It was precisely one year ago, on June 16, 2015, that Donald Trump announced he was running for president. And from the get-go, he made clear that he wouldn’t be waging a typical campaign -- or staying within the typical boundaries of legitimate political debate.
In the course of one of his soon-to-be-familiar diatribes, Trump explained why he was so determined to conduct mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and to build a wall along the Mexican border: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. He would go on to allege an influx of criminals unsupported by evidence and astonishing for its blunt, ethnic stereotyping.
One year later, Trump is still at it -- spewing a mix of demagoguery, deception, and divisiveness unlike anything in the modern history of presidential campaigns. And lately, the statements have come so quickly that the less egregious ones mostly escape attention.
On Friday, for example, Trump mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas,” because of an old controversy over her claims of Native American heritage. When even some fellow Republicans said the comments were inappropriate, and maybe even racist, Trump apologized -- to Pocahontas. The outrage over Trump’s reactions to the Orlando shootings quickly turned that episode into an afterthought.
A week ago, we tried to put all of Trump’s most memorable comments in one place -- and said we would update the list if Trump provided new material. We figured that was likely to happen. We didn’t figure it would happen this quickly.
Here’s the latest compilation, with the new material at the end:
1. “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
June 16, 2015
Here's the full quote about undocumented immigrants from Trump's announcement speech:
“When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. … They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In case you were wondering, The Washington Post gave Trump's claims about the influx of criminals "Four Pinnochios" for dishonesty.
2. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
July 18, 2015
Trump didn’t serve in the Vietnam War, thanks to a series of deferments. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did -- and spent five excruciating years in captivity, frequently enduring torture, after the North Vietnamese shot down his plane. So what does Trump think of the senator's service?
“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said during an appearance in Iowa. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
3. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her — wherever.”
Aug. 7, 2015
For many Americans, this was the first exposure to Trump’s predilection for lashing out at journalists -- and making denigrating comments about women. The day after a Fox News debate in which co-moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about misogynist things he had said in the past, the candidate called in to CNN and offered a theory on why Kelly was putting forward such tough questions: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her — wherever.”
Trump later denied that he was referencing Kelly’s menstrual cycle, saying “only a deviant” would think that.
4. “Look at that face! Would anybody vote for that?”
Sept. 9, 2015
Trump has a long history of judging women by their appearances and mocking those who don’t live up to his standards. While sitting for an interview with Rolling Stone and watching video of a previous Republican presidential debate, Trump turned his attention to Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and rival for the GOP nomination: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! … I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
5. “What a beauty, that one …”
Sept. 9, 2015
Probably no moment of the campaign has been as singularly creepy as Trump, in that same Rolling Stone interview, talking about his daughter Ivanka: "Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, ya know, her father . . . "
6. “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases.”
Nov. 19, 2015
Days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, an NBC reporter asked Trump whether the U.S. should have a registry of Muslims living in the country. "I would certainly implement that,” Trump said. “Absolutely. … There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems." The reporter followed up: Would Muslims be required to register? "They have to be — they have to be," Trump replied. He later said he had not understood the reporter’s question and merely wanted a registry of refugees from places like Syria, although he added that a full Muslim registry is “something we should start thinking about.”
7. “Thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.”
Nov. 21, 2015
"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down," he said at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering."
The next day, "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that “the police say that didn’t happen.” Trump insisted otherwise: “It was on television. I saw it happen.”
The stories of mass 9/11 celebrations by American Muslims have been around for a long time -- and have been subjected to numerous independent inquiries by journalists and fact-checkers. The verdict is always the same: The celebrations didn’t happen.
8. "Written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy. You ought to see this guy."
Nov. 24, 2015
While under scrutiny for his claim that he saw thousands of Muslims cheering 9/11, Trump cited a 2001 Washington Post story reporting that officials had investigated reports of some people celebrating the attacks. The story, by reporter Serge Kovaleski, had mentioned “some” people, not “thousands” -- and the reports of celebrations were not substantiated. But never mind that.When Trump was telling a South Carolina audience about the article, he digressed and started talking about Kovaleski: "Written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy. You ought to see this guy.” And as Trump was saying these things, he contorted his face and moved his arms and hands around awkwardly.
Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that can limit joint movement or lock limbs in place.
9. “A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Dec. 7, 2015
Trump emailed a statement to the press, then read it aloud (referring to himself in the third person) during a campaign appearance in South Carolina. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," it read.
Campaign aide Corey Lewandowski later confirmed that the prohibition would cover “everybody,” including Muslims seeking tourist visas -- although neither Trump nor his aides ever explained how they could successfully implement such a plan, since many passports don’t indicate religion, or how such a policy squared with the basic American credo that nobody should be judged based on his or her faith.
10. “[Putin]’s running his country and at least he’s a leader.”
Dec. 18, 2015
Trump spent much of the fall trading kind words with Russian President Vladmir Putin. He explained why in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader," Trump said. "You know, unlike what we have in this country.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough pointed out that Putin is a strongman whose political adversaries, including those in the media, frequently end up dead. Trump responded by saying, “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also.” He went on to note that Putin’s poll numbers in Russia were much higher than those of U.S. President Barack Obama.
11. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Jan. 23, 2016
During an Iowa campaign appearance, Trump marveled at the loyalty of his supporters: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Craziest thing about this statement? It might have been true.
12. “I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
Feb. 6, 2016
Several Republican presidential candidates said they supported using brutal interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. Days before the New Hampshire primary, during a debate, Trump outdid them all.
“We have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people,” Trump said. “Not since medieval times have we seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding, and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
13. "He dipped them in pig's blood."
Feb. 19, 2016
Trump's support for torture provoked widespread condemnation, much of it from former members of the armed forces and national security experts. Trump's immediate response, naturally, was to double down. During a rally in South Carolina, he told his supporters a story about America's occupation of the Philippines in the early 20th century -- and the methods Gen. John Joseph Pershing supposedly used to fight Muslim insurgents there.
"They were having terrorism problems, just like we do. And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. OK? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem."
14. “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
Feb. 22, 2016
By February, disruptions at Trump rallies had become part of the routine: A protester would interrupt the candidate, who would say something nasty about the protester while security escorted him or her off the premises.
Sometimes Trump would simply shout “get out!” Other times, he’d offer more commentary -- which is what he did during a Las Vegas rally. “Here’s a guy, throwing punches, nasty as hell, screaming at everything else, when we’re talking," he said. “The guards are very gentle with him. He’s walking out, like, big high-fives, smiling, laughing. I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.”
Reporters could not corroborate claims that the protester had initiated physical contact.
15. “I’m going to open our libel laws.”
Feb. 26, 2016
Trump, whose candidacy has benefited enormously from free media coverage, has spent much of the campaign attacking the press. He announced at a Texas rally that he’d continue doing so as president -- and would seek to change laws, so that suing the media would become easier:
"I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected."
As usual, Trump didn’t go into details -- like, for example, whether he understood the current standards for libel come from a 1964 Supreme Court case that virtually no jurist seriously questions.
16. “I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?”
Feb. 28, 2016
Former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana politician David Duke is among the many white supremacists who have supported Trump’s candidacy. CNN’s Jake Tapper gave Trump the chance to disavow that support -- and Trump declined to do so three times. The candidate said he needed more information about Duke, who is arguably the nation’s best known associate of the KKK and about whom Trump had spoken previously.
“Just so you understand,” Trump said on CNN, “I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know — did he endorse me or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke.”
17. “50 bucks a steak.”
March 8, 2016
Triumph doesn’t soothe Trump’s fragile ego. Case in point: After winning the hugely important Florida primary, Trump used his victory press conference to rebut former GOP nominee Mitt Romney's suggestion that Trump-branded commercial products had been miserable failures.
“I have very successful companies,” Trump said, pointing to a nearby table with consumer goods bearing his name -- including, supposedly, a pile of Trump Steaks. “If you want to take one, we’ll charge 50 bucks a steak.”
It took journalists all of a few seconds to notice that the steaks had labels from a local supermarket -- and a few more hours of research to determine that the steak line was defunct, just as Romney had claimed.
Consequential? No. Indicative of a brazen willingness to lie? Yes.
18. “I’ve instructed my people to look into it.”
March 13, 2016
At a North Carolina rally, a 78-year-old Trump supporter named John McGraw walked across a row of seats and sucker-punched a protester who was being escorted away by security. Video footage captured the incident, raising new questions about whether Trump was implicitly encouraging such violence -- by, among other things, vowing to pay the legal fees of any supporters who fought protesters and faced arrest as a result.
Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” asked Trump whether that meant he’d pay McGraw’s legal fees. “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Trump said. “I don’t condone violence,” Trump added, although he also went out of his way to praise McGraw. “He obviously loves his country," he said. "And maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country.”
19. “I think you would have riots.”
March 16, 2016
In early March, it seems very possible that Trump could win more delegates than his competitors but still fall short of securing the number needed to clinch the nomination. This raised the possibility of a contested convention in Cleveland, and Republican leadership making somebody else the party’s presidential candidate.
"I think you would have riots" if that happened, Trump warned during an interview with CNN.
As is typical, Trump later clarified that he wasn’t condoning or encouraging violence. He was merely pointing out that it could happen. “I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen," he said.
20. “We’re better off if Japan protects itself.”
March 29, 2016
Since World War II, a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been to limit the spread of nuclear weapons -- especially to areas of potentially high tensions, like the Korean peninsula. Trump shocked both liberal and conservative foreign policy experts when he proposed upending that policy -- specifically, by having Japan and South Korea defend themselves, with their own nuclear arsenals, rather than rely on the U.S. military.
“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,'" he said.
When asked whether the same policy might apply to countries like Saudi Arabia, Trump said he imagined the country would get a nuclear arsenal eventually, although he wouldn’t advocate giving it one. “It’s only a question of time," Trump said. "They’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.”
21. “What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald?”
May 3, 2016
Trump was poised to win the Indiana primary and secure the GOP nomination. But instead of easing up on his chief rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), he started talking about a bizarre National Enqurier story that suggested a link between Cruz’s father and John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being, you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said during a phone call to Fox News. "Nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. … What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the shooting?"
22. "I love Hispanics!"
May 5, 2016
Trump’s tweet on Cinco de Mayo would have been hilarious, if only it had been an item in The Onion:
23. “Very fishy.”
May 23, 2016
The Washington Post asked Trump about the theory, popular in some conservative circles, that Hillary Clinton had something to do with the 1993 death of Vince Foster, a personal friend who was serving in the White House. Trump called the death, which multiple inquires determined to be a suicide, “very fishy.” Trump proceeded to address the matter in what’s become his signature method: He repeated discredited allegations of foul play (“there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder”) while claiming not to know the truth because he didn't have all the relevant information (“I don’t know enough to really discuss it”).
24. “This judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall.”
June 3, 2016
The personal attacks. The contempt for political norms. The denigration of immigrants. It’s all there in Trump’s commentary on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over lawsuits against Trump University.
Curiel was born in Indiana; previously, as a prosecutor, he risked his life while pursuing Mexican drug cartels. But Curiel's parents immigrated from Mexico and that, Trump stated, means the judge cannot rule in the Trump University lawsuits fairly.
When CNN's Tapper asked Trump whether such arguments were racist, Trump responded by saying, “This judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall.” Tapper pressed him on this a few times, and Trump kept giving versions of the same response.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called Trump’s criticism of Curiel “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Newt Gingrich, former speaker and Republican presidential candidate, said it was “one of the worst mistakes Trump has made.”
Trump later said his comments had been "misconstrued," but he never withdrew or apologized for the statements. And when journalists asked whether the same logic might disqualify a Muslim judge from presiding over a case against Trump, given Trump's statements and policies toward Muslims, Trump said yes.
25. “Appreciate the congrats.”
June 12, 2016
In response to the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, most public figures responded with somber notes of remorse and dismay. Trump’s first tweet simply recounted the news:
Then came a swipe at Clinton, over an unrelated ad Trump thought was dishonest.
It was Trump's third tweet, more than three hours after his first, that finally expressed sympathy:
But then Trump shifted gears again, noting that he had predicted the U.S. was vulnerable to terrorist incidents and suggesting that he was receiving congratulations for his clairvoyance:
26. “There's something going on.”
June 13, 2016
One day after the massacre, Trump decided to talk about Obama’s response to the terrorist threat -- and why, according to Trump, Obama wasn’t treating it more seriously.
Trump started by calling in to "Fox & Friends":
He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable. … Look, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can't believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words "radical Islamic terrorism." There's something going on. It's inconceivable.
The quote got attention instantly, because it sounded an awful lot like Trump was suggesting Obama was sympathetic to the terrorists. Later, when Trump called in to the "Today Show," host Savannah Guthrie asked Trump to clarify what he meant.
Well, there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn't want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn't know what he's doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it. He doesn't want to see what's really happening. And that could be.
Here, again, Trump was using one of his favorite techniques -- throwing out an unsubstantiated theory, while claiming not to believe it personally. But later, while speaking to The Associated Press, Trump didn’t bother with the pretense. Obama, Trump said, “claims to know our enemy, and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people."
And then on Wednesday, Trump retweeted a Breitbart article, based on a 2012 internal administration memo, claiming that the Obama administration had been secretly supporting ISIS. Experts said the Breitbart article grossly misinterprets the memo, with one calling the allegation a “transparently fallacious conspiracy theory." But the real significance was Trump’s claim of vindication for the theory about Obama that, just days before, he’d said he didn’t believe: