After retweeting a quote attributed to the late Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump defended his social media post on NBC’s Meet The Press.
On Sunday, Trump retweeted a post by Twitter user @ilduce2016. Il Duce (The Leader) was the nickname given to Mussolini, a World War II ally of Nazi despot Adolf Hitler.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016
Later, on Meet The Press, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Trump if he knew the tweet he used was attributed to Mussolini.
“Sure. It’s okay to know it’s Mussolini,” Trump responded. “Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s okay to … It’s a very good quote. It’s a very interesting quote. I saw it. So what, I know who said it. What difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else. It’s a certainly interesting quote?”
Todd reminded Trump that Mussolini was a fascist, asking the businessman if he wanted to be associated with the late dictator.
“It’s a very interesting quote and people can talk about it,” Trump said, reminding Todd of his millions of Twitter followers.
“You want to be associated with a fascist?” Todd responded.
“No I want to be associated with interesting quotes,” Trump said, again discussing his millions of social media followers.
The late Italian dictator installed a fascist police state, stripping citizens of their basic rights. As a former journalist, he succeeded in quashing press freedoms and turning the media into a state-agency. In 1936, he and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signed the Axis agreement to form an alliance against Allied powers. On December 11, 1941, Following Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Mussolini declared war on the United States.