News & Politics

Jeff Sessions Makes Bizarre and False Claim About Nazis Not Deporting Jewish People to Defend His Cruel Immigration Policy

Whenever the Trump administration talks about Nazis, it doesn't go well.

Photo Credit: Fox News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions botched his history Monday night in a bizarre and false statement about the Nazi treatment of the Jewish people on Fox News.

Host Laura Ingraham had the attorney general on her show "The Ingraham Angle" to discuss Sessions' policy of separating children from their parents at the border.

"Nazi Germany, concentration camps, human rights violations," Ingraham said to Sessions, listing the comparisons and condemnations his family separation policy has drawn.

"Laura Bush has weighed in, Michelle Obama, Rosalyn Carter — you've got all the first ladies going back to Eleanor Roosevelt, she's apparently weighed in as well," she continued, laughing at her own joke. "What's going on here?"

"Well, this is a real exaggeration of course," Sessions said. "In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country."

At first glance, it's a mystifying response. When someone compares your policy to Nazi Germany, you should have a better-prepared response than to call it an "exaggeration."

Sessions' knowledge of history is also mistaken.

Expulsion of Polish Jews from Germany in 1938 actually affected an estimated 17,000 people. The Polish government refused to take these people back, forcing them to live in a forced legal limbo in which they could claim no citizenship or state protection.

And indeed, this form of statelessness and vulnerability is part of what is so problematic about the Trump administration's treatment of immigrants, many of whom are refugees fleeing all kinds of violence, who are again victimized by the U.S. government.

"If I’m remembering my Third Reich history correctly, I think the first use of the term 'final solution' was in a memo describing an initial plan to expel all the Jews from Europe," said MSNBC host Chris Hayes in response to Sessions' comments. "Other than that great argument why you’re not a Nazi!"

Watch the clip below:

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.