- President Donald Trump on Thursday referred to what was perhaps his most notorious comment during his 2016 campaign: calling Mexicans “rapists.”
- Trump suggested that women travelling through Central America en route to the United States were “raped at levels that nobody’s ever seen before.”
- The comments come amid a flurry of media attention about a caravan of migrants travelling through Mexico.
- There is no evidence to suggest that any of the travellers have reported being raped on their journey.
President Donald Trump on Thursday defended what was perhaps his most notorious remark on the campaign trail about Mexicans – a comment that was widely perceived as racist and helped solidify his reputation as an immigration hardliner.
In June 2015, while Trump was a presidential candidate, he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”
He added: “They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump referred to those comments on Thursday during a televised discussion on taxes that veered into immigration.
“Remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower when I opened – everyone said, ‘Oh, he was so tough.’ I used the word ‘rape,'” Trump said.
“And yes, it came out where this journey coming up – women are raped at levels that nobody’s ever seen before,” he continued. “They don’t want to mention that. So we have to change our laws. And the Democrats, what they’re doing is just – it’s insanity. Nobody understands what’s going on.”
Trump appeared to be referring to the dangerous journey migrants often take through Central America to get to Mexico and the US.
A Doctors Without Borders report last year found that 70% of those entering Mexico reported experiencing violence during their trek and that nearly one-third of women said they were sexually abused.
There has been a flurry of media attention in the past week on a group of Central American migrants travelling through Mexico as part of a “caravan.” The group is mostly women and children from Honduras who intend to seek asylum in Mexico or the US.
There is no evidence to suggest that any of the travellers have reported being raped on their journey.
Watch a clip of Trump’s comments:
Discussing immigration laws, Pres. Trump references controversial remarks from campaign launch.
"I used the word rape—and yesterday it came out where this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody's ever seen before. They don't want to mention that." pic.twitter.com/RvQ162whws
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 5, 2018
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