Fox host tries to defend Trump: It's not racist if he's calling people besides Mexicans rapists
Donald Trump (YouTube)

Fox Business host Charles Payne tried to stick up for Donald Trump on Thursday by arguing that his anti-immigrant remarks have not been exclusively against Mexicans, Media Matters reported.

"I think Donald Trump has gone to a certain degree, to a certain length to say, hey, we're talking about these countries, by the way, not just Mexico but a lot of countries south of the border sending their worst people, allowing their worst people to escape to this country, they're not good people for the most part, if they're letting them go, if they allow them to go through, many of them happen to be criminals," Payne told Rep. Xavier Becerra (R-CA).

Becerra, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, has been among the lawmakers criticizing Trump's planned appearance on Saturday Night Live this week, and calling for the show to cancel it. A petition delivered to the NBC offices in New York earlier this week garnered signatures from 520,000 people opposed to Trump's hosting the show.

After opening the interview by accusing the congressman of wanting to get in the way of Trump "having some fun on a Saturday night," Payne appeared to be agitated when he told Becerra, "If we get hung up on your interpretation of those words being racist, and not address the idea that so many crimes are being committed, aren't we committing a crime against the people of this country?"

The host then tried to link his argument to "sanctuary cities," asking if the US should even have them.

"You don't understand, then, what 'sanctuary cities' do," Becerra replied. "You should take a look at what the policy is regarding 'sanctuary cities,' because it's not as you explained. I will say this: any time that we want to talk about immigration policy, I think it is important to make sure that we distinguish between racist remarks and the policy that we would want our country to implement."

As The Daily Beast reported earlier this year, there is no uniform policy in place for "sanctuary cities," contrary to conservative rhetoric.

Watch the interview, as posted by Media Matters on Thursday, below.