A Trump surrogate has come out to cite World World II-era Japanese internment camps as “precedent” for President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal for a Muslim registry system.
Carl Higbie, a spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC and a former Navy SEAL, appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to argue his support of the plan, modeled after the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) that was implemented in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, and ran from 2001 to 2011 under both the Bush and Obama administrations until President Barack Obama suspended the program.
“We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region,” pressed Higbie on the show Wednesday night. “We’ve done it with Iran back — back a while ago. We did it during World War II with [the] Japanese.”
Host Megyn Kelly then interjected to say, “C’mon, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope … You know better than to suggest that. That’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.”
“I’m just saying, there is precedent for it, and I’m not saying I agree with it, but in this case I absolutely believe,” he said before Kelly cut him off, insisting that “you can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent of anything the President-elect is going to do.”
But Higbie blundered on: “Look, the president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some kind of registry, so we can understand, until we can identify the true threat and where it’s coming from, I support it.”
When Trump first proposed his Muslim registry idea a year ago, a journalist asked him how that would differ from requiring Jews to register in Nazi Germany. Trump evaded the question and instead repeatedly told the reporter, “You tell me.”
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