Donald Trump believes Donald Sterling was set up by the “girlfriend from hell.” The Los Angeles Clippers owner is currently facing stark criticism for making racist comments. The comments were made during a conversation, which was reportedly recorded by Sterling’s former girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
Sterling’s remarks were originally exposed by entertainment news website TMZ. The news outlet provided a copy of the recording, which reportedly contains a conversation between Sterling and Stiviano.
As the recording begins, the Clippers owner is heard reprimanding Stiviano for posting a photo on Instagram. In the photo, Sterling’s former girlfriend posed with basketball icon Magic Johnson.
Throughout the rant, the Clippers owner expresses his disdain for minorities. He specifically criticizes Stiviano for posing for photos with Johnson:
“In your… Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people… I’ve known him well and he should be admired… I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately… Admire him, bring him here, feed him… but don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see… “
Although Sterling apologized for the comments, which were “attributed to him,” he denies that he is racist. As reported by CNN, the rant prompted the The National Basketball Players Association to request the Clippers owner be “barred all playoff games this season.”
In a recent interview, Donald Trump said Sterling “got set up by a very, very bad girlfriend.” Although Trump admits Sterling’s words are “terrible and despicable,” he believes the Stiviano took advantage of the Clippers owner’s diminished mental capacity:
“… he gave horrible answers and disgusting answers… he seems close to incompetent… I think he could be out of it, frankly, based on his actions… He could be pretty much out of it in terms of his whole mentality.”
Trump further stated that V. Stiviano is “a terrible human being.”
As reported by CBS News, the Clippers organization has questioned the authenticity of the recording. In an official statement, an organization spokesman said the rant is “the antithesis of who [Sterling] is.”
The spokesman said the recording could have been staged or altered. Although the organization has not identified Sterling’s voice, they said they are certain the woman in the recording is V. Stiviano.
The spokesman also suggests a motive. According to the statement, V. Stiviano is currently being sued by the Sterling family. The family contends Stiviano embezzled over $1.8 million.
Donald Sterling’s former girlfriend reportedly threatened that she would eventually “get even” for the lawsuit.