Former President Donald Trump vowed to “root out” his political opponents, whom he stated “live like vermin,” warning supporters that America’s greatest threats come “from within.”
Experts and critics have compared Trump’s words and extreme rhetoric to that of fascist dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Trump, who is hoping for a second term in the White House, stated: “We will put America first and today, especially in honor of our great veterans on Veterans Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”
The speech took place at a Veterans Day rally inside of the packed auditorium at Steven High School in Claremont, New Hampshire. The theme of the rally was “peace through strength” as Trump boasted about his own leadership on the world stage compared to President Joe Biden.
Trump continued spouting his baseless claims of election fraud, and accused those groups of doing anything “to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.”
“The real threat is not from the radical right. The real threat is from the radical left,” he told the audience, who shouted agreements. “It's growing every day, every single day. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within. Because if you have a capable, competent, smart, tough leader – Russia, China, North Korea, they’re not gonna want to play with us.”
The comments made by Trump not only received backlash from his critics, but from historians who state his latest remarks have an unsettling similarity to those of infamous authoritarians.
Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, posted on X: “Trump’s embrace of fascism is becoming increasingly overt, as he labels his opponents as ‘vermin,’ promises mass detention camps, and claims that immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood of our country.’ It’s time we call this it is.”
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung denied the comparisons to Hitler and Mussolini in a statement initially received by The Washington Post,
“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their sad miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,” Cheung said.
Trump also spoke of the legal challenges he is facing at the rally and discussed the possibility of retribution against his political enemies if he returns to the White House claiming however that he doesn’t want to do that.
He also suggested that the charges he is currently facing in the four criminal cases were brought on for political reasons despite prosecutors having defended their work. Trump has pleaded not guilty to those charges and denies all wrongdoing.
The Biden Campaign, which has been increasing its responses to Trump’s while on the campaign trail, slammed him for “vermin’ rhetoric and claims they champion “un-American ideas.”
Ammar Moussa, the Biden campaign spokesperson, stated that the autocratic language of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini that Trump echoed are exactly the ideas that U.S. veterans gave their lives fighting.
At a donor event in San Francisco, Biden reportedly compared Trump's speech to that of the Nazis, and said: “There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump, but damn, he shouldn’t be president.”
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