Trump's open racism revealed how many of his supporters were 'yearning' to openly express theirs: professor
President Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (screengrab).

Speaking to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell this Thursday, journalism professor Jelani Cobb addressed President Trump's recorded words to Bob Woodward where he dismissed the existence of white privilege. According to Cobb, Trump racist rhetoric has enabled his supporters to be more open with their racism, allowing them to think if the president is saying it, they can too.

Cobb says Trump's rhetoric has created a kind of "catharsis" for his more racist supporters, which started the moment he referred to Mexicans as "rapists" during the outset of his campaign.

"There is a linear connection from that first statement" to Trump's rhetoric today, Cobb said.

He went on to say that while Trump's racism during his 2016 campaign and the early days of his presidency made his opponents think it would soon lead to his undoing, "what we did not anticipate was the extent to which people had been yearning to kind of go to their window and shout those kinds of things out loud to the public."

Watch the full video below: