Trump told donors he’ll deport pro-Palestinian protesters

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Donald Trump told campaign donors that, should he return to the White House in November, he would deport pro-Palestinian student demonstrators in order to get them to “behave”.

The former president promised a crackdown on campus protests – that have swept across the country over the past few months – as he spoke at a roundtable event in New York earlier this month.

“One thing I do is, any student that protests, I throw them out of the country. You know, there are a lot of foreign students. As soon as they hear that, they’re going to behave,” Mr Trump said, according to event attendees, who spoke to The Washington Post anonymously.

According to the sources, the former president joked that the group of donors at the event encompassed “98 per cent of my Jewish friends”.

Protests have swept US college campuses since the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed about 1,200 people. The ensuing Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place at campuses across the US in recent months, including at New York’s Columbia University, where more than a hundred protesters were arrested late last month (AFP via Getty Images)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place at campuses across the US in recent months, including at New York’s Columbia University, where more than a hundred protesters were arrested late last month (AFP via Getty Images)

At the roundtable event on 14 May, one of the donors present complained that many of the students and professors protesting on campuses could one day hold positions of power in the US.

Mr Trump said that the demonstrations were a “radical revolution” that he promised to defeat, per The Post. Referencing efforts by the New York Police Department (NYPD) to clear protests at Columbia University last month, he praised the force and said that nationwide protests needed to be “stopped now”.

“Well, if you get me elected, and you should really be doing this, if you get me reelected, we’re going to set that movement back 25 or 30 years,” he said, according to the donors who spoke to The Post.

The former president has made sweeping statements about the war in the Middle East, saying that it is time to “get back to peace and stop killing people”. According to The Post, Republican donors have recently lobbied him to take a stronger stance backing Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Post reported, per its sources, that Mr Trump told donors behind closed doors that he supports Israel’s right to continue its “war on terror”. He has repeatedly claimed that the attack by Hamas on 7 October would have never happened if he were president at the time.

Republican donors have reportedly lobbied Mr Trump in recent months to take a stronger stance backing Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)
Republican donors have reportedly lobbied Mr Trump in recent months to take a stronger stance backing Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)

The Independent has contacted the Trump campaign for comment about reports.

It comes as the Biden administration faces strong calls to condemn Mr Netanyahu, after Israeli forces conducted an airstrike on tents in Rafah, meant for displaced Palestinians. The attack on Sunday killed at least 45 people and injured dozens more, according to Gaza health authorities.

Mr Netanyahu subsequently called the strike “a tragic mistake” and said that it would be investigated.

On Monday, Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, wrote on X: “Genocidal maniac Netanyahu told us he wants to ethically cleanse Palestinians. When are you going to believe him @POTUS?”