Trump Invokes Hannibal Lecter As He Shares Migrant Conspiracy

Donald Trump’s fixation with Hannibal Lecter resurfaced once again during a campaign event on Tuesday.

Speaking to fans gathered at his golf course in Doral, Florida, the Republican presidential candidate referenced the fictional cannibal as he claimed, without evidence, that tens of thousands of “bloodthirsty” migrants are being ferried into the U.S. from prisons, jails and psychiatric institutions in South America, Asia and Africa.

Using a tongue-in-cheek tone, Trump asked, “Did anyone ever see ‘The Silence of the Lambs?’ Did you ever hear of Hannibal Lecter?”

“He was a lovely man,” he continued sarcastically. “He would love to have you for dinner. He will take you. He had many people for dinner.”

Trump added that though the media might say he’s “rambling about Hannibal Lecter,” he had a reason for bringing up the “Silence of the Lambs” character.

Likening migrants to Lecter, he floated the unfounded conspiracy theory that other countries were sending “bloodthirsty terrorists, savage gang members, and child predators” to the border “to prey on our people, to prey on you, to prey on everybody.”

Tuesday’s campaign event mark yet another instance of Trump invoking Lecter, who has become a repeated trope in the politician’s speeches.

He invoked similar claims about violent migrants during a rally in New Jersey in May, as well as a January campaign event in New Hampshire.

Trump has had some nice things to say about Lecter at times, however.

He appeared to praise the actor who played the character last fall in Iowa, where he asked supporters, “Hannibal Lecter, how great an actor was he? You know why I like him? Because he said on television … ‘I love Donald Trump.’”

It’s not clear who Trump meant. Anthony Hopkins, the actor who won an Oscar for playing Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” said he was ambivalent about Trump during a 2018 interview with The Guardian.

Mads Mikkelsen, who played the character of the TV series “Hannibal,” deflected a question about the then-candidate during an interview with CBS during released days before the 2016 election, simply saying Trump is “obviously not the classic politician.”


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