Trump loves race baiting and tossing red meat to his base, and as most people know by now, this is nothing new for him. Whether it was his attacks on President Obama with the birther issue, Trump and his father discriminating against black people in housing rentals, demanding the execution of the Central Park five, his remarks about Charlottesville, and on and on, his history on race relations both before and after becoming a candidate and then president is both long and very, very ugly.
So no one was terribly surprised by the recent report from The New York Times that said during a meeting in the Oval Office in June, Trump said that Haitians entering the U.S. "all have AIDS" and that Nigerians would never "go back to their huts" once they saw America.
The head of Trump's so-called "diversity coalition" made an appearance on MSNBC this Saturday and denied that Trump was capable of making the remarks he did about Haitians and called the reporting "fake news." All I can say is I hope whatever they're paying him is worth the price of his soul.
GURA: What's your response to what the paper's published?
SCOTT: I don't believe them. I know President Trump personally and I don't believe those remarks were made. The White House denies them. They're unsubstantiated, anonymous sources, whatever, whatever. I don't believe that those remarks ever occurred. I'm with the White House on that. I believe once again it's some fake reporting.
GURA: We've heard the president refer to Mexicans being rapists. We've heard him refer to a Senator from Massachusetts as Pocahontas. It's totally unbelievable to you that comments like these could come from the mouth of the president of the United States?
SCOTT: Yes because even the statement about him calling racists, I mean that was overblown, taken out of context. He said what he said about Elizabeth Warren. It was tongue in cheek, but no, I don't believe he made those statements about the Haitian community.
We have Haitian participation on my national diversity coalition. This plight of the Haitians is something that we've discussed within the national diversity coalition when looking for solutions that are equitable to everyone involved as far as solving this problem.
GURA: Ben Jealous, we just spoke with Peter Baker, the senior White House correspondent for The New York Times. I should mention he wasn't the one who wrote this piece, but he certainly said that he defended the sourcing from his colleagues. Do you believe that the president said what the Times says he said:
JEALOUS: Certainly. Look, it's totally consistent with so many attacks he's made on, you know, going back ten years, against President Obama and it's just the same mean, nasty spirit that we've heard again and again from this guy.
GURA: Let me ask you here Pastor Scott if I could. If in fact he did say the things that the Times says he said, how would that change your impression of him? How would it change the impression of those in your congregation say?
SCOTT: Well, first of all, let me revisit what my uh, what Ben Jealous just said. I also want to reiterate the fact that the Obama allegations of the birther issue came out of the Hillary Clinton camp during the campaign. I want to leave that right there, but also, I know he didn't say it, so I don't even want to conjecture about it. I know he didn't say it.
JEALOUS: How do you know he didn't say it? (crosstalk)
SCOTT: I don't want to conjecture about it. I don't want to conjecture that what if he did. It's just like saying if a meteor hits California, what's going to happen. It didn't happen, and so I don't want to talk about it. He denies it. The White House denies it. I believe them over The New York Times.