Author Ta-Nehisi Coates on Friday night outlined a series of President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE's actions he said suggest the president "might be a white supremacist."
Coates argued during an appearance on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" that Trump's actions stood apart from other prominent Republican leaders.
"With George Bush's policies, I could make an argument for how they affect black people in a negative way. You know what I mean? But I wouldn't argue that he's a white supremacist. I wouldn't argue that Mitt Romney is a white supremacist," Coates said.
"Donald Trump is a particular, specific thing," he continued. "And I think there's quite a bit of evidence to back up the charge."
Coates rattled off a list of actions that he said suggest that the president might have racist tendencies, listing in particular Trump's past suggestion that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns US-China space cooperation is up in the air more than ever GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE was not born in the U.S. and his comment that a federal judge was not fit to preside over a case involving the now-defunct Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.
"I'm willing to have that debate," Coates said on whether the moves indicated white supremacy.
Coates had called Trump "the first white president" in his latest essay for The Atlantic.
"It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power," he wrote.
The debate over racism swirled this week when ESPN anchor Jemele Hill lashed out at Trump on Twitter, calling him a "white supremacist" and attributing his rise to the Oval Office to white supremacy.
The White House slammed the ESPN host for days over the remark, calling for her to be fired and ripping into the sports network for being "hypocritical" in its treatment of conservative and liberal employees.
Trump himself blasted the network in a tweet early Friday, going after its support base and saying it should "apologize for untruth."
ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
The controversy this week came after Trump was roundly criticized for his equivocating response to violence that erupted after white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in Charlottesville, Va., last month.
The White House has forcefully denied accusations that Trump equated the two groups and on Thursday Trump signed a resolution condemning white supremacy.