Kirsten Gillibrand: I’m running ‘because of what Donald Trump has done to this country’

March 19, 2019 GMT

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday that one of the reasons she decided to enter the 2020 race was because of the culture of “fear and hate and degradation” created by President Trump.

Ms. Gillibrand made the comments during an MSNBC town hall with host Chris Hayes after a Muslim woman asked the senator whether she would repeal Mr. Trump’s travel ban, which temporarily restricted entry to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries.

“I will stand up against white nationalism, and I will repeal the Muslim ban as soon as I am president of the United States,” Ms. Gillibrand replied, prompting a wave of applause.


“One of the reasons why I’m running for president is because of what Donald Trump has done to this country. He’s made her family afraid to worship” she continued, her voice cracking, referring to the women who asked the question. “He has spread fear and hate and degradation across this country. He has spewed hate, racism, anti-Semitism and has inspired more.”

Ms. Gillibrand said that while Mr. Trump didn’t “create” hatred and bigotry, his behavior has “poured fuel on a fire that is raging more than I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime.”

“Hate crimes have gone up exponentially all across my state, all across the country, because of what President Trump has unleashed,” she said.

“He’s making us less safe,” she added. “His hatred makes us less safe. His Muslim ban makes us less safe. So I will protect this country. I will make sure that we are safe. But I will make sure that we remember we are best when we love one another when we treat others the way we want to be treated.”