Louie Gohmert, Newsmax Host Say Trump Not Nativist, Note '2 Out of 3 Wives Immigrants'

Texas GOP Congressman Louie Gohmert joined Newsmax host Carl Higbie Saturday in rejecting former President George W. Bush's "nativist" remark about pro-Trump Republicans, instead accusing Bush of having "waned" on his conservative values.

Gohmert railed against what he and other Republicans call President Joe Biden's "open border" policy during Newsmax's Saturday Report, which focused on the influx of migrants coming to the U.S. southern border with Mexico. On Friday, Bush walked back "isolationist" and "nativist" remarks he recently made about today's GOP after former President Donald Trump's term in the White House. But Higbie and Gohmert ridiculed Bush for suggesting that Trump and his GOP allies intentionally "scare people about immigration" in order to rile up their voting base, as Bush told the Today show recently.

"Two out of three of his wives are immigrants so like, come on man, that talking point doesn't hold up for me," Higbie quipped in Trump's defense, prompting an "exactly" affirmation from the Texas congressman.

In terms of citizenship, Higbie's two-thirds claim about Trump's current and ex-wives is factually accurate. Trump's first wife, Ivana, did not become a U.S. citizen until 1988. The former president stirred controversy in 2018 when he proposed ending birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment. This move prompted debate over whether Trump's first three children with Ivana from prior to 1988 would be considered U.S. citizens without such a law. But with their father being a U.S. citizen, no special status was required for Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.

Trump's third and current wife, former first lady Melania, did not obtain U.S. citizenship until July 2006. She was granted the so-called EB-1 "Einstein Visa" intended for immigrants who are highly acclaimed in their field of work. The Slovenia-born model then sponsored her parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who became U.S. citizens in 2018 using "chain migration."

The missing one-third in Higbie's claim is Trump's second wife, actress Marla Maples, who was born in the United States in 1963.

Gohmert and Higbie both suggested a wide array of dubious claims, with the latter even describing undocumented migrants crossing the border in "Biden, let me in" T-shirts.

Gohmert continued blasting Biden's approach to handling the influx of migrants at the border, on Saturday: "The problem is the open border, the open invitation to come, and even when Biden says, 'well, why don't you hold up for a little bit,' the message they get south of the border is, 'hey, come on now, so you can be some of the first groups we give amnesty to.'"

"Until you secure the border, you haven't fixed anything. You're just processing people," Gohmert continued, adding that he believes drug cartels are using migrants as "their logistics" to distribute drugs across America.

When asked about Bush's comments calling Trump and today's GOP "nativists" and "isolationists," Gohmert said he thinks Bush has become tainted by major news media organizations.

"I've always like President Bush and he has a great intellectual capacity unlike what some people said, but what you're hearing sounds like a man who watches CNN, MSNBC, reads Washington Post and New York Times. So if you get stuff in to your computer that is not true then you're going to have things come out that are not the best opinions."

"President Trump is certainly not [an isolationist], look at the businesses he's established, the people he hires, where he goes, he's not an isolationist, he's not a nativist," the Texas congressman added.

Higbie said he "used to have a lot of respect" for the two-time former Republican president, adding that he believes Bush has "waned on his conservative principles" in his old age. Higbie said Bush was "not pro-Trump" and likely views Trump's border stance as too "hardline."

Newsweek reached out to Gohmert's office for additional remarks Saturday afternoon.

louie gohmert carl higbie newsmax
Texas GOP Congressman Louie Gohmert joined Newsmax host Carl Higbie Saturday in rejecting former President George W. Bush's "nativist" remark about pro-Trump Republicans, instead accusing Bush of having "waned" on his conservative values. Screenshot: YouTube | Newsmax