Nicolle Wallace: Trump 'Talking About Exterminating Latinos'

MSNBC host apologizes for the comment

August 6, 2019

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace accused President Donald Trump of "talking about about exterminating Latinos" during a Monday episode of Deadline: White House.

Wallace's comments came during an exchange with MSNBC contributor Raul Reyes, who said that Trump has used racist rhetoric in his speeches from "day one" of his 2016 presidential campaign. Reyes said that since then, Trump has escalated "into attacks on Latino journalists" as well as other members of Latino communities.

"Then he ramped it up again to the invasion, warning people of a caravan and words like infestation," Reyes said of Trump's past comments about illegal immigration, in a clip flagged by NewsBusters. "What do you do with an infestation? With an infestation, the natural conclusion is attempt an extermination."

"What do you do when, certainly, the last Republican president fought for, sought and it's not ideal but had 44 percent of Latino voters," Wallace replied. "So politically powerful inside the last Republican administration. President Obama used the power of the presidency to try to pass comprehensive immigration reform, with the Latino community, Latino leaders, at the table. You now have a president, as you said, talking about exterminating Latinos."

After outcry against Wallace, the MSNBC host apologized for the comment, tweeting on Tuesday, "I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I’m sorry. Trump’s constant assault on people of color and his use of the word "invasion" to describe the flow of immigrants is intentional and constant."

Wallace has revised her position on other issues related to the crisis at the southern border, including the fact that there is a crisis at all.

"The big scam of the whole address was that there's a crisis. There's not a crisis," Wallace said in January following Trump's Oval Office speech about an immigration crisis during the government shutdown.

By June, Wallace was decrying Trump's lack of action on the "humanitarian crisis" at the border. She joined a number of other hosts on CNN and MSNBC who followed similar patterns.