With Donald Trump under fire for a series of attacks that have been widely decried as racist, the president pushed back on Tuesday in declaring that he is the “least racist person there is anywhere in the world.”
A new poll released as Trump was making the remarks show that Americans disagree — some of them quite strongly.
As The Washington Post reported, a new poll from Quinnipiac University showed that more than half of Americans, including three-quarters of black Americans, believe that Donald Trump is explicitly racist. Trump had come under fire first for a tweet telling a group of congresswomen of color to go back to their “original” countries. Three of those four were born in the United States, while a fourth, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, is a naturalized citizen who emigrated to the United States from Somalia.
Trump refused to apologize or take back the statement, then stirred the pot even more a few days after this attack when he laid into Omar at a campaign rally, prompting chants of “Send her back!” Trump fell silent through the duration of the chant, but later claimed that he did not agree and said he had tried to speak quickly to bring a stop to it.
Trump then waded into even more controversy when he launched into an attack against the Maryland congressional district that is home to the city of Baltimore. Just minutes after a Fox News segment that claimed the district was dirty and vermin-infested, Trump made an identical argument on Twitter, calling it “rat and rodent infested.” The attack appeared to be a response to Congressman Elijah Cummings, who had criticized the reported unsanitary conditions that migrants were subjected to after crossing the U.S. border and being taken into custody.
Donald Trump has long been accused of racism, dating back to the 1970s when his company faced a federal lawsuit for refusing to rent to black people.
I am tired of waking up to Donald Trump’s bigotry. I am tired of black and brown people having to laugh to keep from crying. I am tired of Democrats scared to do their duty. My latest, on the presidency and why it’s too powerful to have a racist in charge. https://t.co/BSdzFP7CDx
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 30, 2019
Trump again refused to back down in the wake of widespread criticism and accusations that the attack was racist, doubling down on Tuesday by claiming, without offering evidence, that African Americans were thanking him about “telling the truth” about Baltimore.
“The African American people have been calling the White House,” Trump claimed. “They have never been so happy about what a president has done.”
As The Washington Post noted, Trump commonly claims that people have reached out to express their support for his controversial remarks or proposals, and these claims have almost always been unproven.