CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers said President Trump’s recent escalation in attacks on black reporters and public figures are “out of the white supremacist playbook.”
During an appearance on CNN Friday, Powers noted that there was a “racial component” to the president’s angry attack earlier in the day against CNN reporter Abby Phillip, saying his response to her question about the Mueller probe was “disproportionate.”
“It’s up to him,” Trump told Phillip when asked if he expects his new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to be involved in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“Do you want him to reign in Robert Mueller?” Phillip followed up.
“What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot—you ask a lot of stupid questions,” Trump fired off at her, before walking back to where he was originally standing and shaking his head.
“I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that he talks about — whether it’s [CNN anchor] Don Lemon having a low IQ or [Rep.] Maxine Waters [D-Calif.] has a low IQ, or LeBron James has a low IQ,” said Powers, who is a former Fox News contributor.
“And now we’re supposed to believe Abby Phillip is asking a stupid question. There’s a constant theme here. It’s frankly out of the white supremacist playbook. This is classic white supremacy,” she said.
Former Trump campaign aide @MichaelRCaputo says President Trump is not targeting African-American journalists, but that he is an an “equal opportunity abuser when it comes to the media.” https://t.co/BDScJ3uYJK pic.twitter.com/3zKB0s39WT
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 10, 2018
Phillip thanked her colleague, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin, who similarly argued that Trump’s criticism of certain media members was race- and gender-motivated.
“Thank you, my friend. And thank you for always speaking up for what’s right. We all appreciate it,” Phillip wrote in response to Baldwin.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) November 9, 2018
President Donald Trump has attacked at least six prominent black women in the three days since the midterm elections. The attacks have targeted journalists, elections officials and even former first lady Michelle Obama.
Trump attacked three of the women at an off-the-rails press gaggle on Friday morning, going after American Urban Radio Networks’s April Ryan, CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip, and Michelle Obama.
Trump called Ryan, a veteran White House correspondent, “nasty” and a “loser.”
“I watch her get up, I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser,” Trump said. “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise, or she gets a contract with, I think, CNN. But she’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be, she shouldn’t be.”
Trump: “The same thing with April Ryan…You talk about somebody that’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing…She’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be.”
– The president of the United States attacking a black reporter for doing her job pic.twitter.com/9UMw8jnih9
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 9, 2018