×
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

  • tammy brook

    FYI Brand Group Launches Social Impact Division

    FYI Brand Group, the music and fashion brand marketing and public relations firm founded by Tammy Brook, is launching a social impact division dedicated to campaigns centered around creating a call to action for social good. Organizations that have signed on to work with FYI include the American Cancer Society and Black Lives Matter; the [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Jeff Daniels MSNBC

    Jeff Daniels Says 'It's the End of Democracy' if Trump Gets Re-Elected

    Jeff Daniels took a swipe at President Donald Trump and the GOP during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday. Daniels spoke with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC about his role as Atticus Finch in the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a story about racial politics and discrimination in 1930s Alabama, and spent the segment [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Spectators watch the 2019 Eurovision Song

    U.S. Music Industry Delegation Convenes in Tel Aviv for Eurovision

    This past weekend, squeezed between a string of Eurovision Song Contest parties, Tel Aviv’s posh Norman hotel played host to an intimate, invite-only dinner of music industry delegates from the United States. The rooftop-set event was designed as a highlight on the itinerary of the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) weeklong trip to Israel. CCFP, [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

  • CEO of T-Mobile John Legere (L)

    FCC Chairman Backs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger With New Conditions

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a thumbs-up to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26 billion merger, after the companies committed to enhanced 5G buildout commitments and agreed to spin off Sprint’s Boost Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint first announced their plans to merge in April 2018, looking to combine forces to take on industry leaders AT&T and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content