×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

White House Press Secretary: If Trump Were Racist, Why Did NBC Give Him ‘The Apprentice’?

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said claims that President Donald Trump is a “racist” are “outrageous,” and cited the fact that NBC ran “The Apprentice” for so long.

“I think that is an outrageous claim,” Sanders told reporters on Tuesday, adding that if he was who critics said he was, “why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV? Why did Chuck Schumer and all of his colleagues come and beg Donald Trump for money? …Why did they want to be with him for years and years, whether it was various activities and fundraisers, and other sorts of things?”

She added, “I think it is just an outrageous and ludicrous excuse and they need to get on board and start doing what they were elected to do.”

Sanders’ latest comments underscored the fallout from reports that Trump, in a heated meeting on immigration with other lawmakers on Thursday, used the term “s—hole countries” to describe African nations. Trump was pushing back on the argument that migrants from those countries deserved protection in the U.S., and wondered why more immigrants were not coming from Norway.

Sanders didn’t deny that Trump used “strong language,” but said that it showed that he was “passionate” about the issue.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who was at the meeting, confirmed that Trump made the comment, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was also there, did not deny that Trump made the remark. “I said my piece,” he said.

Trump has denied using the word “s—hole,” and two other senators who were there, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), said he did not say it. Yet there are reports that their denial is based on Trump’s use of another word, “s—house,” instead.

In the fallout from the comment, the remark has been labeled as “racist,” as has Trump himself. Michael Gerson, the conservative columnist, wrote in The Washington Post on Tuesday that Trump “makes offhand racist comments, he promotes racial stereotypes, and he incites racism as a political strategy.”

Trump starred on “The Apprentice” for 14 seasons, starting in 2004. The success of the show served as a launching pad for his presidential campaign. He considered running in 2011, as he initiated an effort to question then-President Barack Obama’s citizenship on the unfounded and discredited notion that he was really born in Kenya. Gerson and other critics labeled that effort as one example of “racial demagoguery.” Trump chose not to run that year, and NBC instead renewed his association with the show.

Trump was also a prolific donor to Democrats up until that point. He gave to Schumer’s campaign as recently as 2009, according to the Federal Election Commission records, and to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The story of what was said during the immigration meeting continued later on Tuesday, as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. She said that she did not hear the word “shithole” used, but said,  “I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language. Others in the room were also using tough language.”

More Politics

  • Nexstar Logo

    Nexstar Settles With Justice Department Over Sharing of Ad Information

    WASHINGTON — Nexstar Media Group, which recently announced plans to acquire Tribune Media and become the largest owner of TV stations in the country, has settled with the Justice Department as it investigates broadcasters’ sharing of competitive advertising rate information with rivals. Six other station groups, including Tribune Media, reached a settlement with the DOJ [...]

  • Donald Trump

    National Enquirer Parent Admits to Making Karen McDougal Payments to Help Trump in 2016 Election

    WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors said National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, admitted that it made a $150,000 payment to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal “to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations” about Donald Trump in advance of the 2016 presidential election. AMI’s admission could bolster any case prosecutors make against Trump for violating [...]

  • Ajit Pai

    FCC to Launch Review of Media Ownership Rules, Including Ban on Broadcast Network Mergers

    WASHINGTON — The FCC will review whether to modify or even eliminate a series of media ownership proposals, including a current ban on mergers among the four major broadcast networks. The review, mandated by Congress every four years, includes no specific policy proposals, but will take public comment on whether changes are warranted. The FCC will [...]

  • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says She's 'Feeling Just Fine' After Falling Last Month

    WASHINGTON — As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg watched Focus Features and Participant Media’s “On the Basis of Sex” for the first time at a National Archives screening in Washington, D.C., she got big applause for how she described her wellbeing after suffering a fall last month. “I’m feeling just fine, and I am meeting my [...]

  • Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

    Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of charges, including a campaign finance violation in which he implicated President Trump. In an appearance in a New York federal court before his sentencing, Cohen said that he was sorry for his crimes, explaining that when he served as [...]

  • Sundar Pichai Hearing

    Key Takeaways From Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Day in Congress

    WASHINGTON — Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai made it through a 3.5-hour hearing before the House Judiciary Committee free of committing the company to new business practices or behavior. He didn’t even promise not to pursue a censored search engine in China, even as human rights groups have called on the company to abandon the project. [...]

  • Jamal Khashoggi

    Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists Named Time's Person of the Year

    Time selected Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Philippine editor Maria Ressa, jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md. as the magazine’s Person of the Year, recognizing the journalists as “guardians” at a time of a “war on truth.” “In its highest forms, influence — the measure that has for nine [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content