Trump on criticizing Mexican immigrants: 'Peanuts' compared to the truth

Trump on criticizing Mexican immigrants: 'Peanuts' compared to the truth
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE appeared to double down on comments he made calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” during a rally on Thursday night.

“And you remember what I said?” Trump asked the crowd at the Pennsylvania rally, referring back to his campaign announcement, during which he made critical comments about Mexican immigrants. 

“They’re sending, I mentioned words — I won’t even mention them tonight because there’s a lot of young people here — but I mentioned words and everyone thought it was wonderful.”

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“And then about two days later and people said, ‘did he say this, did he say that?’” Trump said.

“Guess what,” he continued, “what I said is peanuts compared to what turns out to be the truth. It’s peanuts.”

The president made the comments on Thursday as he railed against U.S. immigration policies, calling for tougher restrictions at the border and the end of the diversity visa lottery system that he said allows murderers into the U.S.

Trump faced backlash in 2015 for describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and as “bringing crime” into the U.S.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best, they're not sending you," Trump said as he announced his presidential bid.

"They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us,” he continued. “They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Trump has pushed for stricter immigration policies since the start of his campaign, including building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He recently threatened a government shutdown unless Congress passes funding for the border wall.