Donald Trump’s isn’t running from his declaration in January that Brussels was a “hell hole.”
Trump’s remarks might seem tasteless in light of the horrific attacks there today — but Trump and some of his supporters say the attacks prove Trump was right. Trump doubled down on the remarks by tweeting a link to them Tuesday morning:
Trump made the “hell hole” remark in an interview with Fox Business News anchor Maria Bartiromo, while defending his plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“There is something going on, Maria,” he said. “Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that — you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation. There is something bad going on.”
He added: “You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it’s like living in a hellhole right now.”
The New York Times responded at the time with a story headlined, “Donald Trump Finds New City to Insult: Brussels.” It noted that Belgians answered the insult by tweeting with the hashtag #hellhole and posting charming images of food and drink associated with the city, including waffles, chocolate and beer.
On Tuesday, some conservatives went into “told you so” mode. “January 2016 — Donald Trump Warned Brussels, Belgium — the New York Times Mocked Him For It,” wrote one site.
Like so many remarks by Trump, the “hellhole” remark is now painfully, obviously offensive to some, and painfully, obviously true to others.