Trump did not want to condemn white supremacists right away during his 2016 campaign.
That's according to NYT's Maggie Haberman's forthcoming book, "Confidence Man."
Trump told Chris Christie that "a lot of these people vote," referring to white supremacists.
Then-2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump did not immediately condemn white supremacists because "a lot of these people vote," he told former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
That's according to a Washington Post excerpt published Wednesday of a forthcoming book, titled "Confidence Man," by New York Times' White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.
Christie, a close ally of Trump's at the time, urged him during his 2016 campaign to more forcefully condemn white supremacists who had expressed support for his candidacy, including David Duke.
Trump told Christie that he would condemn them but not right away. "A lot of these people vote," he said before hanging up the phone, Haberman wrote.
The 607-page book, which comes out on October 4, extensively covers Trump's life in New York through his presidency. Haberman interviewed Trump three times for the book, The Post reported.
During his time in office, Trump was often criticized for refusing to denounce white supremacists in harsh terms. After the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump said days later that there was "blame on both sides."
In his 2020 presidential debate against then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump declined to unequivocally condemn white supremacists and militia groups when asked by moderator Chris Wallace to do so.
"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump responded, referring to the far-right group.
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