The Slatest

Trump Surrogate Advocates a Legal “Precedent” for Muslim Registry—Japanese Internment

Carl Higbie is a Trump surrogate. Like many before him, Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, carved out a niche for himself appearing on Fox News and CNN and others because he says outlandish, often offensive things. On Wednesday, Higbie went on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, where he discussed the possibility of creating a registry of Muslims in America.

“You heard [New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s] position. We don’t do that kind of thing. We don’t create registries based on religion,” Kelly asked kicking off the segment. “Yeah, well we have in the past. We’ve done it based on race. We’ve done it based on religion. We’ve done it based on region,” Higbie replied by way of explanation for why it is totally fine to do so. Higbie’s operating thesis is that non-Americans do not have the same rights as American citizens in the U.S. This is, generally speaking, untrue. But, more importantly, there is something particularly craven about using the darkest hours of American history as a justification for a return to those dark policies. This dangerously circular thinking goes “because it happened, it is therefore allowable in America,” before spiraling out of control. (This is not the last time you will hear this brand of logic out of the Trump family tree.)


It gets worse, though.

Kelly turned to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s statement that Trump’s policy advisers are discussing drafting a proposal to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.

Higbie: Yeah, and to be perfectly honest, it is legal. They say it will hold constitutional muster. I know the [American Civil Liberties Union] is going to challenge it. But I think it will pass. We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it in World War II with Japanese. Call it what you will … maybe wrong but …

Kelly: Come on, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope.

Higbie: No, I’m not proposing that at all.

Kelly: You know better than to suggest that. That’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.

Higbie: Right, I’m just saying there is precedent for it. And I’m not saying I agree with that.

Kelly: You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is going to do.

Higbie: Look, the president needs to protect America first. If that means having people not protected under our constitution have some sort of registry to understand, until we can identify the true threat and where they are coming from, I support it.


“Carl, good to see you,” Kelly concluded.

Good to see you, Carl? Good to see you, Carl.

You see what’s happening here? You see what’s happening here.