American academic and activist Dr Cornel West has invoked Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to criticise US President Donald Trump on Australian TV show Q&A.
Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz suggested Trump was not getting enough credit for the state of the US economy and said to West, who is black: "Your black brothers are in fact getting jobs and, they might not be earning as much as you would like, but given that they've got jobs, they're better off than they were without a job."
He also challenged West, who will speak at Auckland's ASB Theatre on Friday night, for mentioning some of the scandals Trump has faced involving women but not mentioning former President Bill Clinton, to which West said: "I say the same thing about Bill Clinton. I'm not defending anybody acting gangster-like. Hitler and Mussolini had low unemployment rates. They made the train run on time. We're talking about moral and spiritual issues. Not just the numbers."
Abetz said "to try to equate the two shows a misunderstanding of history", to which West replied: "I'm not making equations. I'm saying that if we only accent what you are highlighting, you're going to miss what was going on with Hitler and Mussolini."
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Trump, West said, was "still in the making".