A Donald Trump surrogate cited Japanese internment camps as “precedent” for the Muslim registry that the president-elect has been talking about since his presidential campaign began.
During an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s show Wednesday night, Carl Higbie, the head of Trump’s Super PAC Great America discussed the proposed registry, a part of Trump’s “extreme vetting” of Muslim immigrants.
“They say it’ll hold Constitutional muster,” Higbie said, referring to the registry proposal discussed earlier this week by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an adviser to President-elect Trump. “I know the ACLU is going to challenge it, but I think it’ll pass. And we’ve done it with Iran back a while ago, we did during World War II with [the] Japanese, which, call it what you will, may be wrong.”
During World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forcefully relocated and incarcerated in internment camps by the order of President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a legislation offering all those who were incarcerated an official apology and reimbursement.
The registry that is being proposed is very much like what was first implemented by the Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in 1938 against the Jewish community. The new law required Jews to carry ID cards indicating their religion and carry passports embossed with the letter J.
“C’mon, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope,” said a disbelieving Kelly. “You know better than to suggest that. That’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.”
“I’m just saying, there is precedent for it, and I’m not saying I agree with it, but in this case I absolutely believe?…” Higbie said in an attempt to backtrack on his words, which resulted in an even bigger blunder.
“You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is gonna do,” said Kelly.
However, Higbie would not stop putting his foot in his mouth.
“Look, the president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some kind of registry, so we can understand, until we can identify the true threat and where it’s coming from, I support it,” he said.