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Trump Distorted Haley Comments On Immigrants, Fact Check Finds

An ad this month from the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again charged that his major remaining opponent for the Republican presidential nomination, Nikki Haley, "refused to call illegals 'criminals'." This ad begins by reflecting the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler — that immigrants are "poisoning" the U.S. — and charges that Haley is “too weak, too liberal, to fix the border.” It underscores this point by twice using a clip of Haley saying: “We don’t need to talk about them as criminals. They’re not.” The ad claims that she oppposed Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border. None of this is true. The ad is a textbook case of how political campaigns dishonestly snip comments made by opponents so that they are untethered from reality, reports the Washington Post fact checker.


In 2015 July 2015, when Haley was still governor, she appeared on a panel with three other Republican governors at the Aspen Institute. Trump had attacked immigrants from Mexico, saying, "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists." At the panel, Haley decried illegal immigration — and, notwithstanding the ad’s claim that she opposed a border wall, endorsing one, saying, "It really is astonishing that after all these years, D.C. can’t figure out how to build a wall.” She also said that immigrants "have kids, too. They have a heart, too. So we don’t need to be disrespectful. We don't need to talk about them as criminals. They're not. They’re families that want a better life, and they’re desperate to get here. What we need to do is make sure that we have a set of laws that we follow, and that we go through with that.” The fact checker concludes that Haley appears to be expressing sympathy for people who are seeking entry to the U.S., illegally or not.


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