At the risk of being crass, we've said on several occasions that the Paris attacks, the San Bernardino massacre, and the wave of sexual assaults that have swept Western Europe are the best things that ever happened to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
It seems exceedingly likely that Trump had very little conception of what was going on in the Balkans when he stormed onto the political scene last summer with inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. As luck would have it, just two months later, Europe's migrant crisis reached a critical tipping point when Hungarian PM Viktor Orban built a 100-mile razor wire fence in an effort to seal his country's border with Serbia. Suddenly, Trump wasn't the only one building walls.
Europe's worst nightmares came true in November when gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris and although the connection with Syrian refugees was tenuous, the tragedy nevertheless served to validate anti-immigration rhetoric. The San Bernardino massacre less than a month later tied it all together for Trump. Muslims. Immigration. Murder. America. It was all there.
Subsequently, Trump would blast Angela Merkel's open-door migrant policy and before you knew it, he was being endorsed by the likes of far-right, anti-immigration Dutch politician Geert Wilders and France's Jean Marie Le-Pen.
In January, Trump called Brussels a "hellhole."
On Tuesday morning, three explosions ripped through that "hellhole," killing at least two dozen and injuring many more in an attack that's likely tied to last week's capture of Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam in the Muslim enclave of Molenbeek.
Needless to say, the media jumped at the opportunity to get Trump's take and Fox was first up with the GOP frontrunner's initial reaction this morning. Here's what Trump said:
"Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was? Not anymore!"
"I would close up our borders."
"[Muslims] have to be more open with the police. They have to let people know when they see people making bombs on the first floor of an apartment."
"This is just the beginning. It will get worse and worse. It's out of control."
"We cannot allow these people to come into our country. They're not assimilating into society. There's something different going on."
"Muslims have to be checked very, very carefully. Muslims aren't assimilating easily into other countries. There's something wrong."
"It's probably going to happen here."
Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was. Not anymore, it is from a different world! U.S. must be vigilant and smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2016