An explosive new report from The Washington Post, published on Wednesday, detailed President Donald Trump’s private conversations with White House aides and other administration officials.
In private, the report stated, Trump made racially-charged comments about Black Americans and pushed anti-Semitic tropes.
After phone calls with Jewish lawmakers, the commander-in-chief said that Jews “stick together” and “are only in it for themselves,” according to officials.
In the alleged remarks, he suggested that Jewish Americans are disloyal to the United States, promoting an anti-Semitic canard.
Trump has also made insensitive statements about African Americans, suggesting that they are to blame for racial inequality and structural racism, officials said.
In private conversations with aides, “Trump has maintained that African-Americans have mainly themselves to blame in their struggle for equality, hindered more by lack of initiative than societal impediments,” The Washington Post wrote.
In 2018, when First Lady Melania Trump was making plans to visit Africa, the commander-in-chief reportedly said that he “could never understand why she would want to go there.”
When subordinates protested, pointing out that the comments were inappropriate, he would respond with indignation, according to a former senior official.
“He would say, ‘No one loves Black people more than me,’” the person explained, adding that, if this were truly the case, he “wouldn’t need to say it,” he would let his actions speak for themselves.
Commenting on the president’s alleged remarks, Carol Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, compared him to Abraham Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson.
“Johnson made it clear that he was really the president of a few people, not the American people. And Trump has done the same,” Anderson said.
“I don’t think Trump is as bad as Wilson. But he might be,” a former official said of the comparison.
Still, every individual The Washington Post interviewed rejected the suggestion that the commander-in-chief is an adherent of white nationalism. No person the publication spoke to could recall him using a racial slur of any kind.
As the publication noted, Trump has publicly expressed opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, which he condemned for tearing down statues of Confederate leaders. He has, however, defended right-wing activists and protesters and made a number of questionable remarks about minority congresswomen.
Some of those who worked for Trump have accused him of racism. In her 2018 memoir, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote that the real estate mogul used the n-word during the filming of his reality television series The Apprentice.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, made similar allegations in his book.
In an interview with MSNBC earlier this week, Cohen repeated the charges.