Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) says GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE is making valid claims about illegal immigration’s link to violent crime.
Brewer, known best for her own hard-line stance on illigal immigration, defended Trump’s controversial rhetoric on Hispanic immigrants during an interview Wednesday night on CNN, according to Newsmax.
“I believe that Mr. Trump is kind of telling it like it really, truly is,” Brewer told host Don Lemon on CNN’s “CNN Tonight.”
“I think that the people of Arizona realize that we picked up the tab for the majority of the violence that comes across our border in regards to the drug cartels, the smugglers, the drug houses,” she added. “It has been horrendous.”
Brewer also rejected claims that outsiders understand the daily struggle facing states, like Arizona, that are on the southern border.
“We know from their data — from the federal data — that they only stop or apprehend 1 out of 4 illegal people crossing our border,” Brewer said.
Those “a thousand miles away” can cite whatever statistics they want without experiencing the border crisis firsthand, she added.
Trump has weathered three weeks of national outrage since his formal campaign launch in New York City last month.
The billionaire businessman sharply criticized Hispanic immigrants and Mexico during the June 16 address.
“They’re sending people who have a lot of problems,” Trump said from New York City’s Trump Tower. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he added. “And some, I assume, are good people."
Trump has repeatedly defended his statements, despite losing multiple business ties over his language.
Macy’s, NASCAR, NBC and Univision have all terminated their corporate relationships with the outspoken reality TV celebrity.
Trump’s controversial statements have raised concerns among some Republicans that he is hurting the GOP brand and the party's crowded 2016 presidential field.
They could also threaten its support from the Hispanic community, an important voting bloc in next year’s election.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reportedly called Trump Wednesday and asked the White House hopeful to soften his immigration talk.
Trump then insisted Thursday that Priebus had struck a more congratulatory tone during the pair’s discussion the night before.
“He said, ‘Well, you really have hit a nerve, keep going,’ ” Trump said of the call.
“He said, ‘If you could tone it down — I know that’s tough — but if you could tone it down, that wouldn’t be bad,’ ” he added, also noting their discussion lasted 15 minutes.
The Democratic National Committee released a video on Thursday morning tying Trump’s immigration remarks to other members of the GOP’s 2016 presidential field.
It mocked their political rivals as the “Retrumplican Party” on immigration policies next election cycle.