Trump Plans to Keep Saying Immigrants ‘Poison the Blood’ of Nation

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In the days following Donald Trump’s remarks that migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country,” the 2024 GOP frontrunner was met with a wave of Democratic and media criticism, likening his speech to Nazi rhetoric. In response to the Adolf Hitler comparisons, Trump has privately vowed to further amp up the volume on his extreme, anti-immigrant messaging, according to two sources who’ve spoken to him since his rally in New Hampshire last weekend. 

“He wants the media to choke on his words,” one of these sources says. “The [former] president said he’s going to keep doing it, he’s going to keep saying they’re poisoning the blood of the nation and destroying and killing the country … He says it’s a ‘great line.’” (Trump has been publicly using this specific phrase since at least September.)

According to the second source, Trump said in recent days that he was being “too nice” about the “animals” and alleged gang members who cross the southern border, whom Trump routinely accuses of flooding the United States with drugs, diseases, and violent crime. This person relays to Rolling Stone that Trump also said he and his campaign will be rolling out newer, even “tougher” policy proposals on immigration in 2024, and that his supporters should look out for them because they’ll be “very happy.” His current slate of 2024 immigration policy prescriptions include militarizing the southern border to a shocking degree, reimposing and expanding his travel “Muslim ban,” and building a vast network of new detention camps to house undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation.

It is no mystery why Trump’s hard-right, increasingly authoritarian rhetoric and policy promises have become a prime feature of his reelection bid. It’s not just music to the ears of various MAGAdonians, or the logical conclusion of his presidential campaign launch in 2015. It’s because there are more mainstream Republicans now — advising Trump, at influential think tanks and advocacy groups, or in positions of power in the House and Senate and elsewhere —  openly embracing and encouraging his rhetoric.

Indeed, as The Des Moines Register reported, recent polling suggests Trump’s attacks on immigrants make many Republican Iowa caucusgoers more likely to support him, not less.

On Tuesday, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), chastised an Associated Press reporter who asked about Trump’s recurring “poisoning the blood” line, stating: “First of all, he didn’t say immigrants were poisoning the blood of this country. He said illegal immigrants were poisoning the blood of the country, which is objectively and obviously true to anybody who looks at the statistics about fentanyl overdoses.”

On the same day, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) chimed in to say he was disappointed in Trump — for not going far enough. “I’m mad he wasn’t tougher than that,” Tuberville told reporters. “Have you seen what’s happening at the border? We are being overrun … They’re taking us over, so a little bit disappointed he wasn’t a little bit tougher.”

By Tuesday evening, Trump was back on stage in Iowa, making clear that his supposedly “great line” wasn’t going anywhere, no matter how many people slam him for spouting Hitlerite prose. “They’re destroying the blood of our country. That’s what they’re doing. They’re destroying our country. They don’t like it when I said that — and I never read Mein Kampf,” Trump insisted to the rally crowd. (Trump has reportedly acknowledged receiving a copy of Hitler’s book as a gift.) 

As Trump continues to campaign on a platform of rooting out the “vermin” of his political enemies and mass-deporting the undocumented who’ve been polluting the “blood” of America, some of his high-profile allies, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have sought to defend his comments as just words, about which liberals are being too sensitive. But Trump’s campaign-trail rhetoric simply reflects the brutal, hardline nature of the policy proposals that he and his 2024 team have already released. Trump has openly promised that in a second term, he will launch unprecedented, large-scale efforts to approach immigration as he would a literal “war” or “invasion.” This has included plotting for a massive deployment of U.S. troops on American soil to help seal the southern border. Trump has also solicited “battle plans,” should he win a second term and decide to invade and bomb Mexico.

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, for its part, has been calling out Trump’s fascistic language in explicit terms. Following Trump’s speech over the weekend, Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa blasted the Republican frontrunner for having “parroted Adolf Hitler,” on top of his previous promise to “rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy.” Moussa continued: “He is betting he can win this election by scaring and dividing this country.”

In the past, Trump and Republicans benefited from voters — and the media — refusing to take their words seriously. For instance, much of the electorate in 2016 was convinced Trump was far more moderate than he actually was. Perhaps one reason it has been too easy for many to laugh or shrug off Trump’s language over the years is because so much of his rhetoric is rooted in entertainment, not explicitly fascist literature per se.

Sources close to Trump tell Rolling Stone that he has long been obsessed with spectacles of violence, bloodlust, and cruelty — which often translate easily to his preferred policy prescriptions and messaging strategy. It’s the same impulse that led him to advocate for group executions and reviving firing squads, during and after his term in office. However, as one former senior Trump administration official puts it: “His motivations for his attacks and insults are usually shallower than Mein Kampf,” meaning that from this source’s experience, Trump often draws inspiration from popular culture rather than ideological texts.

In the middle of the Trump era, this ex-official recalls sitting in the White House with the then-president, being forced along with other aides to watch cable news with him. It was yet another news cycle of Trump using “what the media was calling ‘dehumanizing’ language,” this former official says, and embracing derogatory terms favored by famous foreign despots.


The ex-official recalls Trump scoffing at the negative media coverage of his language, suggesting that the offended journalists did not approve of his language because they were “weak” and also had probably never watched a “WWE” wrestling match.

But Jason Stanley, a Yale scholar and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, tells Rolling Stone that it’s time to take Trump both “literally and seriously,” as he deploys the rhetoric of fascists. “He’s becoming as explicit as it’s possible to be, rhetorically,” Stanley says. “This idea of purification is central to fascist ideology.” He cautions anyone who would dismiss Trump’s new language as trolling. “A very common theme in the history of fascism is that lots of people think that the fascist leader is joking,” he says. “I mean, it wouldn’t be fascism without that feature.”

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