Fox's Megyn Kelly leaned on Ann Coulter's new racist, anti-immigration book to defend presidential candidate Donald Trump's disparaging comments about Hispanic immigrants.
During his June 16 campaign launch, Republican candidate Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” saying, “When Mexico sends its people ... they're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.” Trump claimed that “the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.”
In an attempt to explain his remarks, which have incited widespread backlash among Hispanic activists and Trump's business associates, Fox host Megyn Kelly turned to Ann Coulter, whose new book, Adios America!, echoes white nationalist and anti-immigrant extremist talking points.
On the June 29 edition of The Kelly File, the host cited Coulter's statistics during an exchange with Fox's Howard Kurtz and Geraldo Rivera, in an attempt to rebut criticism of Trump's racist comments:
KURTZ: What a lot of people hear -- even when Trump goes over the top -- they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.
KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Now granted, she's not running for president. But she --
RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view --
KELLY: But she cites data that does support the fact that some, obvious, immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals, and that's --
RIVERA: I researched it tonight --
KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?
RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States.
And on July 1, Kelly hosted Coulter to debate Rivera on the merits of Trump's comments. Coulter argued that the “most important point is these are not people who have a right to be here, so I don't care if they are two rapists,” claiming, “It's a fact that only about a third of California prisoners are white.”
In her book, Coulter calls immigrants “criminal[s]” and argues that immigration is a “war technique” to change America. In the past, Coulter has described immigrants as “people from backward, primitive cultures,” and said that immigrants are a bigger threat to America than ISIS.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Coulter's new book cites a long list of racist and white nationalist extremists, repeatedly referencing the conservative anti-immigration think tank Center for Immigration Studies. Coulter's other sources include Peter Brimelow, the English white nationalist who founded the racist blog VDARE and Robert Spencer, co-founder of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America. In fact, Coulter has credited Brimelow with inspiring her anti-immigration views.
Though NBC severed ties with Trump following his remarks, Fox has continued to rally around the candidate and regular network guest -- Bill O'Reilly even suggested that Trump was “actually highlighting a problem ... that is harming the nation.”