McConnell plays into media's purposeful misinterpretation of Trump's rhetoric about illegal immigration

 December 23, 2023

As has become routine over the past eight years, former President Donald Trump said something deemed controversial that was then taken out of context and imbued with alternative meaning by the media, which then invited the condemnation of said remarks by anti-Trump establishment Republicans.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) played right into that old game this week and, in the process, confirmed Trump's broader assertions that he and others in the GOP establishment hate him and are cowed by the media, according to Townhall.

At issue here is Trump's recent sharp rhetoric about the impact of rampant illegal immigration on the country that the media, and now also Republicans like McConnell, have wrongly -- some might argue purposefully -- misinterpreted as applying to all immigrants, legal or otherwise.

Trump's rhetoric deliberately misinterpreted

The Hill reported this week that Leader McConnell was queried during a press conference on Tuesday about former President Trump's recent rhetoric about how illegal migrants are "poisoning the blood of our country" which has now been repeated multiple times in rally speeches.

Asked if he was "comfortable" with such remarks, McConnell replied snarkily, "Well, it strikes me that didn’t bother him when he appointed Elaine Chao the secretary of Transportation."

That was a reference to his wife, who was born in Taiwan and whose family maintains business ties with communist China, and who has been subject to sometimes derisive and belittling criticism from the former president she previously served.

Yet, as Townhall noted -- and as McConnell and other establishment Republicans and the media ought to acknowledge, though it undermines their anti-Trump narrative -- Trump's rhetoric has clearly been aimed at illegal immigrants and not those who have entered the country and gained citizenship through the long-established legal processes.

Other Senate Republicans join predictable pile-on

Of course, Sen. McConnell wasn't alone in falling for or cooperating with the same old plays from the biased media and several other Senate Republicans dutifully fell in line to denounce former President Trump's supposed anti-immigrant "poisoning the blood" rhetoric that, rather predictably, has been breathlessly compared by the media to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's rhetoric against Jews and non-Aryans in pre-World War II Germany.

The New York Times reported that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) decried Trump's remarks as "deplorable" and "horrible" while Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) condemned them as "inappropriate" and "unacceptable."

A few other GOP senators, including Sen. John Thune (R-SD), attempted to walk a fine line by lightly scolding Trump over his purported anti-immigrant commentary while at the same time admitting that illegal immigration at the unsecured southern border was out of control and desperately needed to be addressed.

Trump retains a few GOP allies in the Senate

According to the report from The Times, however, there were at least two Republican senators who understood exactly what the former president was getting at and had no problem with his sharp rhetoric that, in context and not deliberately misconstrued, was clearly referencing illegal immigration.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), when asked about Trump's remarks, told a reporter, "I’m mad he wasn’t tougher than that. When you see what’s happening at the border? We’re being overrun. They’re taking us over."

Likewise, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) told a reporter that Trump's commentary was "objectively and obviously true" about how "illegal immigrants were poisoning the blood of the country," and went on to chastise that reporter for purposefully twisting Trump's words in an effort to "narrow the limits of debate on immigration in this country."

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