Piers Morgan says Trump rally 'bordered on fascism'

Piers Morgan, typically a defender of President Trump, says the president’s Wednesday night campaign rally crossed the line into racism “big time.”

“The President keeps insisting he’s not a racist, and I’ve repeatedly said that in the 13 years I’ve known him, I’ve personally never witnessed him being a racist,” Morgan wrote in a Daily Mail op-ed Thursday. “But since running for the White House, his inflammatory language has flirted ever closer to crossing the line into overt racism, and now he’s crossed that line. Big time.”

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“Let’s be very unambiguously clear: what happened in North Carolina last night was not just racist-fueled demagoguery but bordered on fascism.”

During the rally, when Trump renewed his attack on Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Minn.), a Muslim woman who was born in Somalia, the crowd broke into a chant of “send her back.” 

“Some raised fists, some were just children. All of them seemed united in racist rage,” Morgan said. 

“There was the President of the United States whipping his supporters into a hyper-animated state of rage about a political opponent because of her ethnicity,” he added. 

Morgan said he had feared this reaction after Trump “so recklessly and offensively” tweeted Sunday telling a group of Democratic congresswomen to “go back” where they came from. 

The tweets were targeted at Democratic Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezStudents retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMichigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (Mich.). All four are women of color; only Omar was born outside of the U.S.

“But to actually watch and hear a large gathering of thousands of predominantly white Americans chanting such a blatant infamous racist trope about a democratically elected fellow American made me shudder. Then it made me angry,” Morgan said. “This should not be happening in modern America.”

Democrats quickly denounced Trump’s rally, as they had with his tweets. Morgan specifically quotes Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential candidate, who responded to the rally by tweeting, “It’s vile, it’s cowardly, it’s xenophobic, it’s racist.” 

“And she’s right,” Morgan said. 

Some Republicans have spoken out against Trump’s rally, but, as with his tweets, few have gone so far as to call it racist.