After appearing alongside President Trump at a White House event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday, the nephew of the late civil rights icon said he does not believe the commander in chief — who reportedly made disparaging remarks about Africans the day before — is a racist “in the traditional sense.”
“I personally don’t think that President Trump is a racist in traditional sense,” Isaac Newton Farris Jr. told CNN. “I think that President Trump is racially uninformed or racially ignorant.”
Farris Jr., who serves as president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, said he met privately in the Oval Office with Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the sole African-American member of Trump’s Cabinet. According to Farris Jr., Trump assured them that “I am not the person that the media is making me out to be.”
"I don't think he's a racist in the traditional sense." MLK's nephew after appearance at the White House. Good Lord. pic.twitter.com/J1e7DhqWEJ
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 12, 2018
The comments come amid international outage over a Washington Post report that Trump referred to people from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as coming from “shithole countries” during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers about U.S. immigration policy on Thursday.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the newspaper, which cited “several people briefed on the meeting.”
According to the Post, Trump then suggested that the U.S. “should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway.”