MSNBC Host Who Said Trump is ‘Talking About Exterminating Latinos’ Says She ‘Misspoke’

August 7, 2019 Updated: August 7, 2019

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said that she “misspoke” when she claimed on air that President Donald Trump is “talking about exterminating Latinos.”

Wallace was speaking with analyst Raul Reyes, who started a segment by claiming, “In words and actions throughout his presidency, he’s basically declared open-season on Latinos because we are one of his favorite targets.”

Reyes took issue with how Trump is trying to stem the flood of illegal immigrants crossing the border and describing Baltimore, which has major problems with rats, bed bugs, and trash, as being “infested.”

“What do you do with an infestation? With an infestation, the natural conclusion is: attempt an extermination,” Reyes said.

Wallace then took up the issue, saying: “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. 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,” she added.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on, in Washington on Aug. 5, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Newsbusters, a media watchdog, said in a blog post, “Wallace twisted the already-outrageous words of her guest Raul Reyes.”

“Reyes had said that Trump has spoken of ‘infestation,’ and that ‘with an infestation, the natural conclusion is to attempt an extermination,'” the group added.

“But Reyes stopped short of claiming that Trump had actually spoken of ‘exterminating Latinos.’ Wallace didn’t. The Trump-hatred of this erstwhile aide to George W. and John McCain is so all-consuming that no accusation against Trump, no matter how slanderous, is seemingly off-limits.”

Wallace later took to Twitter to say she was sorry but followed up the apology by claiming that Trump is racist.

“I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I’m sorry,” she said. “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.”

MSNBC has not commented on the situation and it wasn’t clear whether Wallace would face repercussions of any kind.

The president has strong Hispanic support, with at least two polls this year suggesting 50 percent support, and garnered 26 percent of the Latino vote in 2016.

Wallace has said outrageous things before and has not gotten in trouble with MSNBC, which openly opposes Trump.

Wallace said last year that she had advised presidential candidate Jeb Bush to punch Trump during the Republican primary in 2016. She also suggested that the White House press secretary should be choked.

MSNBC editor accused of bullying for Democrats
A person photographs an MSNBC news broadcast during the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 18, 2016. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Wallace’s latest remarks came on the same day that MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance, one of the top promoters of the Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, claimed that the president was giving “subliminal orders in their heads” to white supremacists.

Another MSNBC analyst on Monday tried linking neo-Nazism to Trump’s decision to fly flags at half-staff after the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“The president said that we will fly our flags at half mast, until August 8th. That’s 8/8. Now, I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House,” former FBI agent Frank Figluizzi said.

“The numbers 88 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them the numbers 88 together Stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8.”

Figliuzzi got no pushback from host Brian Williams, who called what the analyst said “chilling.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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