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Jesse Ventura: If Border Wall Goes Up, Statue of Liberty Must Come Down

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura talks to reporters at the Warren E. Burger Federal Building and United States Courthouse after a defamation hearing Oct. 20, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores /Star Tribune via AP)

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said the federal government should open the United States’ borders to undocumented immigrants who could help rebuild Texas and Florida after the recent hurricanes.

“Who’s going to do this cleanup? The white people? I think we should open our borders and bring the Mexicans up; we’ve got a lot of work for them, cleaning up Houston and cleaning up Florida,” Ventura said during the Nexus Conference in Aspen, Colo., over the weekend.

“Who’s going to do that work? You? Think about it. These are hardworking people. We want them – and let’s remember something, unless you are ‘native United Staten,’ we are all immigrants, aren’t we?” he added. “How quick we forget. And if they want to put this wall up, I’ll tell you what they need to do – take down the Statue of Liberty, take it down, take it down. Why have a statue that is meaningless? That statue says send us your poor, send us your this, send us your that.”

The poem on Statue of Liberty reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Ventura criticized administration efforts to admit immigrants into the U.S. based on their educational and employment background.

“Did you see the latest? ‘Oh no, we only want college educated; you’ve got to have a job, you’ve got to be on the uppity up.’ So what do we need with the Statue of Liberty anymore? The whole statue is bullshit now if you want to look at it like that, excuse my French,” he said.

Ventura slammed the investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

“Now they are saying Russia interfered in our election, really? Did you elect the president? Any of you? None of you did. Why? We have a system called the Electoral College. You’re irrelevant. It’s how the Electoral College votes, not you. So, unless Russia got to the Electoral College, how could they have possibly interfered in our elections?” said Ventura, who started hosting a show on Kremlin-funded Russia Today over the summer.

“And they’re saying they took out ads on the Internet? Are you kidding me? After looking at the corporate ads I looked at that came out of our country that makes every opponent look like they belong in prison? You ever watch those ads, those distasteful awful things? And they are blaming that Russia’s ads were worse. I doubt it,” he added.

Ventura argued the Democratic Party is wrongly “killing the messenger” instead of the message.

“You’ve got ineptness by the Democrats. They didn’t run anything good. They are killing the messenger, not the message. The thing that should be focused on is the message. What happened with those emails? It showed that the Democratic primary was fixed. Bernie didn’t have a chance. It was fixed. Shouldn’t that be the story?” said Ventura.

“And if indeed Russia exposed this, shouldn’t we be thanking them and saying ‘thank you, Russia’ for showing that our election was rigged so that we can hopefully fix it before the next one? I’m tired of them blaming Russia. They want to start the Cold War again. And the Democrats are the worst offenders on this of starting it all up again,” he added.

Ventura, a Vietnam-era veteran, told the audience to remember that politicians start wars, not the troops.

“Wars happen because politicians fail, so with this stuff with North Korea right now, if war happens it will be because politicians have failed again,” Ventura said, before mentioning President Trump, specifically. “Where’s his two strapping boys? How come they didn’t serve? How come he didn’t? You notice that? The people that want to go to war and the people who start the wars are not the ones who fight them. They don’t go. The rich don’t go. The poor go – that’s why I am so antiwar today.”

Ventura said Russian TV has given him his “free speech,” not the mainstream U.S. media.

“I don’t know what’s in my future right now,” he said. “I’m happily working for Russian television.”