Appearing Friday on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, former CIA operative and current CNN analyst Bob Baer said President Donald Trump’s politics of “neo-Nazism” is similar to Adolf Hitler.
A partial transcript is as follows:
ERIN BURNETT: You have a lot of rhetoric out there that, at best, is problematic, right? No rise in white nationalism, using the word “invade” today to talk about people of color coming into the United States on the same day you have a person massacre people, calling immigrants invaders. That’s just some of the rhetoric, coming from the very top in this country.
JULIETTE KAYYAM: Yes. And, it’s not an accident. Trump isn’t careless or whatever. This is a consistent feature of the president of taking one thing that, say, an African-American or a Muslim or an immigrant does, and imploding that into a national emergency, and then refusing to look at the totality of circumstances of the threat that right-wing extremism poses to us and sort of saying “maybe the guy was crazy or we don’t know what he really believed.”
The president knows exactly what he’s doing. I cannot get into his heart, but what I can say is that the failure to condemn this, from the top, as compared to say what the New Zealand prime minister did, gives a sense of acceptance, if not lack of condemnation to those who believe it. Most of those people are not violent. Let’s just be clear here. But, some percentage of them will be, and they will not hear the isolation of there hatred that needs to come from the top, and it’s not excusable. It’s not carelessness. This is a purposeful tactic from the beginning from coming down the elevator.
ERIN BURNETT: And what is the purpose here? What is the purpose here, Bob?
BOB BAER: He’s appealing to his base, This is dog-whistle politics and it is racism. You can’t describe it any other way. When he called immigrants animals it was the same as Adolf Hitler used to call foreigners animals — Jews and Gypsies It’s the same politics. It’s neo-Nazism. He may not advocate violence, but for a lot of people that listen to him, as Juliette said, its an incitement to violence.