The Slatest

Trump Brags That Latino American Border Guard “Speaks Perfect English,” Gets Name of Border Agency Wrong

Trump points to an individual in the crowd while speaking against a backdrop of gold curtains.
Trump at Monday’s White House event. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The White House held an event on Monday called Salute to the Heroes of ICE and CBP to celebrate its support for the politically beleaguered agencies that carry out Donald Trump’s controversial deportation and family-separation policies. Thanks to the president’s reading comprehension/factual retention problems and subconscious racism, however, “the White House supports immigration agents” will likely not be the average news consumer’s takeaway from the event. First, Trump repeatedly called the CBP—which stands for Customs and Border Protection—the “CBC”:

Per the rush-transcript service that Slate subscribes to, Trump said “CBC” seven times during the event. (A Bloomberg reporter confirmed that the acronym was rendered correctly as CBP on the teleprompter that Trump was reading off of.)

More symbolically significant was Trump’s approving ad-libbed comment that an (apparently) Latino border agent involved in a high-profile recent bust “speaks perfect English”:

The agent in question appears to be named Adrian Anzaldua; CBP agents are, as you might imagine, required to be American citizens, so it should not be surprising that Anzaldua speaks English. Unless, of course, your default assumption is that any person with a Spanish surname is likely an unassimilated first-generation criminal who’s been offloaded onto the United States by a scheming Latin American government’s rapist-deportation program. Which is Trump’s assumption. Because of the racism. No one else has the courage to say it, but I do: This president is racist!