Listen: Trump continues rhetoric on immigration ahead of election
"And hitting familiar theme immigration. The Democrats don't care that a flood of illegal immigration will bankrupt our country. He's been warning about a caravan of migrants from Central America and Mexico who plan on walking into the US and requesting asylum. He's proposed reimagining the constitutional principle of birthright citizenship. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce asked him yesterday. President what do you say to your critics say you're fearmongering on immigration, not fear mongering at all immigrations are very important subject a few hours after that. He put out a new campaign video. Cutting between images of this illegal immigrant who has confessed to killing deputies. In this caravan with people pushing against a gate and then streaming through. Critic said this really makes it seem like you're comparing these desperate poor asylum seekers to murderers, the president supporter said well, some of the might be then yesterday the president doubled or tripled down on his plans to send troops to the border. As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out instead of five thousand troops supporting customs and border patrol the president suggested fifteen thousand. And fifteen thousand military personnel on top of border patrol. I and everybody else at the border unless now before he went on stage at a rally he spoke exclusively to ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. And John this is as inflammatory as I've ever seen him on a Silom secrets he called this an invasion. A he did this happen Brad one. I pointed out that the US military is very limited rules of engagement, the active military, you know, the law. I mean, you're the president they can't arrest of people crossing the border the Penza. But at that point, he said, no and under national -mergency, you can do all kinds of things show. -mergency covers a lot of Terry. They can't invade our country. You look at that are almost looks like an invasion. It really does look like an invasion hair. You oh, I think so I think when you look at some of it was really quite extraordinary. We and let me stop you there because that is really significant right? If he wants to call this a national emergency and change the rules of engagement. I mean, he didn't develop. This. It's unclear exactly what he meant by this. But he was suggesting that there is a lot that the military can actually do on the border. And that's when he came out with his line. We have to have a wall of people very highly trained people we're going to have a wall of people. When at one point Jonathan you pointed out that there are only about thirty five hundred people in this caravan we've seen and he tells you just based on his own estimates that there are way more of caravans coming up that look a lot larger than its reported. Actually. I mean, I'm pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I will tell you. They look a lot bigger than people would think. So I mean, what do you say when the president tells you this is not for my national security team. This is not from a report. I'm just eyeballing it here. Yeah. So I I was putting you know, some of the facts to them. And then I I asked him about a campaign pledge that he had made he said, I will never lie to you. So can you tell me now? Honestly, have you kept that promise at all times? He said, well, I tried to tell the truth. I always want to tell the truth when I can I tell the truth. I mean, sometimes it turns out to be where something happens. It's different or there's a change. But I always liked to be truthful. I was a very disarming response. He was. Basically acknowledging to me that he doesn't always tell the truth. And he does when he can which I I don't know if that means when it's convenience or or what it exactly means. It's just an eye opening interview. And I know you guys also talked about the midterms, and what might happen. If Democrats want wanna hold his feet to the fire with investigations, fascinating stuff. Thank you Jonathan fight. Brad. Thank you. So let's talk about this true proposal because regardless of the president's estimates. These are real American forces real tax payer dollars. We're talking about so ABC's chief global affairs. Correspondent Martha Raddatz is here and Martha militarily how significant is this announcement. Well, that's a significant number of troops in what we don't really know is whether that includes troops who are already there. Whether that includes those that could be standing by to deploy. But when you think of fifteen thousand troops that's about the number. We have an Afghanistan and about three times the number. We have in Iraq. I think the real question here, too is what would they be doing that the national guard couldn't do northern command? We'll say there's they can do more surveillance. They have aircraft lift, but it's really unclear exactly what they're doing down there. We know they're helping. To spread out concertina wire. The president has talked about these tent cities and their asylum seekers, build whatever we have to Bill in terms of housing, but we're not doing relief that they can build those tens, but we have to remember they cannot do law enforcement duties they cannot arrest anyone trying to cross over the border. They just have to do this sort of support role for customs and border patrol. And you've told us before this group is walking whoever manages to keep walking will probably take forty fifty days to arrive at the border and the marching orders for these troops are just forty five days. Martha no one knows this stuff better. Thank you. Thank you."