As reports indicate the White House is gearing up to launch a campaign to convince the public that immigrants are “bad for American security,” President Donald Trump ramped up his xenophobic rhetoric on Friday in a speech to FBI academy graduates, saying—to laughter and applause—that countries “give us their worst people” and calling for a harsh crackdown.

Falsely and disjointedly describing the green card lottery system, Trump claimed, “they put them in a bin, but in his hand when he’s pickin’ ’em is really the worst of the worst.”


As Vox‘s Dara Lind notes, “people selected in the visa lottery go through exactly as much screening as any other would-be immigrant to the United States, and the governments of their countries are not deliberately ‘picking’ them to immigrate.”

Disregarding this fact, Trump plowed ahead, implying that immigrants are responsible for violent crime—despite abundant evidence showing immigrants commit less crime than native-born Americans—and sprinkling in effusive praise for law enforcement officers, who the president repeatedly insisted are “great people.”

Trump soon moved on to another theme his administration has deployed time and time again.