While U.S. President Donald Trump's alleged comments in a private meeting with lawmakers about s***hole countries and accompanying widespread charges of bigotry are still reverberating in the media and among the political class, he is receiving strong support from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece. Alveda King disputes the characterization from Trump adversaries that he is a racist.
President Trump has admitted using "tough" language during the meeting in question, but not the terminology that was leaked to the media. Two attendees, GOP U.S. Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, claim that Trump never used the s***hole language. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said that she doesn't remember Trump using "that exact phrase," CNN reported. The president has accused Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, of misrepresenting the conversation.
In an interview on Fox & Friends in the run-up to Martin Luther King Day, Dr. Alveda King pointed out that the president and Congressman John Lewis, a strident Trump foe who has vowed not to attend the State of the Union address later this month, nonetheless worked together on the Martin Luther King Historical Park Act, which commemorates Dr. King's birthplace, Fox News Insider reported.
"President Trump is not a racist. I've been with the president recently quite a bit, and when he signed the legislation making the Martin Luther King site in Atlanta, Georgia, a national park…what is so outrageous to call a man a racist who continues to acknowledge the significant work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., my uncle, in a positive way, and he puts his money where his mouth is. He puts his energy behind it."Dr. Alveda King continued that Trump's alleged comments may have alluded to the governments in what she described as "hellhole" countries that have let down their own citizens rather than the citizens themselves.
"Africa is a huge continent with many nations. There was no offense to the people—a lot of dignity to the people. But the hellholes in that some of their own leaders in Africa and Haiti have taken advantage of them and the area and done a disservice to the people…to have a strong America, a compassionate America, who can really help nations like Haiti and all the African nations. African people are brilliant; Haitian people are brilliant, productive, and wonderful. They deserve better, and I believe that President Trump not only understands that but is making America great again, and so we can be a big help in some of the hellholes across the world and in our own nation."Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
In a separate interview, Alveda King referenced how jobs are up and that unemployment in the African-American community has decreased substantially since Trump took office, the Washington Examiner noted. Last month, joblessness among black workers hit a record low according to government statistics. In recent polling data published by The Atlantic and CBS News, Trump support among African-American voters is supposedly on the rise, Breitbart News reported.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul told Politico yesterday that before he entered politics, Trump helped pay for a medical mission to Haiti and elsewhere, and for this and other reasons, it's unfair to accuse the president of racism, even if his comments were unconstructive, particularly when Congress is seeking a compromise with the administration on immigration legislation. "Instead, Paul, an ophthalmologist, cited financial backing Trump provided for visits he and other surgeons made to Haiti and Central America to perform eye surgeries."
Paul added that the president might have been on firmer footing if he had used more diplomatic terminology such as "economically prosperous countries" and "economically deprived countries." Trump generally backs a system that is in play in Australia, where people are allowed to come in, regardless of country of origin, based on what skills they offer.In a March 2016 interview, President Barack Obama described the North African country of Libya as a "s*** show" as a result of the chaos that followed the military intervention by the U.S. and its allies that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi and created a vacuum for ISIS to move in. During a 2013 committee hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham, who criticized Trump's alleged s***hole remark, described Mexico and other neighboring countries as "hellholes," The Daily Caller reported.Back in the late 1990s, Donald Trump won praise from Jesse Jackson for his support of an initiative to help minority-owned businesses access business opportunities on Wall Street and help minorities gain a foothold in the construction industry.