Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday doubled down on his widely criticized comments about immigration by suggesting that people crossing the border illegally into the United States are “destroying the blood of our country.”
“They dump them on the border, and they pour into our country and nobody said to check them,” he said at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa.
“They’re destroying the blood of our country. That’s what they’re doing. They’re destroying our country,” Trump said.
The remark comes after he said at a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday that immigrants entering the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country.”
“They let — I think the real number is 15-16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump said Saturday.
Trump repeated the claim on Truth Social on Saturday night, saying in all caps, “Illegal immigration is poisoning the blood of our nation. They’re coming from prisons, from mental institutions — from all over the world.”
Trump’s remarks over the weekend quickly drew sharp criticism from President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, which likened the remark to Adolf Hitler’s use of the term “blood poisoning” in his manifesto “Mein Kampf” to denigrate immigration and the mixing of races.
Some Republicans on Capitol Hill also admonished Trump over the remarks.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out that Trump previously appointed the Kentucky Republican’s wife, Elaine Chao, to his Cabinet. Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary, immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan as a child.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., who previously endorsed Sen. Tim Scott for the GOP nomination before the South Carolina Republican dropped his presidential bid, said he opposed Trump’s “unacceptable rhetoric,” adding that “we should celebrate our diversity.”
Trump brushed off the comparison to Hitler during Tuesday’s event in Iowa, saying that he “never read Mein Kampf,” and that Hitler made the comment “in a much different way.”
In a 1990 article, Vanity Fair reported that Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump said that Trump kept an anthology of Hitler’s speeches called “My New Order” in a cabinet beside his bed.
Trump said it was his “friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” Davis told Vanity Fair that he did give Trump a book about Hitler, but that it was “My New Order,” and that he gave it to him because he thought he would find it “interesting.” He also said he is not Jewish.
“If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them,” Trump told the publication.
Trump’s comments this week are not the first time he’s invoked “the blood of our country” when making derisive comments about immigrants.
During an interview with The National Pulse in September, he suggested that undocumented immigrants traversing the U.S.-Mexico border were “poisoning the blood of our country.”