When asked at a press conference on Wednesday about the consequences of calling himself a “nationalist,” President Trump dismissed the question as “racist.”
PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is black, pressed Trump about remarks he made late last month at a campaign rally in which he called himself a nationalist.
Alcindor asked the president if he thought his rhetoric was emboldening white nationalists across the country.
“That’s such a racist question,” Trump said. “I don’t believe that.”
Trump cited approval numbers among African-Americans as to why he didn’t think white nationalism was a problem in the U.S.
“Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans?” Trump asked. “Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans?”
“I love our country,” Trump added. “You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love the world. I would love to help the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. But to say, that, what you said, is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing you said.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018
Less than a week after declaring himself a nationalist at an Oct. 19 rally in Houston, a white nationalist shot and killed two people in a Kroger parking lot in Kentucky. Eight days later, an anti-Semite killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.