Immediately after news broke that President Donald Trump reportedly said immigrants from Haiti and African nations come from "sh*thole countries," pundits exploded in outrage — but many fell short of calling the president himself a racist.
Please stop saying the president HAS racist views. President Donald Trump IS a racist. Stop pussyfooting around on this. @CNN— Kevin M. Levin (@Kevin M. Levin)1515709432.0
Below are five reporters and pundits who danced around naming the racist elephant in the Oval Office.
1. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta
“The president seems to harbor racist feelings about people of color from other parts of the world," @acosta just said on CNN.— Michael Calderone (@Michael Calderone)1515709002.0
Known for his snide wit, CNN's Jim Acosta said the president appears to "harbor racist feelings about people of color from other parts of the world," but did not continue to flat-out charge him with being racist.
2. CNN political analyst Jeffrey Toobin
"He has racist views. And the worst thing is: that's part of his appeal," @JeffreyToobin says. "It's a feature, not… https://t.co/TXGW8uRoUi— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter)1515710275.0
Author and political analyst Jeffrey Toobin went so far as to say Trump "has racist views," and claimed many "dance around that issue," but did not refer to the president himself as a bigot.
3. CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Scuitto
While Scuitto's observation that the "sh*thole" comment was "very much in character with how President Trump views people of color," he did not name him a racist outright.
4. The University of New Hampshire's Seth Abramson
It'll take *years* to recover from what this man is doing to America's reputation and the integrity of its governme… https://t.co/UX5HZcV0dk— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1515707132.0
Abramson's takeaway on Trump's racism that informs his immigration and foreign policy stances is how bad it hurts the United States — and not how it proves further the president is a bigot.
5. This group of lawmakers
"Breathtakingly offensive." Lawmakers rebuke reported Trump "shithole countries" comment https://t.co/bpx64D4YSZ— Cristiano Lima (@Cristiano Lima)1515711091.0
According to lawmakers who spoke to POLITICO's Christiano Lima, Trump's comments are "breathtakingly offensive," "unforgivable" and "ignorant" — but not purely racist.