NAACP president on Trump: 'We know he's a racist'

Comments are 'language of '50s,' he says

By JASON SQUITIERI
CNN

(CNN) - As worldwide outrage grows after President Donald Trump reportedly referred to African nations as "sh--hole countries," the president of the NAACP slammed Trump on Friday evening over the reported remarks, outright calling the President of the United States "a racist."

"We know he's a racist. He's demonstrated that," Derrick Johnson said in an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Johnson rejected Trump's claim in a 2015 CNN interview in which the President said he was "the least racist person," declaring that "he's a racist both in his actions and his words."

The NAACP president predicted Trump's remarks will help motivate African-American voters in the 2018 midterm elections, saying the comments are "the language of the '50s and '60s, it is the language of a Ross Barnett and a George Wallace."

Johnson also took issue with Isaac Newton Farris Jr., Martin Luther King Jr.'s nephew, who told CNN after participating in a White House event honoring his uncle that he believes Trump is "racially ignorant and racially uninformed," but does not believe Trump is a "racist in the traditional sense."

"I don't understand what it means to be not a racist in the traditional sense," Johnson said. "A racist is a racist in all sense of the word. And how one displays their racism is a problem no matter what."

Although the White House did not deny any of the reported comments when they were first reported Thursday, Trump on Friday morning tweeted that "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting, said Trump did use the words, which Durbin called "hate-filled, vile and racist."

And Republican Sen. Tim Scott told Charleston newspaper The Post and Courier that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was also in the room, told him the reported comments are "basically accurate."

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