Trump rants about 'Crooked Hillary Clinton,' separating families at the border, and Germany in freewheeling speech

  • President Donald Trump delivered a freewheeling, campaign-style speech to the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday, touching on an array of topics as his administration comes under fire for its hardline immigration policies.
  • This was a quintessential Trump speech as he appeared to be speaking off-the-cuff instead of from a teleprompter.
  • Trump used the address as an opportunity to double down on the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has seen thousands of migrant families separated at the border.

President Donald Trump delivered a freewheeling, campaign-style speech to the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday, touching on an array of topics as his administration comes under fire for its hardline immigration policies.

Trump used the address as an opportunity to double down on the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has seen thousands of migrant families separated at the border, but he didn’t stop there, repeating much of the same rhetoric he employed during the 2016 presidential election.

In the speech, Trump:

  • Described the North American Free Trade Agreement as one of the “worst deals ever made,” slamming Canada and Mexico for what he feels are unfair trade practices. “Canada is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer, and Mexico is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer,” he said, adding that “our friends have treated us much worse than our enemies” when it comes to trade.
  • Called current immigration laws “a monstrosity” and doubled down on the controversial “zero tolerance” policy that has seen thousands of migrant families separated at the border, again placing blame on “Democrat-supported loopholes” and Mexico for what’s occurring, despite the fact the policy was put in place by his administration.
  • Defended the family separation policy, saying the US “can’t let people pour in,” adding, “politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected.”
  • Claimed child smugglers are gaming America’s immigration system by exploiting loopholes in immigration law to gain illegal entry into the US. “They’re smart,” Trump said. “They didn’t go to the Wharton School of Finance but you know what, they’re really smart.”
  • Made false statements surrounding crime in Germany, claiming it’s up 10% when evidence shows it decreased overall in 2017.
  • Claimed Democrats see MS-13 gang members as “potential voters.” “Democrats love open borders,” he said. “‘Let the whole world come in … MS-13, gang members from all over the place, come on in!'”
  • Attacked “Crooked Hillary Clinton” for recent public statements she has made on the immigration crisis and said it’s a “disgrace” what she “got away with” as he referenced the recent report from the Justice Department’s inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
  • Boasted about the unemployment rate: “Just like I promised during the campaign, our economic policy can be summed up in three very beautiful words: jobs, jobs, jobs.”
  • Ended the speech by hugging the US flag on the stage.

This was a quintessential Trump speech as he appeared to be speaking off the cuff instead of from a teleprompter. The sheer number of topics covered alone suggests the president largely improvised the address.

It had all of the elements of a Trump campaign speech: he touched on immigration, attacked his political rivals, and touted his accomplishments.

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