After a black reporter asked President Donald Trump about his self-professed nationalism, he dismissed her inquiry as "racist."
“There are some people that say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric,” Yamiche Alcindor of the PBS Newshour had said.
“I don’t know why you’d say that,” the president replied. “That’s such a racist question.”
President Trump to @Yamiche: "That's a racist question." https://t.co/4bgrMjQFZk— CSPAN (@CSPAN)1541614347.0
The president proceeded to express disbelief at Alcindor's question.
Oh, I don’t believe that,” Trump said. ”I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I don’t know — why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? I mean, why do I have my highest poll numbers?”
"That’s such a racist question," he said again. "Honestly, I know you have it written down and you’re going to tell me. Let me tell you, that’s a racist question.”
Alcindor documented the exchange on her Twitter account:
I asked President Trump what he thinks of people seeing his rhetoric as emboldening white nationalists and whether… https://t.co/gL5O1cYVpA— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche Alcindor)1541614738.0
I'm simply asking the questions the public wants to know. https://t.co/bZ1cZVBKhd— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche Alcindor)1541614873.0
Alcindor noted that she––as shown in the video footage above––followed up with a question "about his proposed middle class tax cut" because "that's what journalists do."
A note: I followed up the president calling my question "racist" with a policy question about his proposed middle c… https://t.co/BFvYuRpnVG— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche Alcindor)1541616132.0
She added that she asked the question because even if the president "doesn't intend it, some see him as directly appealing to racists."
I’ve personally interviewed white nationalists who say they are more excited by President Trump than other presiden… https://t.co/71QIUFmD8T— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche Alcindor)1541617404.0
Other members of the press came to Alcindor's defense:
.@Yamiche asked a fair and important question about whether Trump's embrace of the "nationalist" label is an embrac… https://t.co/wl6KbjcaLT— Philip Rucker (@Philip Rucker)1541614116.0
Just rewatched the clip of @yamiche questioning the president today -- paradigm for keeping your cool and sticking… https://t.co/GqL50iUy1g— Glenn Thrush (@Glenn Thrush)1541620767.0
Trump accusing @Yamiche of asking a "racist question" is something— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein)1541613966.0
Trump accuses PBS NewsHour's journalist Yamiche Alcindor of asking "a racist question." She does not take the bait.— Jeremy Barr (@Jeremy Barr)1541614001.0
#Trump just called @Yamiche question “racist” because she asked about “nationalism”. Just a complete distraction from a legitimate question.— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley)1541613987.0
Trump referred to himself as a "nationalist" last month during a rally in which he denigrated Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), who challenged Republican incumbent Ted Cruz's Senate seat.
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” Trump said. “And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”
President Trump: "I'm a nationalist." https://t.co/3lxCrtSkrN— MSNBC (@MSNBC)1540257741.0
The term “nationalist” has become associated with the alt-right movement, which predominantly supports the president’s agenda and has regularly challenged for espousing white supremacist ideology.
Trump has defended those comments, saying it was meant as a contrast to "globalists" who place international interests before those of the United States.
"I love our country. I do," he told Alcindor. "You have nationalists. You have globalists. I also love the world. And I don't mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems. But to say that, what you say is so insulting to me, it's a very terrible thing you said."