Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has confirmed he is standing by recent comments made earlier this week in which he compared probable Cheeto Donald Trump’s plan to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S. to Kristallnacht, a historically significant event which took place during the Holocaust.
Weld, who is currently making a bid to be the Libertarian party’s vice-presidential nominee for the 2016 election, told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday that Trump’s intention to remove an estimated 11 million undocumented people currently living in the U.S. if he is elected is comparable to Kristallnacht, known in English as “The Night of Broken Glass.”
“I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear (Trump’s plan), honest,” Weld said to NYT.
Kristallnacht, which lasted from November 9 in November 10 in 1938, is regarded as one of the first major events of the Holocaust. During the incident, SA paramilitary forces and civilians carried out a massive pogrom against Jewish citizens in both Austria and Germany, which included the widespread pillaging, vandalizing, and/or destruction of Jewish businesses, homes, and synagogues. (Weld later corrected his initial statement to NYT, noting that while Kristallnacht took place in Vienna, it did not occur in Warsaw.)
An approximated 91 people died during the incident.
Days after Weld’s comparison became public, the former governor appeared on a segment of CNN’s State of the Union with anchor Jake Tapper, where he affirmed his conviction behind his prior commentary.
“Is that a little strong, you think, to talk about the Holocaust?” Tapper asked Weld.
“No, I don’t think so. I served five years on the U.S. Holocaust Commission by appointment of President George W. Bush,” Weld replied. “I’m absolutely certain that, as we said in those years, if we don’t remember, we absolutely will forget.”
“And you got to forget a lot of things to think it’s a good idea to round up and deport 11 million people living peaceably, most of them working in America, in the middle of the night,” he continued. “No, not the United States. China, maybe. Not the United States.”
Gary Johnson, who is vying to be the Libertarian party’s presidential nominee on a ticket with Weld, was also asked by journalists about his VP’s controversial comparison. While Johnson told Victor Blackwell during an interview on CNN Newsroom that he would not have made the same kind of remarks as Weld, he referred to Trump’s proposal as “crazy.”
“What are we going to do? Are we going to go in these homes and take these people out of their homes? Come on. He made that reference. I don’t make that reference, but it’s crazy. It’s off the charts,” Johnson said.
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