Democratic candidate for president Marianne Williamson talked about the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, immigration, white supremacism, reparations and more in an interview with FOX News host Martha MacCallum.
Williamson, citing Google search results following the last presidential debate she participated in, predicted a possible "breakout" in polling for her presidential campaign.
"When you look at some of the other candidates who are running for the Democratic nomination along with you, they were very outspoken today. Sort of one of the major themes was that they believe that the president is fanning the flames of white supremacy and that there’s a direct link between the act that we saw in El Paso, at least, because we know that in Dayton that killer supported, you know, another candidate, a Democratic candidate. They’re drawing a direct link between the president and this white supremacy movement. Do you think that’s fair? MacCallum asked the candidate.
"I think they’re two different things," Williamson said. "Fanning the flames is different than a direct link. Do I feel he’s fanned the flames? Absolutely. Do I think there’s a direct link? No."
"I believe that he has fanned the flames of some of the worst aspects of the American character. That is not, however, to say there’s a direct link. That would be unfair," she also said.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX ANCHOR: So here now exclusively, 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. Marianne, thank you. I know the weather is crazy out there, and you’ve been traveling a lot.
So thank you so much. It’s great -- great to have you with us.
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much.
MACCALLUM: You know, we started off the program tonight showing the president’s visit to El Paso and to Dayton. Do you think that it was the right thing for him to go to those two places as president?
WILLIAMSON: Well, of course. That’s, I think, part of the job of the presidency. And I think it would have been wrong for him not to go, absolutely.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, there’s a lot of discussion that the protestors -- there was Representative Escobar. Came out and said, you know, I spoke with people in the hospital, no one wants him here.
The mayor of Dayton came out and said, you know, people don’t want him here. You know, as president it would be -- if he didn’t go, their criticism would be that he didn’t go, right?
WILLIAMSON: Well, I was not aware. I knew that there were voices that did not want him to go, but I didn’t know that the mayors had actually asked him not to go. So that is relevant, of course.
MACCALLUM: Well, she -- just to clarify, the mayor said he could come. They had had a -- I guess, a good conversation on the phone when all this happened. But she’s been quite critical of him since then.
When you look at some of the other candidates who are running for the Democratic nomination along -- along with you, they were very outspoken today. Sort of one of the major themes was that they believe that the president is fanning the flames of -- of white supremacy and that there’s a direct link between the act that we saw -- in El Paso, at least, because we know that in Dayton that killer supported, you know, another candidate -- a democratic candidate.
They’re drawing a direct link between the president and -- and this white supremacy movement. Do you think that’s fair?
WILLIAMSON: I think they’re two different things. Fanning the flames is different than a direct link. Do I feel he’s fanned the flames? Absolutely. Do I think there’s a direct link? No.
MACCALLUM: How so? Tell me how.
WILLIAMSON: He has from the beginning of his candidacy, from the day he walked down the elevator talking about Mexicans the way he did. He has talked very disparagingly of people.
Now, let’s be very clear here. To me, this should not be a right-left issue. It should not be a Democratic or Republican issue. He has spoken in a way George Bush would not have, neither George Bush would have. Ronald Reagan --
MACCALLUM: He’s a totally different person.
WILLIAMSON: He’s a totally different person. But my point is that this criticism is not based on his politics. This -- this criticism is based on -- on the way he speaks about fellow Americans.
So absolutely, I believe that he has fanned the flames of some of the worst aspects of the American character. That is not, however, to say there’s a direct link. That would be unfair.
MACCALLUM: OK. This is -- you know, I think that the supporters of the president would say that he is blunt. That he is not as, you know, sort of -- not as elegant in his speech as some of the people that you mentioned -- prior presidents.
But that, his -- his motivation has been pretty clear in terms of wanting to make the border a place where you can come through legally, but not illegally. Here -- here’s what he said when he was asked about that this morning. Let’s play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally.
Ideally, you have to come in through merit. We need people coming in because we have many companies coming into our country. They’re pouring in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: What do you disagree with in that statement?
WILLIAMSON: I don’t disagree with anything that he made in that statement. And I don’t disagree with anything that he said in his speech, which was quite beautiful. The problem is how often his words and his actions have not been the same as statements that he just made.
Legal immigration, you know, I heard your -- your former guest talk about how lefties want open borders.
No, we don’t. I think that a place where there is a reasonable consensus on both left and right is that we want legal immigration. So --
MACCALLUM: That’s what the president wants.
WILLIAMSON: That’s what he just said. But when you look at some of his actual policies, there are many of us who have found them extraordinarily bigoted --
MACCALLUM: Like what policy?
WILLIAMSON: Such as separation at the -- at the border, of parents from children --
MACCALLUM: We -- we saw that under the Obama administration as well.
WILLIAMSON: No, we didn’t see anything like what he has done as stated policy.
MACCALLUM: But we did. I mean, you know, some of the pictures that were used by the media were pictures that went -- that dated back to the Obama administration. I think that it’s correct that it’s -- there are more of them now, because what’s happened is, we’ve seen a flood of people coming across the border with children.
In some cases, they’re not even their own. In some cases, they’ve grabbed the wrist of child and brought that child in.
WILLIAMSON: That’s all the more reason why you don’t just separate the child from the adult. Because we have -- we have agents --
MACCALLUM: In some cases, you’re helping the child by separating them because that child has no connection to that family, in some cases.
WILLIAMSON: But we have -- we have trained -- we have trained agents within our police agencies at the border who know how to vet that, who know how to ask the questions of the child and the adult.
So you need -- you need that -- that agent there with the child and the adult to ask the kind of questions that would actually let them know for sure.
Also, the president closing -- closing so many of the point -- ports of entry. So actually, yes, there are those of us who feel that we have legitimate criticism --
MACCALLUM: People are pouring through the points of entry and --
WILLIAMSON: They are pouring through --
MACCALLUM: -- they’re being housed. They’re not closed -- the points of entry are not closed.
WILLIAMSON: He has closed some of them, he absolutely has. And he -- and this -- this flooding, as you -- their pouring through, is because of the humanitarian crisis in Guatemala, in Honduras, in El Salvador and traditionally Americans cared.
Traditionally, when there -- when there’s a huge humanitarian crisis somewhere and people are coming because they’re in such desperate circumstances, traditionally American policy -- immigration policy has been, you know, give me your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free --
WILLIAMSON: That’s kind of where we’ve been in our past.
WILLIAMSON: Of course, legally. But there are ways --
MACCALLUM: But you say, "Of course, legally," but people are coming through illegally.
WILLIAMSON: And yet we are making it more --
MACCALLUM: Hundreds of thousands of them in months.
WILLIAMSON: And all -- that’s all the more reason why we need more agents --
MACCALLUM: So you think you should just let them through?
WILLIAMSON: No, I did not say that. Please don’t put your (ph) words in my mouth.
MACCALLUM: OK. So -- all right, I don’t want to. But what would you do?
WILLIAMSON: OK. So I’ll be glad to tell you --
MACCALLUM: So the -- all those people come to the border and --
WILLIAMSON: We definitely need more agents. We definitely need more ports -- ports of entry that are open. We definitely need more technology. We need -- we definitely need more ways to handle --
MACCALLUM: But all those things that you just mentioned are all in the president’s -- in what he has wanted to.
WILLIAMSON: But the president -- it’s not about some -- some of the things that he has said that he has wanted to do. The problem is with many of the things that the president has already done.
I do not agree with you -- and I don’t think facts bear out that the kind of stated policy of separating children from their parents in such a cruel way -- which, to me, is kidnapping --
MACCALLUM: Nobody likes -- I -- I don’t -- I don’t think anybody -- I -- I -- I agree with you. I mean, that that’s not something that anybody wants to see --
WILLIAMSON: And it has continued. Hundreds of these cases have been reported --
MACCALLUM: But the reason that --
WILLIAMSON: -- since he said he was stopping that policy --
MACCALLUM: Right. So -- so I want to move on to some other issues --
MACCALLUM: -- but if you were president -- you know, what -- how would you get both sides to come together? Because I think there’s a lot of Americans in this country who are in the middle on this issue and think that there are reasonable solutions.
And even the president has said let’s get Democrats and Republicans into the room -- we can solve this in 45 minutes. But politically it behooves both sides to stay dug in. How would you bring them together?
WILLIAMSON: I think Americans need to be aware of what our history is. You know, Ronald Reagan gave 8 million people amnesty. And until 1973, if people were undocumented they simply went to a registry office.
I want -- what I want, as president, is to end one chapter and begin a new one. I think the only answer is to say to every undocumented person who has not committed a crime, who has not committed some crime of transgression or a felony against an American citizen, I think there should be a path to citizenship.
There should be the kind of efforts that we need to make at the border from this point forward and let us move on to a new chapter of American life.
MACCALLUM: All right, I want to speak to you about another topic that you brought up recently which is reparations. You say that there should be a $200 billion to $500 billion fund that would be dispersed over 20 years. And you want to have a council that decides how the money is dispersed. How -- how -- how would that work?
WILLIAMSON: Well the stipulation on the part of the United States government should be very clear, and that is for purposes of economic and educational renewal. But I believe that within that, although that stipulation is extremely important and must be strictly adhered to, I think that there’s a -- there’s a moral principle here. If I owe you money, I don’t get to tell you how to spend it.
So I believe that it’s very important that this reparations council, 30 to 50 people is what I’ve recommended, which obviously should be very carefully chosen. People from academia, culture, politics, et cetera who are known for their connection to this issue, for their research on this issue et cetera, who make the kinds of decisions whether it has to do with historical black colleges, whether it has to do with housing, whether it has to do with -- whatever it has to do with.
But I believe part of the power here is that it would be the black community deciding how they wish to spend that money.