Text Examples

Here are 45 examples from literally thousands.

We divide these examples into three sections:

A.   Trump creates code-words as false as they are powerful

B.    Trump uses metaphors to propel his false narrative

C.    Trump’s language about legally protected groups




Trump uses metonymy to create code-words or to lump highly heterogeneous peoples into oversimplified groups to convey a political message. (A metonym is a word that is used to stand in for another word. The metonyms in Give him a hand and Lend me your ears refer to parts of the human body.) For political gain Trump uses metonymy to create three terms that lumps together very different kinds of people into large groups.


Metonymy #1 Trump frequently refers to “MS-13” (a gang composed of 33% immigrants, 66% US citizens) as a metonymy for all Latino gangs and indeed young Latino people whose urban street apparel is a fashion statement rather than affiliation with gangs. This metonym attributes the incredibly violent behavior of a tiny subset to millions of Latino young people.

1.     MS-13 is a prime target. They are bad people. And we’ve gotten many of them out already. You know, we’re pretty much at the 50 percent mark. We’re getting them out as fast as we can get them out, and we’re freeing up towns. We’re actually liberating towns, if you can believe that we have to do that in the United States of America. But we’re doing it, and we’re doing it fast. (062817 Remarks by President Trump During Meeting with Immigration Crime Victims.txt)

Metonymy #2 Trump very often refers to “criminal alien” (the 2% of unauthorized immigrants who are charged with felonies) to refer to all unauthorized immigrants, 98% who live productive otherwise lawful lives.

2.     If I’m elected, we will impose tough new mandatory minimum federal prison sentences for anyone who illegally re-enters the country after previously being deported. And we will swiftly remove and deport all criminal aliens from this country, and dismantle the gangs and cartels preying on our citizens. Either we win this election, or we lose the country. (211016b—Remarks at the Newtown Athletic Club Sports Training Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania)

Metonymy #3 Trump repeatedly refers, by name, to twelve American individuals or their parents.[*] These individuals were killed by “criminal aliens.” Trump uses each named person or family a metonym for the “countless Americans” or their families. This code-term projects the actions of twelve killers to all unauthorized immigrants, who victimize all (white) Americans.

3.     Countless Americans are killed by illegal immigrants because our government won’t do its job. These include amazing Americans like Sergeant Brandon Mendoza, of Mesa Arizona, who was killed by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record who should have been deported – but the government refused to act. I’ve spent time with his incredible mother. (291016b—Remarks at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona)



Trump repeatedly states that the nation is imperiled by the presence of immigrants. His discussion of immigration revealed what we will call his leading metaphor, namely the fundamental organizing principle regarding immigration and the state that he expressed via his spoken and tweeted metaphors. Trump’s leading metaphor is what he takes to be the state of affairs of the US. His leading analogy: nation as a besieged fortress. He repeatedly states that the US has a “broken border” or “open border.” Whenever he speaks about immigrants, the underlying storyline is of the US is under attack; that “American homes, cities, and towns” are “overrun” and “ravaged” by a murderous criminal enemy force. The enemy is Mexico. Mexico’s government and its leaders “push” or “send” its worst people to attack America. He uses the term “criminal aliens” to lump the two percent of unauthorized immigrants who commit felonious acts with the 98 percent of otherwise law-abiding unauthorized immigrants. These so-called “criminal aliens” constitute the dangerous alien force that Mexico sends through the broken border. This invading force rapes and murders, threatening all Americans. Trump repeatedly invokes by name eleven individuals who were victims. Trump invokes these unfortunate individuals and their families as stand-ins for all those “countless Americans” who he says are victims of the criminals and drugs that Mexico pours into through the open border.


What is the state of the nation?

According to Trump, unimpeded waves of criminal immigrants have poured into America, weakening its borders to the point where its very existence is threatened. The uncontrolled influx of a large immigration population is a result of the lax enforcement of immigration policy by stupid or complicit politicians.

Catchphrase: A nation without borders is not a nation at all.
4.     We must also be a secure nation. Security begins at the border. A nation that doesn’t control its borders is not a nation. A country that doesn’t protect its people isn’t a country. A government that doesn’t put its own citizens first is a government unworthy and unfit to lead. Here are some heartbreaking examples of how our government has failed our citizens. Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this Administration. This includes incredible Americans like 21-year-old Sarah Root. The man who killed her arrived at the border, entered federal custody, and then was released into a U.S. community under the policies of this White House. He was released again after the crime, and is now at large. (041016—Remarks at Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona)
5.     In terms of the border, it’s a disgrace. Either we have a border or we don’t have a country. You can’t have a country without borders. [150706-Trump on Mexico Comments] 

“Open Border” code-word for Obama/Clinton immigration policy: The President emphasizes that without a border, there is no nation, and that an open border leaves America vulnerable to danger. He expresses that American lives have been put in jeopardy because of open borders. He argues that an open-border policy is detrimental to the well-being of American communities as it allows criminals, drugs, and murderers to pour into the nation without much resistance.

6.     Politicians sent troops to protect the borders of foreign nations, but left America’s borders wide open for all to violate. We’ve spent billions and billions of dollars on one global project after another, and yet, as gangs flooded into our country, we couldn’t even provide safety for our own people. (290417b—Remarks by President Trump at Make America Great Again Rally Harrisburg, PA)

Drugs pour in through open borders: Aside from labeling the border as dangerous, the President also vindicates his plan for a border wall on the basis that the current border in between the U.S. and Mexico is simply, “weak and broken.”

7.     But I know that you want safe neighborhoods where the streets belong to families and communities, not gang members and drug dealers who are right now, as I speak, being thrown out of the country and they will not be let back in. (Applause.) We will have strong borders again. (Applause.) And I mean that. And you’ve seen it on television. You’ve seen it on television. General Kelly, now Secretary Kelly, he’s really doing the job. You’re seeing it. The gang members -- bad, bad people. I said it day one. And they’re going out, or they’re being put in prison. But for the most part, get them the hell out of there. Bring them back to where they came from. (Applause.) (180217—Remarks by President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Make America Great Again Rally)
8.     El Chapo and the Mexican drug cartels use the border unimpeded like it was a vacuum cleaner sucking drugs and death right into the U.S... likewise billions of dollars gets brought into Mexico through the border. We get the killers drugs crime they get the money! (7/13/15 10:47)
9.     We will stop heroin and other drugs from coming into New Hampshire from our open southern border. We will build a WALL and have security. (2/9/1
10.  We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate. And we’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled. (280217b—Remarks by President Trump in Joint Address to Congress)
11.  So, we will build the wall, and we will stop a lot of things, including the drug —the drugs are pouring in at levels like nobody has ever seen. We’ll be able to stop them once the wall is up. (280817b--Remarks by President Trump and the president of Finland in Joint Press Conference)

Who is the enemy?

Trump depicts Mexico as the enemy of the United States. He is able to construct this idea on the basis that Mexico is the, “second deadliest country in the world.” With the claim that Mexico is dangerous and embattled in turmoil, the President pleads to the American public that building a wall will protect the United States from the risks that Mexico imposes on the well-being of the nation state.

12.  Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world after only Syria. Drug trade is largely the cause. We will BUILD THE WALL! (6/22/2017 10:15:39 PM)
13. Mexican politicians are smarter than Americans: The President also reassures that Mexico is an enemy of the United States by claiming that Mexico is, “killing the United States economically.” Furthermore, he declares the leaders of Mexico to be, “far smarter than ours.”
14. Mexico is killing the United States economically because their leaders and negotiators are FAR smarter than ours. But nobody beats Trump! (6/20/15 1:54)
15. Only very stupid people think that the United States is making good trade deals with Mexico. Mexico is killing us at the border and at trade! (6/27/15 17:17)

Mexican Leaders “push” or “send” their “worst” people to the United States. According to the President, these people are, “murders, drug dealers, and gang members.”

16.  People are flowing into this country. People in many cases, who are very bad. They are sending their criminals and they are not going to help us. I’m sure there’s going to be some wonderful people, but for the most part those people are not going to be helping. We are getting criminals, gang members, the worst of the worst, and were just letting them flow right in. And now they’re going to be voting? The Democrats like this and they wanted to help. (200315—WMUR-TV Interview with Trump)

Wall as necessity: The President expressed urgency for the creation of a “Great Wall” in the Southern border, justifying this by stating that it was the only way to keep the “nation secure” and free of crime.

17.  Drugs are pouring into this country. If we have no border we have no country. That’s why ICE endorsed me. #Debate #BigLeagueTruth (10/20/16 1:22)
18.  We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful, lawful, lawful immigration system. Lawful. (210716—Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio)

Who are the invaders?

The President identifies the immigrants flowing south of the border as the invaders who show no remorse to the American public.

19.  Never again will America surrender the security of our people, the safety of our communities or the sovereignty of our nation. We are cracking down hard on the foreign criminal gangs that have brought illegal drugs, violence, horrible bloodshed to peaceful neighborhoods all across our country. We are throwing MS-13 the hell out of here so fast. You know, we’re actually — hard to believe that we’re talking about our great country. (170726-Trump Ohio Rally Speech)
20.  We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. (101117—Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit)


Immigrants as criminals: The President proceeds to denounce Mexican and Central American immigrants as, “criminals, rapists, and thieves.” He claims to be frustrated that these “killers” are simply able to “walk across the border”, commit a crime, and still be eligible to, “receive free health care.”

21.  Again illegal immigrant is charged with the fatal bludgeoning of a wonderful and loved 64 year old woman. Get them out and build a WALL! (8/11/15 0:29)
22.  One by one, we’re finding the illegal immigrant drug dealers, gang members, and killers, and removing them from our country. And, once they are gone, folks -- you see what we’re doing -- they will not let them back in. They’re not coming back. (290417b—Remarks by President Trump at Make America Great Again Rally Harrisburg)
23.  Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges. That is those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who’ve come here under this current corrupt administration. (310816—Remarks on Immigration at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix Arizona)


Immigrants as animals: According to Trump the immigrants that are coming into the United States via the southern border are “animals.” He claims that these immigrant gangs, “don’t like shooting people because it’s too quick.” Instead he provides vivid and gruesome examples of several cases in which a U.S. citizen was murdered by one of these “animals.”  

24.  Together, we’re going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities, and we’re going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs. But MS-13 is particularly violent. They don’t like shooting people because it’s too quick, it’s too fast. I was reading -- one of these animals was caught -- in explaining, they like to knife them and cut them, and let them die slowly because that way it’s more painful, and they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals. (280717b—Remarks by President Trump to Law Enforcement Officials on MS-13)
25.  One by one we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from. And once they are gone, we will never let them back in. Believe me. The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people, these beautiful, beautiful, innocent young people will, will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. (170726-Trump Ohio Rally Speech)

Who are the victims?

The President is convinced that it is American citizens who are the ones suffering from the absence of a border wall and poor immigration enforcement. He blames the rise of sanctuaries cities and the failure of past administrations in immigration policy as the primary reasons that have contributed to the chaos inflicted on American communities.

26.  Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this President Obama and Hillary Clinton. This includes incredible Americans like 21-year-old Sarah Root. The man who killed her arrived at the border, entered federal custody, and then was released into a U.S. community under the immigration policies of Obama-Clinton. He was released again after the crime, and is now at large. (051016—Remarks at Henderson Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada)
27.  Countless innocent Americans have been killed by illegal immigrants. Last year, as an example, 17-year-old Starlett Pitts, her boyfriend and her mother were stabbed to death in their Lee High Acres home by an illegal immigrant. The killer had been convicted of assaulting a police officer and was wanted for double murder and robbery. (021116b—Remarks at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami Florida) 

Who is the hero?

The President presents himself as a savior to the American public, as he vows, “Find, arrest, jail, and deport” every criminal alien in the United States. He also claims that he will bring justice to “every mom who has lost her child to illegal immigration”, by defunding sanctuary cities of federal funds and building a wall in between the U.S. and Mexico border.

Catchphrase: “Take back our country”
28.  We must stop the crime and killing machine that is illegal immigration. Rampant problems will only get worse. Take back our country! (8/11/15 0:58)
29.  We will no longer be silent. We can take our country back! Let’s Make America Great Again! (7/17/15 17:32)


Trump as hero

30.  When I become President, this crime wave ends. We are going to cancel all federal funding for Sanctuary Cities. We are going to impose tough prison sentences for illegal immigrants who return after a previous deportation. We will end illegal immigration, deport every last criminal alien, and save American lives. (291016b—Remarks at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona)
31.  I’m going to fight for every mom who lost her child to illegal immigration, and drugs and gang violence. (161017–Remarks at KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin) [repeated]
32.  So, to every American who has been waiting for real change, your wait is over – your moment of liberation is at hand. (090616 Remarks at a Rally at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, North Carolina.txt)


Who are the traitors?

Politicians, Hillary, Obama, and Republicans who don’t support Trump. The President attacked any politician who did not share his views on “illegal immigrants.”

33.  The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressional race tomorrow wants to protect criminals allow illegal immigration and raise taxes! (4/17/17 13:31)
34.  Hillary doesn’t know what she’s doing except open borders and let everybody come in and destroy our country by the way. (310816—Remarks on Immigration at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona)

Politicians as corrupt, weak:

35.  In four years, there’s no way. Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency. And if she were elected, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis. (161102-Remarks at Central Florida Fairgrounds)
36.  Hillary Clinton is the ringleader of a criminal enterprise that has corrupted our government at the highest levels and the American people have one chance to stop it by showing up and voting. (161003-Trump’s Rally in Pueblo, CO)


Mexico: We have already presented how Trump characterizes Mexico and (Mexican) immigrants respectively as the enemy state and its invading combatant within his nation as fortress narrative.

US Latinos: Now we consider his statements on the two groups of these children. Trump is not careful to distinguish US citizens by birthright, and those who are unauthorized because they were brought to the US as children. He at times conflates these different groups of children, which suggests his concern is not their legal status, but rather their non-white race. Indeed, he repeatedly expresses hostility toward US Latino children, in particular that they are entitled to US citizenship because of the Birthright Citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment.

37.  How crazy - 7.5% of all births in U.S. are to illegal immigrants over 300000 babies per year. This must stop. Unaffordable and not right! (21/08/15)
38.   So, we have 300,000 babies a year that you will have to take care of, we all have to take care of your [it] in the case of other countries, including Mexico, they do not do that. It does not work that way. You do not walk up the border one day and all the sudden we have another American citizen. Mexico does not do not do it. Very few places do it. We are the only place just about that is stupid enough to do it. (210815--Presidential Candidate Trump Rally in Mobile, Alabama)

Anchor Babies. Trump employs the disparaging term, anchor babies, for US Latinos who are born to immigrants. Again, he expresses disdain for them as the children of immigrants, although by constitutional directive, they are US citizens. This is a display of his disdain for their heritage as Mexican-Americans, Salvadoran-Americans, and so forth.

39.  Unbelievable. The birthright citizenship, the Anchor Baby, the birthright citizenship, and it will not happen. [For] -- hundreds of thousands of people coming from all over the world. It is over. Not going to happen. (151112, Trump Remarks at 2015 Sunshine Summit)
40.  You’re going to see what we’re going to do. You’re going to see. But the whole thing with anchor babies I was right. A person has a baby, lives in Mexico, lives in Asia or -- has a baby, walks across the border, has the baby here. Now we’re responsible for that person for the next 85 years. I don’t think so. And by the way, I was right, they were wrong. The 14th Amendment does not give them clearance on that. (031115—Presidential Candidate Trump News Conference)
41.  But the whole thing with anchor babies I was right. A person has a baby, lives in Mexico, lives in Asia or -- has a baby, walks across the border, has the baby here. Now we’re responsible for that person for the next 85 years. I don’t think so. And by the way, I was right, they were wrong. The 14th Amendment does not give them clearance on that. (031115--Candidate Trump News Conference)

DREAMers and Sanctuary Cities. We have already addressed Trump’s vision that Sanctuary City are the sites where so-called criminal aliens, Mexico’s foot soldiers, overrun and wreak havoc among innocent American citizens. Trump is ambivalent about the group of activists called the DREAMers, but he clearly expresses derision about the power of their self-describing term, DREAMer. He wants to appropriate this term for the families of his audience, what he calls “our children,” namely the offspring of his constituency. Similarly, he tries to seize the notion of Sanctuary Cities, once again, for them:

42.  Did you ever hear of the Dream Act? It is not for our children. The Dream Act is for other children that come into the country. I want The Dream Act to be for our children. (151112, Trump Remarks at 2015 Sunshine Summit)
43.  I saw that they were having the illegal immigrants come in, time to do with children, The Dreamers. The [joys] of children. I said, what about our children, why can’t our children be The Dreamers? No one ever talks about that. [Applause]. (290815--Presidential Candidate Trump Speech in Nashville, Tennessee)
44.  Where is the sanctuary for American children? Where is that sanctuary? The dreamers we never talk about are the young Americans. Why aren’t young Americans dreamers also? I want my dreamers to be young Americans. (240816--Remarks at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi)
45.  Our whole country loses when young people of limitless potential are denied the opportunity to contribute their talents because we failed to provide them the opportunities they deserved. Let our children be dreamers too. (180816--Remarks at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.)



[*] The frequently named victims are Earl Oldander, Casey Chadwick, Marilyn Pharis, Kate Steinle, Grant Ronneback, the son of Jamiel Shaw, Brandon Mendoza, the daughter of Sabine Durden, Sarah Root, Starlette Pitts, and the son of Laura Wilkerson. Law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were also named, including Kris Eggle and Nick Erfle.