NAACP president: We know Trump is racist

The president of the NAACP said Saturday that "we know" President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE is a racist.

"We just have to be careful not to get so caught up in his words," Derrick Johnson told CNN's Erin Burnett. "We know he's a racist, he's demonstrated that." 

Johnson's comments come in response to reports that Trump called Haiti, El Salvador and certain African nations "shithole countries" during a closed-door Oval Office meeting on immigration Thursday. 

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, while discussing protections for immigrants from several countries. 


Trump then reportedly said the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries such as Norway.

Johnson said the remarks were "language of the '50s and '60s" aimed to "energize the base" before the 2018 midterm elections. 

Johnson went on to say that Trump is "racist both in his actions and his words."

The NAACP president went on to dismiss a previous CNN interview where Trump said he was "the least racist person that you've ever met." 

Trump said this week that the language he used at the Thursday meeting was "tough" but denied the highly criticized comment. 

The president drew heat from longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights activist Rep. John LewisJohn LewisClinton advocates 'sane gun laws' at Robert Kennedy memorial John Lewis urges young activists to get into 'good trouble' to save democracy The Memo: 'Roseanne' storm revives debate over Trump MORE (D) over the "unbelievable" comments and said he could not attend Trump's upcoming State of the Union address.