FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Say, ‘Immigrants, Not Americans, Must Adapt’ Or Leave?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims President Donald Trump said, “Immigrants, not Americans, must adapt… Take it or leave it.”

Verdict: False

Trump did not say the remarks attributed to him in the post. The bulk of the text comes from an op-ed written by an Air Force veteran in the following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Fact Check:

The claim that Trump said that “immigrants, not Americans, must adapt” has been circulating online since at least 2019. Multiple Facebook users shared the long quote and attributed it to Trump, with this particular post having been shared more than 23,000 times to date. (RELATED: Are Muslims Barred From Public Office?)

“I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans,” the alleged quote continues. Trump purportedly goes on to encourage immigrants to “take advantage of one other great American freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.'”

Though the president has made controversial statements about Muslims and immigrants in the past, there is no record of Trump ever making the statement attributed to him in the Facebook post. The Daily Caller didn’t find any matching statements in Factbase or on his social media accounts. Had Trump made the comment, it would have been picked up by major media outlets, yet none have reported on it, except to debunk it.

The first few paragraphs actually reference a 2005 political debate of domestic terrorism concerns in Australia during then-Prime Minister John Howard’s term. The remainder of the post comes from U.S. Air Force veteran Barry Loudermilk’s op-ed titled “This is America. Like It or Leave It,” which was written in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The remarks have previously been falsely attributed to former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, according to Snopes.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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