Illinois Gov. Pritzker doubles down on White House likening Trump to Hitler, Mussolini over ‘vermin’ remark

Pritzker says Trump’s ‘predilection for revenge’ frightening for those who ‘know the history of Europe in the 1930s and 40s’

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared to take a page out of the White House’s playbook in likening GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini over his use of the term “vermin” to describe his political enemies ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The Democrat, one of the leading Jewish governors in the country, told MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki,” Trump’s comment is “just one in a long series of remarks, words that Donald Trump has used that are unfortunately reminiscent of the past. Let me just be clear, in Germany, in the 1930s, people that they didn’t want to have power, people that they wanted to separate, segregate. They began calling them immigrants, even people who had been in Germany for generations.”

“Jews who were doctors, lawyers in government at the time became known as immigrants, even though they were German. And this is a way to begin to segregate people, and then eventually, at least what happened in Germany, is that they turned it into a way to almost dehumanize. And then they did in fact dehumanize and kill people,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know where it’s going with Donald Trump. What I can tell you is the things that he talks about are frightening to those of us who know the history of Europe in the 1930s and 40s. And I’m deeply concerned about his predilection for revenge.”

During a speech in Claremont, New Hampshire, ahead of Veterans Day last week, Trump vowed, “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections.”

“They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American Dream,” Trump said. “The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within. Because if you have a capable, competent, smart, tough leader, Russia, China, North Korea, they’re not going to want to play with us.”

Trump, recently endorsed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the U.S.-Mexico border, has repeatedly warned that President Biden is leading the globe to the brink of a third World War.

The Washington Post condemned the use of the term “vermin,” saying historians sounded the alarm over concerns of it echoing authoritarianism.

The White House also condemned Trump’s comment last week.

“Employing words like ‘vermin’ to describe anyone who makes use of their basic right to criticize the government ‘echoes dictators’ like Hitler and Mussolini,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told reporters, quoting the Post’s coverage. “Using terms like that about dissent would be unrecognizable to our founders, but horrifyingly recognizable to American veterans who put on their country’s uniform in the 1940s. President Biden believes in his oath to our constitution, and in American democracy. He works to protect both every day.”