MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Lawrence O’Donnell weren’t taking the spin from Donald Trump’s spokesperson Katrina Pierson Sunday.
Reid began their interview asking Pierson how Trump could question the judge in the Trump University case solely on his ethnicity. Pierson claimed it wasn’t just his race, Trump also named specific ruling that concerned him about that judge. Reid wasn’t having it.
“It’s the ethnicity he’s putting forward,” Reid began “When he’s asked repeatedly why the judge couldn’t be fair, he’s said, ‘Well, he’s Mexican.'” Pierson claimed that wasn’t what Trump said. “That’s exactly what he said,” Reid informed her.
Pierson then backtracked, claiming Trump had more to say than simply the judge’s ethnicity. She then launched into a diatribe blaming the media for the claims that Trump is racist and xenophobic, saying that it’s what they prefer to report. But Reid quickly put the slam on those allegations too.
“The reason I think the media constantly talks about Donald Trump and his issues with Americans that are non-white is because he keeps bringing it up on his own,” Reid said. “Nobody asked him about the judge’s background, the judge’s ethnicity. He brought it up on his own and when he was asked if that would also apply to Muslims he, on his own, without being prompted said, ‘Yeah, actually that’s a problem.’ He’s bringing these things up.”
Pierson paused trying not to look like a deer in headlights before blaming the media again. “No, see, the media has a problem with Donald Trump and race not Donald Trump.” She said that Trump is talking about specific policies. They just happen to be policies that are against specific races or religions, of course, but Pierson says this is about policy.
When it came to the “My African American” comment Trump made this week, Pierson again tried to blame the media saying that they simply weren’t reporting the story correctly. They published the actual words coming out of Trump’s mouth, not the manufactured intent the campaign tried to spin after the fact.
“The media is reporting on what Donald Trump is saying and that is why his statements on race come out, because he’s saying them and the media is reporting on it,” Reid attempted to explain to Pierson.
That’s when Lawrence O’Donnell chimed in, quoting Pierson’s own words back to her. Not three minutes prior, Pierson said that Trump wasn’t blaming the judge solely based on his ethnicity, meaning she admitted Trump blamed the judge’s decision on his race. He then asked her what her race is and she said she identifies as both black and white. Because the media has been reporting on Trump’s racism, O’Donnell said that Pierson’s logic could mean a black judge would also be biased in ruling on a case about Trump.
“I’m just wondering how you’d feel if a member of your family was in that position that that judge is in, in California, and a member of your family’s integrity as a judge was called into question on the basis that you’ve laid out here today, which is that the media has labeled Donald Trump a racist, therefore, people out there think it and that judge might be one of them,” O’Donnell proposed. “If that judge was related to you and Donald Trump wanted that judge knocked off of this case, how would you feel about that?”
Pierson said it isn’t the same thing because Trump doesn’t have any anti-black policies.
Check out the full interview below:
Part one with Joy Reid:
Part two with Lawrence O’Donnell: