This is not normal.
Last night, Donald Trump surrogate Carl Higbie cited Japanese internment camps as “precedent” for the President-elect’s proposed horror show, a Muslim registry.
A shocked Megyn Kelly admonished his claim, leaving Higbie — formerly of the “Great America PAC” — furiously attempting a backtrack.
Trump surrogates are already citing Japanese internment camps from WW II as “precedent” for Muslim registry pic.twitter.com/DVnjtom0mc
— Brendan Karet (@bad_takes) November 17, 2016
A transcript of the exchange below.
Higbie: Yeah, and to be perfectly honest, it is legal. They say it will hold constitutional muster. I know the [American Civil Liberties Union] is going to challenge it. But I think it will pass. We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it in World War II with Japanese. Call it what you will … maybe wrong but …
Kelly: Come on, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope.
Higbie: No, I’m not proposing that at all.
Kelly: You know better than to suggest that. That’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.
Higbie: Right, I’m just saying there is precedent for it. And I’m not saying I agree with that.
Kelly: You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is going to do.
Maybe someone should let him know that the forced relocation of approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans — regardless of their citizenship status or loyalty — into internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor actually turned out to be “one of the most flagrant violations of civil liberties in American history”.
After mounting pressure from the Japanese American Citizens League, President Jimmy Carter in 1980 ordered an investigation that concluded the camps were caused by racism — not sound policy. The government was subsequently ordered to pay $20,000 to each individual camp survivor in reparations.
In December, Trump praised Roosevelt for erecting the controversial camps and argued that his proposed Muslim registry follows the same thought trajectory.
Trump aside, Higbie appears to be his own piece of work. According to Tim Malloy of The Wrap, it turns out he’s one of the two men a mysterious publicist is shopping around for interviews in an attempt to rehab the image of Trump’s new top aide, white nationalist, accused domestic abuser, and former Breitbart head Steve Bannon:
On Sunday, Trump named Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart and CEO of his presidential campaign, as his chief adviser. Since then, Bannon has gotten lots of bad press, some of it accusing him of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism. (A New York Times news story said critics see him as a “voice of racism.” An opinion piece in the Washington Post called him a “dead lizard wrapped in the Confederate flag.”)
So someone decided to take the initiative and get Bannon some good PR. The question is who.
On Wednesday, Sliwa sent out two emails to reporters offering interviews with two men available to talk about Bannon: U.S. Navy Seal (Ret.) Carl Higbie, and Breitbart Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.
But Sliwa insisted on Wednesday that she isn’t working for Bannon.
Good luck with that rehabbing, guys. When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.