Donald Trump refused once again on Thursday to back away from his characterization of undocumented immigrants as being criminals and rapists, saying that he was assured of this by "Border Patrol people."
"Our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid," Trump said during a Republican presidential candidate debate on Thursday. "And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning and they send the bad ones over because they don't want to pay for them. They don't want to take care of them. Why should they when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that's what's happening, whether you like it or not."
Trump did not mention that PolitiFact rated his claim "Pants on Fire."
"Setting aside the question of whether Mexicans who have come to the United States are 'bad' or not, there is no evidence of any Mexican policy that pushes people out of Mexico and into the United States," PolitiFact stated after consulting several immigration experts. "As has been the case for decades, a combination of economic and family factors accounts for most of the migration from Mexico to the United States."
Instead, the former reality show star accused "dishonest" political reporters of misrepresenting his remarks, and told host Chris Wallace that the GOP would not even be discussing immigration at all if he had not mentioned it during his campaign launch.
At one point, Wallace asked Trump to make his case to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has called Trump's "extraordinarily ugly" in the past. Bush turned to Trump when Wallace made his request, but Trump initially refused to acknowledge the former governor.
"I don't mind having a big, beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally," he said, before finally turning to Bush. "But we need, Jeb, to build a wall. We need to keep illegals out."
Watch Trump's remarks, as posted online on Thursday, below.