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In an appearance on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head, former Republican congressman for Georgia Jack Kingston posited that President Donald J. Trump’s suggestion to internally cleanse a human body using disinfectant made him akin to a forward thinker like Henry Ford. Mehdi Hasan, the host, Tweeted a clip of the segment.

On April 23, Trump said to reporters,

I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it [likely coronavirus] out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.

  • Hasan called this “one of the maddest things I’ve ever heard any politician say in my lifetime.”
  • However, Kingston insisted that “actually, if you listen to that interview, he was talking about is there a way to internally digest a medicine that could cure [COVID-19].”
  • Kingston continued, “Now frankly, you know, it’s thinking outside the box in a laboratory that comes up with great inventions.”
  • When Hasan continued to press Kingston and insist on the statement’s absurdity, Kingston replied, “That’s what everybody said when Henry Ford said, ‘I want an automatic transmission.’ He had all the engineers at the Ford Motor Company telling him, ‘it’s impossible.’”
  • Kingston also challenged Hasan on how he characterized Trump’s statement. He insisted falsely that Trump spoke of injecting a “medicine,” not “disinfectant.”
  • Hasan attempted to point this out to Kingston and read out a portion of the direct quote. Kingston replied, “What he [Trump] was asking was a pretty reasonable question, but you guys want to twist it because you can’t stand it.”

Hasan then asked, “Jack, would you inject yourself with disinfectant in the name of science and research and faith in Trump?”

Kingston replied,

You know, when you drink Pepto Bismol are you not cleaning out your system? Could that not be considered a disinfectant?

Hasan and Kingston continued to exchange a few more times. Hasan said that Kingston was avoiding the question and he repeated his basic inquiry. Kingston replied,

Tell me what the definition of disinfectant is, because I’m lost on this, because I do think there are medical ways to clean yourself…

I’m saying there are ways to clean the interior of your body through medicine. And that’s not a controversial statement.

Trump himself has disowned his own remarks. The American Independent reports that when asked about his comments on April 24, Trump claimed he was being “sarcastic.”

I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen… Now, disinfectant where doing this—maybe on the hands would work… But I was asking a sarcastic—and a very sarcastic—question to the reporters in the room, about disinfectant on the inside.

Watch the clip below.