President Trump’s held a contentious news conference today on a day after he lost his solid Republican majority in the House of representatives. The testy president did exactly what everyone expected of him: shirk personal responsibility for Republican losses, claim credit for the few victories that his party squeaked out, and continue spewing the same lies that he did before the election.
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He also took his frustrations out on reporters, picking a fight with CNN’s Jim Acosta after the reporter questioned the president’s characterization of the caravan he used as a bogeyman throughout the campaign as an “invasion.”
Trump also took extreme umbrage when an African-American reporter from PBS dared to ask him whether his embrace of the doctrine that the president has labeled as “nationalism” was encouraging to the racist neo-Nazis who describe themselves as “white nationalists.”
The president immediately attacked the question from PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor as itself “racist.”
“”I don’t know why you’d say that, that’s such a racist question,” Trump responded upon being asked the question the premise of which his answer essentially demonstrated.
Alcindor continued to press his line of inquiry.
“There are some people that say that now the Republican party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric, what do you make of that?” the reporter continued.
Trump fell back on an outlier poll with the unlikely claim that his approval rating among African-Americans had grown from 19% last year to 36% now. (A similar poll from a different polling company pegged it at 8% in October.
“Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African-Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African-Americans? That’s such a racist question,” Trump responded.
“I love our country. You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love the world … but we have to straighten out our country first. That’s a very terrible thing that you said.” ” Trump said, cutting Alcindor off from further questions.
Alcindor took to Twitter to defend her question from the president’s accusations after the press conference.
I'm simply asking the questions the public wants to know. https://t.co/bZ1cZVBKhd
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
Despite Trump’s denials, the real answer to Alcindor’s question is obvious.
Yes, Trump is encouraging racists with his rhetoric as the anti-Semitic shootings in Pittsburgh and the spate of bombs aimed at his political opponents amply demonstrate. What’s also obvious is that Trump’s pathological inability to accept responsibility for the consequences of any of his actions or policies will never change.
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Original reporting by Chris Mills Rodrigo at The Hill.