Trump says immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood of our country.’ Biden campaign likens comments to Hitler.

Former President Donald Trump said immigrants coming to the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country,” a remark on Saturday that quickly drew a rebuke from his chief Democratic rival as President Joe Biden’s campaign likened the words to those of Adolf Hitler.

“They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump told the crowd at a rally in New Hampshire. “That’s what they’ve done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just to three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world. They’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world.”

Trump then repeated the use of “poisoning” in a post on his social media website Truth Social, saying overnight in an all-caps post, that “illegal immigration is poisoning the blood of our nation. They’re coming from prisons, from mental institutions — from all over the world.”

The term “blood poisoning” was used by Hitler in his manifesto “Mein Kampf,” in which he criticized immigration and the mixing of races. “All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning,” Hitler wrote.

The Biden campaign released a statement criticizing Trump’s remarks.

“Donald Trump channeled his role models as he parroted Adolf Hitler, praised Kim Jong Un, and quoted Vladimir Putin while running for president on a promise to rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy. Trump is not shying away from his plan to lock up millions of people into detention camps and continues to lie about that time when Joe Biden obliterated him by over 7 million votes three years ago,” the Biden campaign said.

Chris Christie, one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, called Trump’s remarks “disgusting” on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“He’s disgusting, and what he’s doing is dog-whistle to Americans who feel absolutely under stress and strained from the economy and from the conflicts around the world, and he’s dog-whistling to blame it on people from areas that don’t look like us,” Christie said. “The other problem with this is the Republicans who are saying this is OK.”

He went on to criticize fellow Republican rival Nikki Haley for saying Trump is fit to be president.

“You’re telling me that someone who says immigrants are poisoning the blood of this country, someone who says Vladimir Putin is a character witness, is fit to be president of the United States, was the right person at the right time. Nikki Haley should be ashamed of herself. She’s part of the problem because she’s enabling him.”

“It’s not OK for an American president to be saying these things,” Christie added.

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about being compared to Hitler.

Trump has made criticizing the handling of America’s southern border a focal point of his campaign and frequently talks about the flow of immigrants into the U.S.

Trump’s allies in Congress have made immigration a top priority and are demanding new policies be created to handle the border before Republicans will approve additional funding for Ukraine or Israel, both of which are waging wars with backing from the U.S. While lawmakers have yet to reach a deal, they have signaled optimism that they could come to an agreement that would impose many of the border measures Republicans are requesting and receive the signature of Biden.

This is not the first time Trump has invoked the term “blood poisoning” to criticize immigration. Trump used the term in an interview earlier this year, also criticizing immigration.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed the idea that Trump’s rhetoric was a problem when asked about his use of the term “blood poisoning.”

“We’re talking about language. I could care less what language people use as long as we get it right,” Graham said. “I believe in legal immigration. I have no animosity toward people trying to come to our country. I have animosity against terrorists and against drug dealers.”

When pressed, he added that he didn’t agree with the choice of words.

“The president has a way of talking sometimes that I disagree with,” Graham said.

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