Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on Wednesday defended his assertion that President Donald Trump is the “grand wizard” of the White House by citing examples of racism by the commander in chief.
In a contentious interview on CNN, host Alisyn Camerota grilled Jeffries for calling Trump calling Trump “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” at an MLK Day event on Monday.
“Do you regret going that far in your comments?” Camerota asked.
“Not at all,” Jeffries replied. “We’ve got to have an opportunity for at least one day a year to have a candid, if sometimes uncomfortable, conversation about race. We can’t have that conversation on Valentine’s Day, we can’t have that conversation on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s perhaps appropriate for us to have that difficult discussion on MLK Day.”
“But you called the president the ‘grand wizard,'” the CNN host interrupted. “That’s language of the KKK. You think the president of the United States is connected to the KKK? He’s a klansman?”
But as Camerota pressed, Jeffries responded with examples of racism exhibited by Trump.
“Of course I don’t believe that the president is a card-carrying member of the KKK,” Jeffries said. “But it did capture a troubling pattern of racially insensitive and outrageous, at times, behavior that spans, not months, not years, but decades.”
The congressman pointed out that Trump’s bigotry dated back to the 1970s when the Trump Organization was sued by the federal government for housing discrimination.
“In the 1980s, it was Donald Trump who led the lynch mob that went after the Central Park Five — black and Latino teenagers — who were wrongfully accused, wrongfully convicted, wrongfully imprisoned for a crime they did not commit,” Jeffries reminded the CNN host. “For five years, it was Donald Trump who perpetrated the racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States of America.”
Camerota tried to interject but Jeffries continued: “We haven’t even gotten into the behavior that took place in the aftermath of Charlottesville or the s-hole comments about African nations or the fact that he’s hired Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Steven Miller and a parade of other individuals connected to xenophobia and the alt-right.”
“You make good points,” Camerota conceded. “But, you know, the grand wizard? The reason that I ask you about it… isn’t that inflaming the situation? Is that helpful, likening someone to the head of the KKK?”
“He has presided over and engaged in directly a series of racially insensitive remarks,” Jeffries stated. “We cannot whitewash that, we cannot hide it. And on King Day, we should be able to have that candid discussion.”
Watch the video below from CNN.
Condi Rice deflects Trump’s racism by saying slavery was just ‘a number of people being treated badly’
Former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Sunday blamed Democrats for racism after she was asked about President Donald Trump's controversial bigoted statements.
During an interview on CNN, host Fareed Zakaria asked Rice about some of Trump's most racist statements, like telling Democratic congresswomen to "go back" where they came from. And when he said there were good people on "both sides" at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville.
"When you hear Trump, this is a repudiation of everything you were trying to do," Zakaria pointed out.
"The president needs to be a lot more careful," Rice agreed. "Race is a very delicate and raw nerve in America. We have the birth defect of slavery, we have the birth defect of a number of people being treated badly."
Rand Paul snaps at Liz Cheney over Iran warmongering and announces plans to help her opponent
Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" with host Jake Tapper, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took several shots at Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) over her desire to attack Iran and her defense of departed White House adviser John Bolton.
Asked about his ongoing feud with the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Paul said the congresswomen is out of touch when it comes to American's taste for war.
“The Iraq War, President Trump has said, was the biggest geopolitical blunder of the last generation," Paul explained. "It destabilized the Middle East and increased the strength of Iran and tipped the balance toward Iran, so really there was nothing good about the Iraq war and Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney and John Bolton still don’t get it. They are still advocating for more regime change in the Middle East.”
‘There are some women who’d beg to differ’: Watch CNN anchor’s epic response to sexism in politics
On Saturday, CNN anchor S.E. Cupp gave a passionate lecture about the sexism female politicians face during political campaigns.
The host read a quote from a "top" advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I don't know of anybody who has taken as sustained and vitriolic a negative pounding as Biden ...really the most vicious press I think anyone's experienced,” the Biden advisor told Politico.
"Come again? What's that now?" Cupp asked in disbelief.
"I think there are some women who beg to differ," she noted.