The content of the remarks– don’t pretend you didn’t already know that that’s how the man thinks.
The purpose– to assert dominance. Over refugees and potential refugees, certainly. Over political opponents (shamelessness sends the signal “this is what I say and you can’t do a damned thing about it”). And, with the addition of a gaslighting episode on the day after, the power to assert control over reality (“it never happened if I say it never happened, see?”).
I hope some minds that needed changing are changed.