Your Republican Front Runner

[Content Note: Anti-immigrant sentiment and language; racism; sexual violence.]

Yesterday, gold toilet aficionado and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared, via phone, on CNN's New Day with host Alisyn Camerota. The embedded video is the full 26-minute segment, the full transcript for which is available here, but I just want to talk about the first few minutes, for which I've provided the transcript, as prepared by CNN, below.

Alisyn Camerota: Good morning, Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump: Hi, Alisyn.

Camerota: Hi, long time no talk. Nice to have you on.

Trump: It's been a long time. But that's great.

Camerota: OK, great to have you. Let's talk about the pope's visit. Let's just start there. Because the pope has been talking about one of your signature issues and that, of course, is immigration. The pope has a different take on immigrants. He, in fact, spoke out to people who might not feel comfortable with immigrants. And let me just read to you his sort of poignant words.

The pope said yesterday, "Perhaps it will not be easy for you to look into their souls. Perhaps you will be challenged by their diversity. But know that they also possess resources meant to be shared. So do not be afraid to welcome them." What do you think of the pope's words?

Trump: Well, I think his words are beautiful; and I respect the Pope and I like the Pope very much. I will say this: we have a country that is going through tremendous problems. We owe $19 trillion, so, No. 1, we can't afford this process. We have tremendous crime problems; as you know, the illegal immigrants are coming in. and you just have to look at San Francisco and Kate or so many other instances, California two weeks ago where a woman was absolutely decimated, killed, raped by an illegal immigrant. A veteran, at 66 years of age, by the way.

And many, many -- you know, thousands and thousands of cases. We're having tremendous crime waves. We have a lot of problems coming in. we have drugs pouring over the borders. We have to seal up our borders. We have to do something about illegal immigration. And people like my plan very much, and I think it's a plan that's going to happen.

Camerota: OK, let's talk about your plan, because it's a two-parter. You talk about building a wall. And then you talk...

Trump: Build a wall, that's right.

Camerota: Sure. And then you talk about deporting the 11 to 12 million undocumented workers who are here...

Trump: Illegal immigrants.

Camerota: Illegal immigrants who are living here. So let's talk. That's the part that you have not been terribly specific about. How would you specifically go about doing 11 million mass deportations?

Trump: Through good management and through a process. And the process is the bad ones go, and they never come back. They're never coming back.

Camerota: Yes.

Trump: The really good ones -- and there are many -- they will go, and they will come back legally. They will come back on an expedited system. And they'll come back legally, Alisyn.

Camerota: OK, but when you say...

Trump: You know, if you go into the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower, who was a respected president, was doing the same thing. He had to get rid of the illegal immigrants, and he did that. He got them out of the country.

Camerota: But when you say...

Trump: There were a lot of problems. It was done in the 1950s by Dwight Eisenhower.

Camerota: But let's talk about what it looks like nowadays. Would you use the National Guard? Would you use the police, the Army?

Trump: I would use different forms and it will take place and it will be done effectively and warmly and humanely. And a lot of people will be very happy about it. You know that I had a good Hispanic poll the other day because the Hispanics, as an example, don't want to see -- you know, the ones that are here legally don't want to see this where everyone is pouring into the country illegally.

Camerota: Sure -- look...

Trump: We're going to have to do something about it. You know, you use the word "illegal immigrant." That's what it is. You're illegally in the country. So we have to do something about it. We're going to build a wall. We're going to let people in, but they're going to come in legally.

Camerota: Look -- I mean, Mr. Trump, yes, they are here illegally, but often they've been invited in. I mean, you know what our history is with undocumented workers. They've been given jobs; they often pay taxes.

Trump: Right. And they've been coming back legally.

Camerota: I mean...

Trump: Alisyn, they're going to be coming back in, but they're going to be coming back in legally.

Camerota: But, Mr. Trump, I want you to specifically explain how you are going to get rid of them. Because you know what this hearkens to? What it reminds me at least of, is remember the case of Elian Gonzalez where the little Cuban boy, there was this dispute about he belonged in Cuba, he was Cuban.

And the federal agents went into his apartment, and it was splashed all over the media. And it gripped the nation, because you watched federal agents pull this boy from his extended family. And you are talking about doing that with 11 million people. Are you going to separate families?

Trump: No, we're not separating families. We're taking the families, and we're taking them as a unit. And we did it with -- Dwight Eisenhower did it with over 1 million people in the 1950s, and it was something that was done -- You know, now we're a politically correct society. We can't do anything. We're more bound -- we're a society that can't do anything anymore. We can't function anymore. We have millions of people in the country illegally...

Camerota: Yes, so you're prepared to use the police?

Trump: ... tremendous problems -- Listen, they're not paying taxes. They're taking jobs from other people. We have a country that desperately needs jobs. They're taking jobs from other people.

Camerota: Well, look, millions of them are paying taxes.

Trump: Alisyn, what I'm saying is this. It starts with we build a wall; and the wall will be very easily built and a very effective wall. It's going to have a big open gate. And people are going to come into the country through that gate. They're going to come in legally. It's going to be a country that's run -- it's going to be a country with a border.

We're not going to have people pouring drugs across the border. Right now the cartels are bringing drugs across the border. They're bringing the drugs, and they're taking out the money. That's the way...


Camerota: Look, no one wants the criminal aspect. You're with everyone.

Trump: ... billions of dollars. And by the way, do you know that the gangs that you see, all of these terrible gangs that you see, many of those gangs are made up of illegal immigrants, and they're tough dudes. And by the way, they're going -- day one they're going to be out of here. We're going to get rid of them day one.

Camerota: OK. Let's talk...

Trump: The rest is, the good people, they're going and they're coming back in an expedited way. They're going to come back legally. And you watch with good management how nicely that could work.

Camerota: OK. We will wait to see what your specific strategy is for that.
This is a perfect, terrible example of Trump's entire candidacy: Solid in its bigotry; ridiculously vague in its policy. Trump doesn't have a single defined idea other than "hate, blame, and get rid of migrants," and that is enough for his base, who are satisfied that all that's required to "make America great again" is some gold-lettered hats and a desire to rid the country of as many brown people as possible.

He has no fucking idea what he's talking about, and says manifestly absurd trash like "I would use different forms [of armed law enforcement] and it will take place and it will be done effectively and warmly and humanely," and that's good enough, more than good enough, for his supporters, who are simply thrilled and relieved to have a white man speak to their deeply held "politically incorrect" fears about losing their white privilege, which they talk about as losing "their country."

Trump's campaign is literally nothing but straight-up fearmongering and scapegoating and hatred. The only substance detectable is rank bigotry, which delights his insecure and angry white supporters, and makes detached white progressives laugh, and makes Latin@ children terrified that they will be forcibly removed from their homes if Mr. Trump becomes president.

This is grotesque. It's not funny, it's not entertainment, and it's certainly not harmless. This is the stuff catastrophically violent social policy is made of.

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