Many supporters of Donald Trump say that they appreciate him because he speaks his mind, tells it like it is, doesn't sugarcoat it, and so on. It's certainly true that Trump lacks a certain filter that most politicians have, and as a result, is often far more blunt than your average president. But many of Trump's quotes have been extremely damaging — to the country, to marginalized Americans, and in some cases, to himself.
Although it's easy to just shake your head and sigh at Trump's most offensive or factually incorrect statements, it's crucial to remember that millions of Americans fervently support him, and take all of those comments to heart.
When Trump urges his supporters to physically attack protesters, that sends a message to a great swath of America that it's OK to engage in political violence. When he falsely claims that millions of Americans voted illegally in 2016, the alleged reason why he lost the popular vote, it results in many of his supporters holding a wildly inaccurate belief about America. When he calls transgender service members a "burden" on the U.S. military, he gives transphobia the presidential stamp of approval.
In some cases, Trump's comments have caused damage to himself and his presidency. His call for a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" made it impossible for his legal team to argue in court, months later, that he wasn't banning immigrants based on their religion. His admission that he fired FBI Director James Comey because of "this Russia thing" directly contradicted statements the White House had made days earlier.
Either way, Trump has said plenty of very damaging things. Here's a list of some of them.
When Mexico is sending its people, they're not sending their best ... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. ... They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
Violence In Charlottesville
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.
You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
Anti-White Supremacy Protesters
You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this side — you can call them the left, you just called them the left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that's the way it is.
You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp. And it's not a good place. In fact, today, I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool, or perhaps, to the word sewer.
This quote from Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts sounds innocuous, until you realize that he just told America's youth that the nation's capital is a "cesspool."
If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of 'em, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.
Trump is currently being sued by protesters who were assaulted at his rallies, and they've cited this other remarks by Trump in their lawsuits.
I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
If I win, I am going to instruct my Attorney General to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. ... Because [if I were president] you'd be in jail.
An "extremely credible source" has called my office and told me that Barack Obama's birth certificate is a fraud.
You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything. ... Grab them by the p*ssy, you can do anything.
Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing.
I love war, in a certain way.
26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers [of refugees], they're having problems like they never thought possible.
There had been no notable violence, let alone refugee-related violence, in Sweden the night before Trump made this comment.
I know nothing about David Duke, I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
Violence Among His Supporters
I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate.
Trump said this about two alleged supporters of his who beat a homeless man with a lead pipe.
Let me just tell you, I've had horrible rulings, I've been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage ... I think he should recuse himself.
Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!
The president was referencing a debunked myth that Pershing dipped bullets in pig's blood while fighting Islamic terrorists. He did not do this (and the forces he was fighting were not terrorists). He sent this tweet during an active terrorist attack in Barcelona.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
Separation Of Powers
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!
The president said this after a judge issued an injunction against his travel ban, implying that any future terrorist attacks should be blamed on America's judicial branch.
Transgender Service Members
Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming ... victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.
The military already spends five times as much money on Viagra for troops than it would on medical costs for transgender service members.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.
Trump has presented no evidence to support this.
Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics — a tough subject — must be addressed.
When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough. I said, "Please don't be too nice." ... Like, when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. Don't hit their head? I said, "You can take the hand away, OK?"
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
Again, there is no evidence that this is the case.
Firing James Comey (Part One)
When I decided to [fire FBI Director James Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
Firing James Comey (Part Two)
I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. ... I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off.
The Travel Ban
Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
This quote was later used against Trump in court.
Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!
It would be nice if Trump stopped saying things like this, especially with the force of the presidency behind him. However, he's only been in office for seven months, so the chances of that seem slim.