Dem Rep. Meeks: Trump Declaring Himself A Nationalist Reminds Me Of Words That Came From Hitler


Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) reacts to President Trump embracing the term nationalist at a campaign rally in Houston on behalf of Ted Cruz.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Let me play a moment, Congressman, from President Trump's rally last night in Houston that caught a lot of people's attention. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can't have that. You know, they have a word. It sort of became old fashioned. It's called a nationalist. And I say really we're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm a nationalist, OK?


TRUMP: I'm a nationalist.


BLITZER: All right. So what's your reaction to that, Congressman?

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): My first reaction to that is a synonym to a nationalist is a chauvinist. That apparently is what this president is. And to say that we are better than or -- it reminds me of the kind of words that came from people like Hitler, who thought that, in Germany, he was a nationalist. And the kind of people that this president seems to like, those who are repressive dictators, those are the individuals that generally use that kind of phrase and those kind of words. Whether you're looking at Mr. Putin, whether you're looking at what has taken place with the king of Saudi Arabia now, all of those individuals, or Kim Jong-Un, they are individuals who keep within their societies and not working with others outside of their societies and suppress individuals within those societies to win the goals of what they're looking for. So those are very dangerous words but I think it reveals who we know this president is.

BLITZER: Well, I just want to be precise, Congressman. You're making a comparison between the president of the United States and Hitler. I want you to explain exactly what you mean. Because obviously this is controversial.

MEEKS: Well, what I’m saying is that using the word of nationalism and a nationalist, meaning that, when you looked at Hitler, he was talking about German for the Germans and that's it and anyone else was again them. So it seems as though this president is saying that it is only about Americans and Americans above anything and everyone else and that is a dangerous precedent. That's what I’m saying. You know, you go to any dictator, you know, that advocates that kind of theory, you see that they are actually impose -- or poses a threat to everybody within our society and without the society. So there's a book that Secretary Albright recently wrote that I suggest everybody read, the dangers, and this is the language utilized by this president, and how it was similar how it was utilized in the ‘20s and ‘30s by individuals who our paths don't want to follow.

BLITZER: Just to be precise, you see parallels to what our president is saying, as compared to what Hitler was doing back in the ‘30s?

MEEKS: No, I’m said what Hitler was saying, that’s what I’m saying, what Hitler was saying about nationalism. Those Socialist presidents -- heads of states back then. What he was saying, was able to gear the people up so they do what they did and how they led it, was using language like that. That's how they built themselves up to be the dictators that they were. I'm saying that language that the president is utilizing is a very dangerous language that we must be very cautious about. I would advise the president that he should not, because when you look at what makes up America, it's many nationalities and many people from all over the world because it is immigrants that have made this country great and those who were enslaved in America. We don't want to go back to that past and those kinds of tendencies. That's not who we are as Americans.

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