Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade thinks it's perfectly OK to describe immigrants coming into the country as an “invasion”—the same term allegedly used by the suspected El Paso gunman who shot 22 dead.
Authorities are investigating a racist screed posted on far-right message board 8chan in connection with the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting in the Texas border city. The “manifesto,” posted minutes before the attack, said it was a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The incendiary language is used frequently by President Trump and his campaign. Facebook advertising from Trump’s re-election campaign has pushed the idea of an “invasion” at the southern border, reportedly posting more than 2,000 ads on the social network that include the word “invasion.”
Despite its alleged use by the El Paso suspect, Kilmeade said there was no problem with describing incoming immigrants as an “invasion.” Speaking on the show Tuesday morning, he said: “When you have over 110,000 people coming a month—over a million last year and well over a million last year—if you use the term ‘invasion,’ that’s not anti-Hispanic, that's a fact.”
He went on: “If the Russians were coming through Alaska through Canada, the president would be using the same language. But it’s the fact it’s happening at the border, if you talk to people who are apolitical at the border, people want to look at the words ‘infested’ and look at what the president is saying, and then they saw ‘How can he use this rhetoric?’ when it turns out Elijah Cummings was using the same exact rhetoric 10 years before the president was even hosting The Apprentice?”
The racist document linked to the El Paso suspect railed against Hispanic immigrants “invading” the U.S., claiming they are taking Americans’ jobs and lowering quality of life. The author wrote: “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
A man who was shot twice in El Paso’s mass shooting but survived claimed the gunman specifically targeted Hispanic people. When Chris Grant woke up Monday and told his family about the ordeal. “He stated that the shooter was targeting Mexicans and was passing whites, African Americans,” said Laura Hromatka, Grant’s former wife.
Trump was apparently tuning into the show. He tweeted along, posting a quote from Kilmeade that people are just trying to “push that racist narrative” in response to the shootings because of the upcoming election. He repeated his previous claim that he is the “least racist person”
Trump went on to write: “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.”