U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday (October 22) defended his handling of race issues which have dominated the U.S. since the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody.
“I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room,” Trump said.
Gesturing to the audience, Trump said, I can’t even see the audience because it’s so dark.”
The president pointed to criminal justice reform as well as prison reform as part of his administration’s efforts to address racial inequality in the U.S.
He also said it made him “sad” to be accused of being a racist and race baiting.
Biden called Trump “the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire,” Biden said.
Biden also referenced Trump’s response to a question about race during the previous debate, saying, “This guy has a dog whistle about as big as a fog horn.”
The president deflected an opportunity to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate, briefly telling one group to “stand back and stand by” before pivoting to attacking left-wing activists.
The comment was made during a segment during which moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to denounce “white supremacists and militia groups” and tell them to stand down, rather than add to the violence that has marred anti-racism protests in some U.S. cities.
Trump has been accused of downplaying the threat of white supremacists, even as his own administration has warned of the danger.
(Production: Deborah Gembara)