Alcindor noted that the president called himself a nationalist on the campaign trail, saying, “Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying…”
But not before Trump interrupted her and responded, “I don’t know why you say that, that is such a racist question.”
Though Alcindor stayed calm and continued her question, noting that some people say the Republican party is now supporting White Nationalists “because of your rhetoric,” Trump retorted, “I don’t believe it,” adding, “That is such a racist question,” he said.
Pointing his finger at Alcindor, he said, “That is such a racist question.”
I'm simply asking the questions the public wants to know. https://t.co/bZ1cZVBKhd— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
I asked President Trump what he thinks of people seeing his rhetoric as emboldening white nationalists and whether he was concerned that Republicans would be seen as supporting white nationalists.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
His response: "That's a racist question."
A note: I followed up the president calling my question "racist" with a policy question about his proposed middle class tax cut because that's what journalists do. We press on. We focus on the privilege of asking questions for a living. We do the work.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
“I love our country,” Trump continued. “You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love the world. I don’t mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. But to say, that, what you said, is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing you said.”
After the press briefing, Alcindor said in a tweet: “I’ve personally interviewed white nationalists who say they are more excited by President Trump than other presidents in the past. Even if President Trump doesn’t intend it, some see him as directly appealing to racists.”
Alcindor also received support from her colleagues on Twitter.
Trump has faced criticism after he said he considered himself a nationalist during an October 22 rally, USA Today reported. Days later, a white man allegedly shot and killed two African-Americans at a Kentucky Kroger, and the shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.
Then on Oct. 27, a man killed 11 Jews after opening fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as he allegedly yelled “All Jews must die.”
Trump’s aggression towards Alcindor followed a hostile attack on CNN’s Jim Acosta.
He called Acosta, 47, “a rude, terrible” person as he tried to ask a question about the migrant caravan making its way north through Mexico.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” Trump said. “You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”