Donald Trump’s close friend and confidante, a man who has become one of his harshest critics in recent years, was unequivocal in his condemnation of the president.
“He’s a racist,” Donald Trump told Vanity Fair in 2017.
“I don’t want him to become president.”
And when he did, he was not wrong.
Since Trump took office, many observers have noted the rise of the alt-right, a loosely affiliated movement that embraces white nationalism and anti-Semitism.
Trump has made clear that he views the movement as a threat to his presidency.
He has called it a “movement” that “is bad for our country.”
But his friend and mentor’s comments also come as the president and the alt right continue to engage in a heated debate over whether to remove the monuments in Washington, D.C., and in a pair of other states that are dedicated to the Confederacy.
“I’m not against anybody,” Trump said during a speech to the American Legion in February.
“But I think it would be a mistake for our city to go back to that.
I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”
And yet, Trump also has made a point of publicly defending monuments and monuments around the country.
In January, he told reporters he supports preserving the monuments to the Civil War and the U.S. Constitution.
“The statues are great, the monuments are wonderful, but I think we have to go beyond the statues,” he said.
“We have to take the city and go beyond that.
And that’s a tough call.
We have to do that.”
Trump, of course, has never disavowed his former friend.
“My friend and I are friends,” he told the New York Times in April.
“He’s an incredibly good friend, and I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s a friend.
I think I’m very good friends with him.”
Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump have been at the center of an increasingly combative relationship with the president over the past few weeks.
The president has called the elder Trump a “puppet” who is trying to take over the presidency and has suggested the family has been treated unfairly.
Trump is expected to speak with Ivanka at a private meeting with top officials at the White House this week, according to reports.
The meeting is the first since Trump was ousted from office and was reportedly aimed at forming a new administration.
Trump’s comments have prompted some members of his family to criticize the president for not condemning his former confidante.
I wish he would just denounce racism.’ “
David Duke, an ex-KKK member and anti–Trump white supremacist, tweeted: ‘The president is a terrible person, and all he does is protect his own.
I wish he would just denounce racism.’
Trump replied, ‘That’s a good question.
Let me tell you.
I’m not a racist.
I’ve said I’m a very nice person.
But I don ‘t think it makes me a racist.’
He didn’t say it.
And he doesn ‘t know what a racist is.”
In response, Duke said he had been “caught up in the frenzy” over the comments.
“The president doesn’t know what the term racist is,” Duke told the Post.
“There is no definition of what a ‘racist’ is.”
“The term ‘racism’ is a misnomer, but there is a widespread and well-established belief that the ‘racist,’ whatever that term is, is someone who denies, denies, denying the legitimacy of people of color,” he continued.
“If you have a racist worldview, you don’t know who is a ‘racialist.'”
Trump’s former confidant is no stranger to controversy.
In 2017, Trump was also accused of sexual assault.
The charges were dropped in 2019.
In 2017, Duke told The New York Daily News that he had tried to persuade Trump to publicly disavow his friend.
“You don’t have to say that.
Just say it,” Duke said.”
If he wants to go public, then he’s welcome to do so,” he added.