The Obama administration is deliberately sending Syrian refugees to states led by Republican governors, Donald Trump alleged Tuesday. Trump, who was speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, said of the refugees, “They send them to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know because they know the problem … why would we want to bother the Democrats?”
Trump's comments come a day after more than two dozen governors, mainly Republicans, vowed to resist federal efforts to settle refugees in their states. President Barack Obama has said the U.S. will accept 10,000 refugees over the next year. Trump often cites a far higher figure — 250,000 — that has no basis in fact. On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted, "Refugees from Syria are now pouring into our great country. Who knows who they are - some could be ISIS. Is our president insane?"
At a rally in Knoxville, Tenn., on Monday, Trump said the refugees should stay within Syria. "What I'd like is ... build a big beautiful safe zone and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they'll be happier," he said.
Ingraham said that she had spoken with Florida's Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, who told her his state is already hosting dozens of Syrian refugees because “everybody wants to come to Florida” due to its low taxes and ample job opportunities.
“In California, you have a Democrat as a governor; in Florida you have Rick Scott so they send them to the Republicans,” Trump told Ingraham. “Taking these people is absolutely insanity.”
According to the Associated Press, governors from both parties have accepted refugees, although the number is nearly double for GOP states. More than 1,000 Syrian refugees have been accepted into states with Republican governors since January 1, while just over 500 have moved to Democratic-led states. (The number of Republican governors outweighs Democrats, 31 to 18, however.)
Ingraham tried to steer Trump away from using exaggerated figures for the number of refugees, but he held firm. “No I’m talking about now, I’m talking about in terms of Syria. I’ve heard numbers as high as 250,000 people.”