Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois), who is one of two Republicans challenging President Donald Trump, told MSNBC that he was not racist.

MSNBC’s John Heilemann called Walsh “racist” for using the n-word in tweets and for a tweet that called President Barack Obama a Muslim.

Walsh replied saying that he “wouldn’t call [himself] a racist, but I would say, John, I’ve said racist things on Twitter.” Walsh added that “an apology is not enough.”

He attempted to justify some of the tweets saying, “I was so disgusted with Obama’s policy toward Israel that I went bad, ugly step.”

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He then defended his use of the N-word in a tweet about Washignton’s football team, the Redskins. He said that people wanted the team’s name to be changed because of its racism toward Native Americans and in order to do so they said the name is like the n-word. Walsh said he was frustrated and that the word is completely different “to make that point, I wrote down the N-word in a tweet, to make a point that that’s not nearly what the word ‘redskins’ is.”

Last week, Walsh became the second Republican to announce he would be challenging Trump in 2020, the first was Bill Weld (R-Massachusetts).

On MSNBC he appeared to be unsure whether Trump was racist or not until Heilemann asked, “you don’t know that Trump is racist?”

To which Walsh responded, “Well, then, he’s a racist, he’s a bigot, he’s a xenophobe.”


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