Said Donald Trump, about a year ago. August 16, 2015. "Meet the Press." I'm reading the transcript because someone on Twitter offered it as the answer to my challenge to find a place where Trump himself said that he would deport 11 million undocumented aliens. In the interview, Chuck Todd asks him about his immigration plan, which, if you check the text, you'll see only talks about removing 2 categories of people: 1. those who are caught crossing the border and 2. those who've been convicted of crimes.
DONALD TRUMP: We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in legally--That most closely refers to Category #1, people who are crossing the border.
CHUCK TODD: So you're going to split up families?Todd is stirring things up here, trying to pull the focus to the well-settled people who are living productive, peaceful lives in the United States.
DONALD TRUMP: Chuck.They have to go doesn't mean Trump plans to gather them all up and physically remove them.
CHUCK TODD: You're going to deport children--
DONALD TRUMP: Chuck. No, no. We're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.
CHUCK TODD: But you're going to keep them together out--
DONALD TRUMP: But they have to go. But they have to go.
CHUCK TODD: What if they have no place to go?Now, Trump is talking about Category #2, those who have committed crimes.
DONALD TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country or we don't have a country.
CHUCK TODD: The cost of--
DONALD TRUMP: Either, we have a country--
CHUCK TODD: --doing this--
DONALD TRUMP: --or not.
CHUCK TODD: How do you do it?
DONALD TRUMP: The cost of doing it? Look at the cost of what we have right now.
CHUCK TODD: But the cost of doing it.
DONALD TRUMP: Let me ask you this. Do you think there's--
CHUCK TODD: I understand that. But how do you it?
DONALD TRUMP: Do you think there's tremendous cost for the illegals that are in here right now?
CHUCK TODD: Of course there's cost to it.
DONALD TRUMP: Okay, tremendous. Do you think there's tremendous crime being committed by illegals?
CHUCK TODD: I know there's definitely evidence that it's happened.Somehow people felt that Trump said he'd deport 11 million people, but he didn't say it there. He did brag that he's the "super genius of all time," and when I read this now and think about all that has happened and contemplate what Trump is likely to say today in Mexico and in his immigration speech, I'm thinking maybe he's right about that super genius of all time. People love to call Trump an idiot, but check the transcript. He is not the idiot.
DONALD TRUMP: Tremendous--
CHUCK TODD: --heinous crimes--
DONALD TRUMP: Far greater than what--
CHUCK TODD: There's been some heinous ones.
DONALD TRUMP: And you see it all over. Just last night. All over. We will do it. And we will expedite it so people can come back in.
CHUCK TODD: It's still not clear to me here--
DONALD TRUMP: Chuck, it'll work out so well. You will be so happy. In four years, you're going to be interviewing me and you're going to say, "What a great job you've done, President Trump."