The closing argument against Donald Trump

He said, we said

For 16 months, Washington Post columnists and contributors have been making the case against Donald Trump.

Published on October 13, 2016

On Nov. 8, Americans will elect the next president of the United States. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, is, as we have written, “uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament.” Below is just a sampling of his many erroneous, malicious and ignorant comments since he launched his campaign in June 2015, along with commentary from Post Opinions writers and The Post editorial board.

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June 16, 2015

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

The Post’s View: Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy
“The U.S. democratic system is strong and has proved resilient when it has been tested before. We have faith in it. But to elect Mr. Trump would be to knowingly subject it to threat.” Read the full editorial 


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July 18, 2015

“I like people that weren’t captured.”

—on Arizona Sen. John McCain

Dana Milbank: Donald Trump’s war with the U.S. military
“Donald Trump, who had five draft deferments, never had to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. But he had a different sort of war record, as he told radio host Howard Stern years ago: He slept with many women without getting STDs.” Read the full op-ed


Aug. 7, 2015

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her, wherever.”

—on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who co-moderated the first GOP primary debate

Kathleen Parker: The meaning of Trump
“Rather than apologize, which would be as foreign to Trump as a woman his age, he’s insisting that Kelly apologize to him. Classic narcissism.” Read the full op-ed


Nov. 21, 2015

“Thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.”

Anne Applebaum: Donald Trump: Spokesman for birthers, truthers and Internet trolls
“Vulgar insults, racist slurs, manufactured ‘anger’ and invented ‘facts’ are all a normal part of debate in [many online] public spaces. Thanks to Trump, they have now migrated to presidential politics, too.” Read the full op-ed


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Nov. 24, 2015

“Written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy. You ought to see this guy.”

Richard Cohen: Donald Trump’s intolerable cruelty
“The cliche about feeling someone else’s pain cannot be applied to Trump. ... The only pain he feels is his own.” Read the full op-ed

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Dec. 7, 2015

“A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

Fareed Zakaria: I am a Muslim. But Trump’s views appall me because I am an American.
“This is the real danger of Trump’s rhetoric: It forces people who want to assimilate, who see themselves as having multiple identities, into a single box.” Read the full op-ed


Dec. 18, 2015

“[Putin’s] running his country and at least he’s a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country. … Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also.”

—on Russian President Vladimir Putin

George F. Will: If Trump wins the nomination, prepare for the end of the conservative party
“One hundred and four years of history is in the balance. If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, there might not be a conservative party in 2020 either.” Read the full op-ed

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Feb. 6, 2016

“I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

Ann Telnaes: Donald Trump likes torture ‘a lot’

Feb. 22, 2016

“They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”

—on the Ricketts family, who spent money against him in the GOP primary

Michael Gerson: The dangerous worldview at the core of Trump’s intimidation

“It seems reckless beyond reason — reckless with the republic itself — to arm [Trump] with the immense power of the executive branch.” Read the full op-ed 


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Feb. 26, 2016

“I’m going to open up our libel laws.”

George F. Will: The albatross of a Trump endorsement
“Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth-grade civics exam.” Read the full op-ed


Feb. 28, 2016

“I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know.”

Colbert I. King: Walking in David Duke’s shadow: Trump treads a well-worn path of bigotry
“Donald Trump, the outrageous, is no original. David Duke first trod this path. But Trump is taking his campaign to places Duke never dreamed of.” Read the full op-ed

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March 16, 2016

“I think you’d have riots.”

—on the possibility of a contested GOP convention

Ann Telnaes: Trump is baiting voters

March 22, 2016

“Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”

Kathleen Parker: Donald Trump’s war on women is officially in full swing
“If this is presidential, we need a new definition.” Read the full op-ed


March 29, 2016

“At some point we have to say, ‘You know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea. We’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself.”

A transcript of Donald Trump’s meeting with The Washington Post editorial board
Read the full transcript

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May 3, 2016

“What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the … shooting?”

—on Sen. Ted Cruz’s father (4:40)

Charles Krauthammer: Trump is running as Trump. Surprise!
“All of [this] cements … the image of a man who shoots from the hip and is prone to both wild theories and extreme policies.” Read the full op-ed


Vince Foster, left, and his wife, Lisa, with then-Gov. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in 1988. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette via Associated Press)

May 23, 2016

“There are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder.”

—on the suicide of Vince Foster

Sheila Foster Anthony: Vince Foster was my brother. Donald Trump should be ashamed.
“It is beyond contempt that a politician would use a family tragedy to further his candidacy, but such is the character of Donald Trump.” Read the full op-ed

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June 3, 2016

“This judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall.”

Michael Gerson: The party of Lincoln is dying
“It is one of those rare times … when the spotlight of history stops on a single decision, and a whole political career is remembered in a single pose. The test here: Can you support, for pragmatic reasons, a presidential candidate who purposely and consistently appeals to racism?” Read the full op-ed


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June 3, 2016

“Look at my African American over here!”

Danielle Allen: Day after day, Trump is making America smaller
“[Trump] is vacating the reasons that people of color have for loyalty to and pride in this country. He is diminishing the patrimony of white Americans by stripping it of its noblest aims.” Read the full op-ed


June 12, 2016

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

Tom Toles: Donald Trump is running out of ways to outdo himself


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June 13, 2016

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. … There’s something going on.”

Charles Krauthammer: Donald Trump and the fitness threshold
“[Trump] lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.” Read the full op-ed

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July 21, 2016

“I alone can fix it.”

—at 27:45 of Republican nomination acceptance speech

Robert Kagan: This is how fascism comes to America
“This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes … but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.” Read the full op-ed


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July 27, 2016

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Jennifer Rubin: Republicans have a problem: Trump-Putin
“The American people should be petrified of someone so dangerously oblivious as Trump. We’ve never had a president so potentially destructive to our national security and international standing.” Read the full post


July 30, 2016

“His wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”

—on Khizr Khan’s Democratic National Convention speech

Ghazala Khan: Donald Trump criticized my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice.
“Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?” Read the full op-ed

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Aug. 1, 2016

“I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged.”

Ruth Marcus: Donald Trump makes his most dangerous comments yet
“Add to this predictable ugliness a losing nominee who rouses supporters with assertions that the election was somehow stolen from him and you have a recipe for turmoil of a most un-American variety.” Read the full op-ed


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Aug. 9, 2016

“If she gets to pick her judges — nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

Dana Milbank: How Trump winks at political violence
“There was a time when fantasizing aloud about the murder of your opponent would have been beyond the pale — but not anymore.” Read the full op-ed


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Aug. 19, 2016

“What the hell do you have to lose?”

—to African Americans and Hispanics

Eugene Robinson: Trump ‘pivots’ 360 degrees, back into the mud
“That’s right, black Americans. The Republican candidate for president says you live Hobbesian lives of misery and despair, with no options, no prospects, no joy, no hope. Oh, and he wants your vote.” Read the full op-ed


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Aug. 31, 2016

“On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful Southern border wall … and Mexico will pay for the wall. One-hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they are going to pay for the wall.”

E.J. Dionne Jr.: Trump’s incredible immigration act
“The democratic idea is in grave jeopardy when citizens simply shrug over being manipulated and don’t expect more from their political leaders than posturing, positioning and captivating media circuses.” Read the full op-ed

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Sep. 7, 2016

“The generals have been reduced to rubble, reduced to a point where it is embarrassing for our country.”

David Ignatius: Don’t be fooled — Donald Trump’s foreign policy is as scary as ever
“For Islamic State propagandists, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.” Read the full op-ed


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Sept. 16, 2016

“Hillary Clinton … started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Greg Sargent: Donald Trump is a racist conspiracy theorist. Don’t let him lie his way out of it.
“While Trump’s personal birtherism goes to the heart of just how unfit for the presidency Trump really is, so, too, does Trump’s willingness — whatever his actual beliefs — to use such racist appeals to win over others.” Read the full post


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Sep. 26, 2016

“That makes me smart.”

—his response to Clinton’s suggestion that he pays no federal income tax

Tom Toles: What IS Trump hiding with those tax returns?

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Oct. 7, 2016

“I just start kissing them. … Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”

—from 2005 video

Danielle Allen: Donald Trump is a walking, talking example of the tyrannical soul
“Character matters because it is how we restrain the inner would-be tyrant in each one of us. It matters because it is how we limit the placement of great power in the hands of those with tyrannical instincts and appetites. If we’ve given up a commitment to character, we’ve already given up the game or, to speak more precisely, the work of protecting freedom, equality and human flourishing.” Read the full post


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Oct. 9, 2016

“You’d be in jail.”

Michael Gerson: Republicans deserve their sad fate
“Trump’s debate performance was appalling, contemptible, shameful, squalid, vile. Do we really want a president who views the rule of law as a means to imprison his opposition?” Read the full op-ed

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