Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeAnti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' Anti-Greg Abbott TV ad pulled minutes before college football game: Lincoln Project MORE (D-Texas) compared the Trump administration to the Third Reich on Monday, linking its rhetoric to the shooting in El Paso, the Texas city he represented in Congress where 20 people were killed on Saturday.
In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," O'Rourke criticized Trump's remarks about Muslims and Hispanics, stating that Trump has openly said that "all people of one religion" are "inherently defective and should be banned from the shores of this country."
"The only modern western democracy that I can think of that said anything close to this is the Third Reich, Nazi Germany," O'Rourke, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, continued. "Talking about human beings as though they are animals, making them subhuman to make it OK to put their kids in cages.
"We've lost seven children in our custody just over the last year in this, the wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet," he said. "Saying he wants more immigrants like those from Nordic countries, the whitest places on the face of the planet. This president, his open racism is also an invitation to violence. We've seen a rise in hate crimes, every single one of the last three years."
Beto O’Rourke on Pres. Trump: “This president, his open racism is also an invitation to violence. We’ve seen a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last 3 years ... Jesus Christ, of course he's racist." https://t.co/bblFzE85aF pic.twitter.com/C3hYyTIK9X— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 5, 2019
The man who allegedly carried out the shooting at a Walmart in El Paso is said to have written a manifesto ahead of the attack filled with racist and hate-filled speech. Federal authorities have said they are treating the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.
On Sunday, O'Rourke said Trump's racist rhetoric was in part to blame for the mass shooting, and that he believed Trump was a white nationalist.
O'Rourke said on Monday no one should be surprised by Trump's rhetoric three years into his presidency, and criticized the news media for questioning whether the president is a racist.
"The writing has been on the wall since his maiden speech coming down that escalator, describing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. The actions that follow cannot surprise us," he said, referring to Trump's 2016 campaign launch.
"Anyone who is surprised is part of this problem right now, including members of the media who ask 'Hey Beto, do you think the president is racist?' Well Jesus Christ, of course, he's racist. He's been racist since day one, before day one when he was questioning whether [former President] Obama was born in the United States," he said.