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Trump, reciting songs and praising cannibals, draws yawns and raises eyebrows

Former US president Donald Trump raised eyebrows among his no-nonsense New Jersey crowd at a rally Saturday when he recited a 1963 soul song in its entirety and referenced a fictional cannibal as “great.”

In a meandering recitation of “The Snake” during a more than 90 minute speech, Trump used the Oscar Brown song to draw a parallel with “illegal immigration and how stupid it is what we’re doing right now.”

“We’re letting people come into our country that we will only be trouble,” said the Republican contender for president.

Trump has drawn on the song several times to highlight his anti-migrant stance, reportedly drawing objections from Brown’s family.

“A tenderhearted woman saw a poor, half-frozen snake,” Trump said, reciting — but not singing — the song to the crowd.

“But instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite.”

Trump, who will face Democratic President Joe Biden in November’s polls, is using increasingly violent rhetoric around the country’s migrant crisis.

At the same time, the lengthy recitation of “The Snake” drew a subdued reaction from the crowd of thousands gathered on a beach in Wildwood on the New Jersey shore.

Some looked on quizzically, while a man behind Trump shown on a big screen yawned, and a trickle of spectators made for the exits.

“Did everybody enjoy it? Don’t enjoy, you should be — you should be scared!” he said awkwardly, speaking off-the-cuff following his recitation from a crib sheet he had in his jacket pocket.

Just months ago, the Republican claimed that migrants were “poisoning the blood” of the United States, sparking a fierce backlash.

Biden’s campaign accused him of imitating the language of Hitler.

And during his first presidential campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 vote, Trump shocked observers with his language about “rapist” illegal migrants.

A rambling bit on cannibalism also drew attention on social media.

“The late, great Hannibal Lecter is a wonderful man,” Trump said, referencing the 1991 film “Silence of the Lambs.”

“He oftentimes would have a friend for dinner,” he said grinning, rehashing a well-worn joke about the infamous cannibal character before diving back into migration.

“But Hannibal Lecter. Congratulations, the late, great Hannibal Lecter. We have people that are being released into our country that we don’t want in our country.”

gw/nro