Trump Compares Migrants to 'Hannibal the Cannibal'

And appears to express admiration for the 'Silence of the Lambs' character
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2024 1:30 AM CDT
Trump Compares Migrants to Hannibal Lecter
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs from a campaign rally in Wildwood, N.J., Saturday, May 11, 2024.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In what the New York Times says has become "a staple of his stump speech," Donald Trump on Saturday compared migrants to Hannibal Lecter, the Silence of the Lambs character who is a serial killer and cannibal. The Guardian, too, points out that Trump has "praised" the character of Lecter in the past, but the Times notes this latest "riff" on Lecter went on longer than is typical for Trump. On Saturday, speaking at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, he referred to "the late, great Hannibal Lecter," who he said was "a wonderful man." "He often times would have a friend for dinner," Trump said. "Remember the last scene? 'Excuse me, I'm about to have a friend for dinner,' as this poor doctor walked by."

Trump then went on to talk about migrants at the US border, a juxtaposition that the Times interpreted as Trump using the Lecter references to "demonize" them. "We have people that have been released into our country that we don't want in our country, and they're coming in totally unchecked, totally unvetted. And we can't let this happen," he said on Saturday. Per the Times, it's not the first time he's compared migrants to the character of Lecter, and he's also claimed they come into the country from "insane asylums" or "mental institutions." Saturday's speech, per the Telegraph, was one of just a few Trump has been able to give amid his trial over an alleged hush money scheme involving Stormy Daniels. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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