Nearly everything O’Rourke says in this clip is a complete lie pic.twitter.com/nZPrWQJMO0
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 21, 2019
Many of O’Rourke’s claims were categorically false.
Trump never called Muslims “defective” or “disqualified,” nor did he call all immigrants “rapists” as O’Rourke suggested.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “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.”
While his remarks certainly caused controversy, it’s important to note that Trump did differentiate between those who were criminals and those immigrants who “are good people.”
Trump’s comments are also not completely without merit.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that for Fiscal Year 2018, the agency arrested more than 105,000 convicted criminal illegal aliens which had convictions for:
- 55,109 illegal alien convictions for dangerous drugs
- 54,630 illegal alien convictions for drunk driving
- 29,987 illegal alien convictions for assault
- 9,834 illegal alien convictions for burglary
- 8,094 illegal alien convictions for weapon offenses
- 4,975 illegal alien convictions for sex offenses (not involving assault of commercialized sex)
- 4,423 illegal alien convictions for robbery
- 3,740 illegal alien convictions for sexual assault
- 1,641 illegal alien convictions for homicide
- 1,294 illegal alien convictions for kidnapping
Trump also never called “white supremacists and neo-Nazis and Klansmen ‘very fine people.'” This claim has been debunked numerous times, even by people who are highly critical of the president like CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Regarding O’Rourke’s claim that the El Paso attacker was inspired by Trump, Washington Examiner columnist Byron York writes: “But the question is, was he inspired by President Trump? It is hard to make that case looking at the manifesto in its entirety.”
York notes that the attacker “had little use for Republicans” and “was most angry about what he had seen in the recent Democratic presidential debates.”
On Monday, O’Rourke tripled down on his claim during an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer,” telling Blitzer to “find me a better analogy” than comparing Trump to Hitler.
O’Rourke repeated many of the same claims from his MSNBC interview during his interview on CNN.
Beto on his likening Trump to Hitler: “Find me a better analogy” pic.twitter.com/2b3bbwSU3s
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 21, 2019