Drowned in coverage of CNN’s Jim Acosta having his White House credentials pulled was a question raised by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS News Hour.
Alcindor tried to press a view without owning it, and Trump called her out.
“On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist,” Alcindor began. “Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying that the president … “
“That’s such a racist question,” Trump shot back.
Alcindor pressed on.
“There are some people who say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?”
“Oh, I don’t believe that,” Trump said. “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 … that’s such a racist question. Honestly, I know you have it written down and you’re going to tell me, but let me tell you, that’s a racist question.
“You know what the word is? I love our country. I do. 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. They have a lot of problems.”
Alcindor tried to interrupt.
“Excuse me,” Trump said. “For you to say that to me is so insulting and a very terrible thing that you said.”
“Mr. President, you talked about middle-class tax cuts on the campaign trail. How will you get Democrats to support that policy?”
“You have to ask them,” Trump said. “What’s your plan to work with Democrats on a middle-class tax plan?”
“You know what my plan is? I’ll ask them. And if they say yes, I’m all for it. And if they say no, there’s nothing you can do because you need their votes.”
Jake Tapper commented on the incident on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show, pointing out Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, has said he avoids the word “nationalism” because of baggage associated with it. If Trump would explain he means nationalist as opposed to globalist and wanted to put America first, that would be “a logical explanation.”
“The idea that any reporter asking that question, in particular, an African-American woman, is asking a racist question, just boggles the mind. It’s a perfectly legitimate question, and I’m sure there is a perfectly legitimate answer.
Alcindor continued to press the point on Twitter.
“I’ve personally interviewed white nationalists who say they are more excited by President Trump than other presidents in the past. Even if President Trump doesn’t intend it, some see him as directly appealing to racists.”
People magazine went even further with “Trump Accuses Black Reporter of Asking ‘Racist Question’ During White House Press Briefing” by Diane Herbst.
“Trump has faced criticism after he said he considered himself a nationalist during an Oct. 22 rally, USA Today reported. Days later, a white man allegedly shot and killed two African-Americans at a Kentucky Kroger, and the shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.
“Then, on Oct. 27, a man killed 11 Jews after opening fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., as he allegedly yelled, ‘All Jews must die.’”
It then pointed to the earlier incident with Acosta. “Trump’s aggression towards Alcindor followed a hostile attack on CNN’s Jim Acosta. He called Acosta, 47, ‘a rude, terrible’ person as he tried to ask a question about the migrant caravan making its way north through Mexico.”