Donald Trump would like you to know that he has a black friend.
Speaking to the North Carolina Republican Convention on Friday, Trump fired back at critics who’ve called his birther crusade race-baiting by noting that black actor Arsenio Hall won the last season of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
“How can I be a racist, I just picked Arsenio Hall,” Trump said.
According to NBC, Trump—who often veers wildly off message despite his role as a surrogate for Republican presidential candiddate Mitt Romney—devoted part of his remarks to again beating the birther drum. Citing a publisher’s erroneous blurb that claimed Obama was born in Kenya, Trump called for the president to release his college transcripts in addition to the birth certificate he already released last year.
“There is one line called place of birth, I’d like to see what he said,” Trump said. “Perhaps it’s going to say Hawaii, perhaps it’s going to say Kenya.”
Critics have for years questioned Obama’s legitimacy to hold the nation’s highest office, demanding that he release his long-form birth certificate to definitively prove where he was born. Obama himself released that documentation over a year ago, though that only spurred new conspiracy theories such as Trump’s.
Image via NBC screen capture.