Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE on Thursday drew a stark distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, saying it was legal immigrants who made America great.

Trump responded after a questioner at an Exeter, N.H., rally said illegal immigrants are the “backbone” of America.

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“Oh, illegal immigrants are the backbone of our country? I don’t think so, darling,” Trump replied. “I don’t think so. I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so. They’re not the backbone.

“Let me just tell you something. Let me just tell you something,” he added. “You know what the backbone of our country [is]? People that came here, and they came here legally — people that came here to this country legally, and they worked their ass off, and they made this country great.”

Trump suggested the questioner was planted at his rally by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who favors a more lenient policy on immigration.

“Who told you to be here? Bernie? No, no, this is a Bernie plant. This is a Bernie plant,” he said.