Trump Assumed Minorities Staffers Were Waiters, New Book Says
In 2017, during a reception celebrating his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump turned to a group of staffers of color for Democratic lawmakers and assumed they were waiters.
“Why don’t you get [the food]” Trump said, asking them to retrieve the canapes.
The scene is recounted in the new book Confidence Man, by The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, set to come out on October 4.
According to Haberman, then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus rushed to correct Trump and told him he had just addressed top congressional aides, including staffers for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and others.
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On that same night, Trump reportedly claimed that ballots cast by “illegals” were the only reason he’d lost the 2016 popular vote to Hillary Clinton, the book says. After an awkward silence, Pelosi fired back: “I don’t believe so, Mr. President.”
These are a few of many episodes of racist remarks made by the former president. In another passage, Haberman describes Trump’s relationship with Kara Young, a model he dated in the late 90s who is biracial, the daughter of a black mother and a white father.
After meeting Young’s parents, Trump joked she had gotten her beauty from her mother and her intelligence from “her dad, the white side.” The magnate laughed at his own joke, but Young didn’t and expressed her discomfort, according to the book.
In an interview for the Times in 2017, Young described Trump — raised in a white suburbs in Queens, New York — as a man with limited understanding of other cultures.
“We went to the U.S. Open once, and a lot of black people came because it was Venus and Serena,” she said at the time, referring to the Williams sisters. “He was impressed that a lot of black people came to the U.S. Open because they were playing.”
Young’s interview in 2017 was part of an article coauthored by Haberman examining Donald Trump’s relationship with race. The piece was based in interviews with African-Americans close to him and his critics.
“But more than ever, the question is being asked: Is Mr. Trump personally racist?” wrote Haberman and Yamiche Alcindor, the other author of the story. “The few African-Americans in his inner circle respond with an emphatic no.”
Haberman’s new book, however, shows how Trump used to casually make racist observations.
She writes that the former president would often tell visitors to the White House that he’d had the lavatory completely redone. That was a lie, since staff members explained only the toiled seats were changed, a standard procedure.
But Trump would insist that the overhaul was made at his request.
”You understand what I’m talking about,” Trump explained to a guest once, according to the book.
The guest, according to Haberman, interpreted the comment to mean “Trump did not want to use the same bathroom as his black predecessor.”
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