A Democratic New York State assemblyman has showered U.S. President Donald Trump with praise for the deportation of a 95-year-old former concentration camp guard.
On the “Fox & Friends” morning show Wednesday, Brooklyn Democratic power broker Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose parents survived the Holocaust, said Jakiw Palij’s deportation “was huge.”
A conservative Democrat who has supported a long list of Republican presidential candidates, including Trump, Hikind said it was outrageous that for so many years “a Nazi walked the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens.”
In a tweet, Trump acknowledged Hikind’s gratitude on a morning when he could appreciate good news – after Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, was found guilty of financial misconduct and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations he said he committed at Trump’s bidding.
Palij’s deportation came a quarter-century after investigators first confronted him about his World War II past and he admitted lying to get into the United States, claiming he spent the war as a farmer and factory worker. It is believed that he served as an armed guard at an SS slave labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland until at least the spring of 1943, and helped to keep prisoners from escaping.
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Hikind said Trump was the only leader who had moved beyond talk and taken action. “You had eight years of Obama you had Bush before him," Hikind said.
"Everybody said, yeah, we gotta get rid of this guy but nobody wants him .... You are talking about someone who participated in the Final Solution living in our community, breathing the air. Enjoying this wonderful country when he deprived so many people of their life.” Palij, he said, had been “mocking us, laughing at us.”
Hikind chided members of his party for failing to give the president credit for the deportation. “My fellow Democrats don’t want the president to do well,” he said.
“As a Democrat, I say to my fellow Democrats, stop the nonsense, stop turning everything into a political thing. When the president does something huge like getting rid of the last Nazi, from Queens, New York, say ‘thank you, Mr. President’ for doing an amazing thing. God bless the president.”
At a rally in West Virginia Tuesday evening, Trump credited the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – which has come under fire for its treatment of immigrant families – for its role in deporting Palij.
“Many Democrats are calling to abolish ICE,” Trump told the crowd. “Today our brave ICE officers bravely carried out a 14-year-old deportation order against a Nazi criminal who is living in New York – the last known Nazi officer living in the United States.”