Former U.S. President Donald Trump said, during a Feb. 5, 2024, interview on Newsmax, "This country is just, it's so pathetic."
In context, Trump's condemnation was aimed at the Biden administration for what he argued was its failure to ensure border security and maintain law and order. During the same interview he said, "We're so pathetic as a country, in terms of law and order. We have the greatest police in the world but they're not allowed to do their jobs."
On Jan. 6, 2024, the day after former U.S. President and current Republican presidential contender Donald Trump was interviewed on Newsmax, major pro-Biden social media accounts shared a six-second video clip in which Trump said, "The country is just, it's so pathetic. And you know other countries are watching this." The gist of all these posts was accusatory, claiming or implying that Trump had attacked his own country.
Trump did say those words, but crucial context was omitted from the six-second clip. As the longer video below shows, Trump was criticizing the Biden administration for what he argued was its failure to support the Border Patrol and police officers around the country. "We're so pathetic as a country, in terms of law and order," he said at another point (transcript follows).
TRUMP: Well, take a look at New York. It's a mess now. And I'm not even blaming the mayor. Look what happened. They sent in 350,000 illegal aliens, migrants, call them whatever you want, then they start beating up our police force, OK? These thugs, and they're roug- looking guys, by the way, they could be in the Iowa wrestling game. If you want to know the truth, OK. We have a great team, or Penn State has a great team. But these are rough guys, and you see them just pounding our police who are laying on the ground.
INTERVIEWER: And they don't even get bail.
TRUMP: And then they get out and they give everybody the finger. They're giving the finger and cursing at everybody like, you know. We're so pathetic as a country, in terms of law and order. We have the greatest police in the world, but they're not allowed to do their jobs. When you have 200 usually young people walk into a department store and totally strip it of everything, walk out with television sets. And the police, you know, are dying to do their work, just like Border Patrol. They're dying to do their work. But they're not allowed to do their work. Rob, they're not allowed to do it, they're not allowed to do anything. They have to stand there, and they're told if you do anything you're fired, and you lose your pension, you lose your family, you lose your house, you lose everything. The police want to do the job and they're not doing it, Rob. They're not allowed to do it.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I want to ask you …
TRUMP: The country is just, it's so pathetic. And you know other countries are watching this.
Trump has rejected bipartisan legislation introduced to strengthen border security, calling the bill "horrendous" and inadequate.
Garrity, Kelly. “Trump Throws Cold Water on Border Bill — Again.” POLITICO, 5 Feb. 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/05/border-bill-trump-00139584.
"Trump Asks 'What Haven’t I Been Right about?' Amid Biden’s 'Pathetic' State of U.S." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PkNQA1TQZ0. Accessed 6 Feb. 2024.