In a wide-ranging press conference Tuesday President Donald Trump railed against the global order, accusing wealthy countries around the world of taking advantage of the US through trade deals and militarily. He pledged to fight for America’s interests and doubled down on using a controversial term “nationalist,” despite criticisms that it conjures fascist ideology.
Asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about whether the controversial term served as a dog-whistle to racist Americans, Trump claimed ignorance and then went on a tirade about why a nationalist identity should be brought back.
“There’s concern that you are sending coded language, or a dog whistle, to some Americans out there that what you really mean is that you’re a white nationalist,” Acosta asked.
“I’ve never even heard that. I cannot imagine,” he said. “I’ve never heard that theory about being a nationalist and I’ve heard them all,” Trump insisted. “But I’m somebody that loves our country.”
“I am very proud of our country. We cannot continue to allow what’s happened to our country to continue happening, we can’t let it happen,” he said. “So I’m proud. I’m proud of our country. And I am a nationalist,” he continued.
“It’s a word that hasn’t been used too much. Some people use it. But I’m very proud. I think it should be brought back,” he added.
He went through all the ways America has apparently been maltreated on the world stage and confirmed his identity as a nationalist.
“I am absolutely a nationalist and I’m proud of it,” the President said.