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Trump Embraces Pat Buchanan, Who He Once Called “A Hitler Lover”

The president quoted from a racist screed that warned of white men’s waning power

Pat Buchanan as seen on Face the Nation in 1992 (left); Donald Trump as seen on Meet the Press in 1999 (right).

When he was first considering a run for the presidency in 1999, Donald Trump called conservative Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan “a Hitler lover.” But on Sunday night, Trump quoted a passage from an article Buchanan wrote in support of a border wall last week.

“America’s southern border is eventually going to be militarized and defended or the United States, as we have known it, is going to cease to exist. And Americans will not go gentle into that good night,” Buchanan wrote in a Jan. 11 article for CNS News titled, “Memo to Trump: Declare an Emergency.”

That is the portion of the article Trump quotes in his tweets. Just a few paragraphs down, though, Buchanan explains that the real emergency at the border is not about crime or drugs—it’s about America becoming less white.

“The more multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual America becomes—the less it looks like Ronald Reagan’s America—the more dependably Democratic it will become,” Buchanan wrote. “The Democratic Party is hostile to white men, because the smaller the share of the U.S. population that white men become, the sooner that Democrats inherit the national estate.”

In the article the president quoted from, Buchanan urged Trump to “declare a national emergency, shift funds out of the Pentagon, build his wall, open the government” and charged that Democrats oppose the wall because “they have a demographic and ideological interest in changing the face of the nation.”

“The only way to greater ‘diversity,’ the golden calf of the Democratic Party, is to increase the number of women, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics, and thereby reduce the number of white men,” Buchanan wrote.

That diversification, according to Buchanan, is how America, “as we have known it, is going to cease to exist.”

For decades, Buchanan has fixated on the alleged danger of white men losing their grip on power in America.

When Trump was considering his own run for president on the Reform Party ticket in 1999, though, he recognized Buchanan’s bigotry and denounced him.

“Look, he’s a Hitler lover,” Trump said on Meet the Press. “I guess he’s an anti-Semite. He doesn’t like the blacks. He doesn’t like the gays. It’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.”

Now, twenty years later, Buchanan is addressing his columns to Trump. In turn, the president who once said it was “incredible that anybody could embrace this guy” is embracing “that guy” and quoting approvingly from his latest racist screed.

When Buchanan ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1992, he issued a call to “Make America First Again.” Trump often invokes part of that slogan: “America First.” That slogan has historically been used by white supremacist organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan. During World War II, the “America First Committee” was an anti-Semitic organization that sympathized with Hitler and the Nazis, as the Anti-Defamation League noted in 2016:

The most noteworthy leader of the “America First Committee” was Charles Lindbergh, who sympathized with the Nazis and whose rhetoric was characterized by anti-Semitism and offensive stereotypes, including assertions that Jews posed a threat to the U.S. because of their influence in motion pictures, radio, the press, and the government.

Buchanan served under several Republican presidents, including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Referring to Buchanan’s failed presidential bids, a 2016 Politico article described Trump as “Pat Buchanan With Better Timing.”

Written by Ashton Pittman

Ashton is the founder of Deep South Voice. He is also the State Reporter for the Jackson Free Press, where he covers Mississippi politics and campaigns. A Mississippi native who studied journalism and politics at the University of Southern Mississippi, his work has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, on NBC.com, and a number of other outlets. He has made appearances on MSNBC, NPR Radio, and several other broadcast and radio shows. You can follow him on Twitter @ashtonpittman.