When A Black Journalist Asked Pres. Trump If His Rhetoric Emboldened White Nationalists, He Said Her Question Was Racist.
Earlier today, Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, tweeted that President Trump respects freedom of the press.
She made this claim in response to the banishment of CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, after he asked about Trump’s rhetoric regarding immigrants and the Russian investigation.
After Trump refused to answer his question, he came back to the microphone to call Acosta a “rude” and “terrible” person.
You can watch how the whole thing went down in the video below.
Later, the White House released a doctored video to make it appear as if Acosta assaulted the female intern so he could continue asking his questions. The video above, from Time, shows he did not.
But Acosta wasn’t the only reporter with which President Trump clashed. Yamiche Alcindor, a Black female reporter for PBS News Hour, had a question about Pres. Trump’s decision to identify himself as a nationalist and whether or not the word choice inspired and emboldened racists.
She asked, “On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening White nationalists…”
Trump: I don’t know why you’d say that. That’s such a racist question.
Alcindor: There are some people that say that now the Republican party is seen as supporting White Nationalists because of your rhetoric.”
Trump: I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that.
Alcindor: What do you make of that?
Trump: Well, I don’t know. Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? Why do I have my highest poll numbers..? That’s such a racist question. Honestly, I know you have it written down and you’re going to tell me…let me tell ya, that’s a racist question. You know what the word is. I love our country. I do. You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love the world and I don’t mind helping out the world. But we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems. But to say that, what you said is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing you said.
You can watch the whole thing in the video below.
You’ll see that even after he called her question racist, Alcindor pressed on and asked how he planned to work with Democrats to guarantee middle-class tax cuts.
But in her analysis of the situation, Alcindor said that she felt the entire scene was an overly emotional display from Trump.
“I saw someone who I think was very very frustrated and very very angry that some people think that he’s emboldening White Nationalists. I think that there was maybe some performance there. But I think he was genuinely frustrated with reporters because he was going back and forth and he had just finished yelling at April Ryan and Jim Acosta. And here comes Yamiche with this question about White Nationalism that he can’t stand.”
This practice of calling someone who asks a question or wants to have a discussion about race, a racist is an old one. It’s a deflection, a distraction from the task at hand and yet another way for President Trump to avoid culpability for all of the hatred he’s inspired in this country.