The Cable

Trump: FDR’s Japanese Internment Was ‘Far Worse’ Than Plan to Keep Muslims Out of America

Donald Trump doubles down on his plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States.


Donald Trump doubled down Tuesday on his plan, if elected president, to bar Muslims from entering the United States — a fear-mongering policy he described as more benevolent than the wartime actions of the American leader who famously warned that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

The Republican presidential front-runner told CNN he doesn’t “care about” his critics who, as of Tuesday morning, included his rival GOP candidates and party leaders, the White House, Democrats, the British prime minister, and even the mayor of London.

“I’m doing what’s right,” Trump said. He went on to compare himself to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat who interned more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“This is a president who was highly respected by all,” Trump said. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Trump’s comments “disqualifies him from serving as president.”

Even the Brits piled on, breaking a tradition of the United Kingdom keeping its hands clean of American politics.

British Prime Minister David Cameron “completely disagrees with the comments made by Donald Trump, which are divisive, unhelpful, and quite simply wrong,” said Downing Street spokeswoman Helen Bower. London Mayor Boris Johnson called Trump’s plan “ill-informed” and “complete and utter nonsense” after the billionaire businessman said parts of the British capital “are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives.”

Trump’s proposal follows last week’s terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, where U.S. citizen Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 in a shooting rampage on an office holiday party.

The State Department has said Malik entered the United States from Pakistan on a fiancée visa within the last several years. On Monday, the FBI said Farook and Malik had been radicalized for some time, though it’s not clear when or where the couple embraced extremist Islamic views.

Those Republican presidential candidates who had not already distanced themselves from Trump quickly did so after his anti-Muslim proposal. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called Trump “unhinged,” and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called the plan “offensive and outlandish.”

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization in the United States, called Trump’s scheme “outrageous” and “un-American” during a Monday night press conference. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said it was “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.”

Photo credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

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