Warren doubles down on calling Trump a 'white supremacist'

"He can't keep trying to stir this up, give aid and comfort, be embraced by the white supremacists and then say, ‘ah, but not me,’ no,” Warren said.
Image: Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at the 2020 Public Service Forum on Saturday, Aug. 3, in Las Vegas.Ethan Miller / Getty Images file

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By Adam Edelman, Ali Vitali and Benjamin Pu

HARLAN, Iowa — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Thursday doubled down on characterizing President Donald Trump as a “white supremacist,” saying that she was just being “honest.”

“He is a man who cozies up to the white supremacists and he calls them ‘fine fellows,’ he's talked about trying to get brown people and black people out of this country,” Warren told NBC News. “He's talked about ‘shithole’ countries,” she added, referring to remarks Trump made in 2018 about Haiti and African nations.

“This is what he's done, the wink and the nod, and he can't have it both ways. He can't keep trying to stir this up, give aid and comfort, be embraced by the white supremacists and then say, ‘ah, but not me,’ no,” Warren added. “He is responsible. He's the president of the United States.”

Warren made the comments in response to questions from NBC News about an interview with The New York Times a day earlier during which she replied, “yes,” when asked whether she thought Trump was a white supremacist.

Speaking to NBC News Thursday about that interview, Warren said, “I was asked the question and I gave an honest answer.”

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Warren isn't the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to dub Trump a white supremacist.

Asked by MSNBC on Wednesday whether Trump is a white supremacist, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke replied, “He is.”

“He has also made that very clear. He’s dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country,” said O’Rourke, whose former district included El Paso, where a gunman killed 22 people on Saturday. The suspect is said to have made racist comments online before the attack on the largely Latino area.

When CNN on Sunday asked Sen. Bernie Sanders whether he thought Trump was a "white supremacist or a white nationalist," he replied, "I do."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also called Trump a white nationalist during last month's Democratic debate.

"We can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House," he said.

Trump has employed harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric for much of his presidency. He has described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and referred to groups of migrants as being part of an "invasion.” He also laughed when an audience member at a campaign rally in May appeared to suggest shooting immigrants.

Several other Democratic presidential candidates have criticized the president on racial issues in recent weeks, though most have not gone as far as explicitly labeling Trump a white supremacist.

Joe Biden on Wednesday called Trump “a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced the political strategy of hate, racism and division,” while Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called him a “a president who spews hateful rhetoric and endangers the lives of people of color and immigrants in this country.”