In the early weeks of his presidency, President Donald Trump joked with his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner about deporting imaginary individuals with Hispanic-sounding names.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Trump made the jokes in the Oval Office the night before his first speech before a joint session of Congress in February 2017. The president had been reminiscing about his campaign speeches in which he would get huge reactions from crowds after he talked tough about immigration.
It was agreed by Trump, Kushner, and another senior adviser who was in the room, Stephen Miller, that the president would temper back his commentary on immigration somewhat during the speech.
That led to Trump imitating himself doing one of his campaign speeches from not-so-long ago — making up Hispanic-sounding names, describing criminal actions (such as rape or murder) those fictional individuals may have committed, and detailing how he’d throw those individuals out of the country. Both Kushner and Miller laughed at the president’s joke.
When pushed for comment about the event, the White House conceded that Trump did indeed discuss his old campaign speeches the night before the joint session of Congress but deny he made up Hispanic-sounding names in such a manner.
Yet it’s difficult to take the White House seriously, given that Trump made disparaging and racist comments about immigrants from nations he called “sh*thole countries” almost a year later.
Despite the incident in question having taken place in the early days of his presidency, it's still indicative of Trump’s character. Nothing has happened that suggests Trump has bettered himself since, and the way he goes about making other racist comments (in private or in public) seems to confirm Trump is no better now than he was at the onset of his tenure.
Americans deserve a leader that will treat all Americans — even immigrants — with dignity. Mocking them and suggesting that they’re criminals, even doing so in a fictional manner, is disrespectful and disgraceful to the office Trump holds.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters