Conservative mogul Donald Trump on Monday reacted to audio tapes of NBC basketball team owner Don Sterling reportedly saying racist things by blaming the “girlfriend from hell” for setting him up.
In an audio recording published on Saturday by gossip website TMZ, Sterling allegedly tells his girlfriend that she could have sex with African-American men like Lakers legend Magic Johnson as long as she did not post photographs of them on social media or be seen with them in public at NBA games.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” the man on the tape says during the 9 minute recording. “Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Although Sterling has a history of being sued for housing discrimination based on race and for making other racial remarks, Trump spent a large portion of his weekly Fox News interview on Monday attacking then-girlfriend V. Stiviano.
“It’s terrible, he got set up by a very bad girlfriend,” Trump opined. “Let’s face it. That whole thing is — she’s called the girlfriend from hell.”
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade noted that many viewers had taken Sterling’s side because “it’s a private conversation… clearly, she was baiting him.”
“It’s so bad,” Trump agreed. “She was baiting him, and she’s a terrible human being. And he gave horrible answers, and disgusting answers. You’re right, it’s a private conversation. But it became very public.”
Co-host Steve Doocy pointed out that TMZ reported on Monday that Sterling had asked his girlfriend to record him for over 100 hours because he was forgetful.
“That kind of sounds like a defense,” Doocy observed. “I’m a little forgetful. I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“He could be out of it in terms of his actions,” Trump remarked. “The way she led him along. He should know, if he were there, if he was with it, he would know after one or two of those questions that she was answering and asking that there’s something going on here.”
“You look at the way he’s being baited, just constantly being baited,” he added. “I read part of a transcript and it was ridiculous.”
Later in the interview, Trump speculated that Sterling was “close to incompetent” because he was “led along by somebody who was so obviously looking to do harm to him.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast April 28, 2014.