Trump admin official once questioned if using n-word was racist: report

Trump admin official once questioned if using n-word was racist: report
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A senior official in the Trump administration once questioned whether using the n-word was racist, according to a new report by The Washington Post.

Eric Blankenstein, a policy director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made the assertion, as well as the claim that most reported hate crimes were hoaxes, on a political blog more than a decade ago, the Post reported.

The Post notes that Blankenstein co-authored the blog, hosted on Blogger, with two other anonymous contributors under a pen name "egb3r.” The name was reportedly created from his initials.

Among other things, Blankenstein wrote in 2004 that a plan by the University of Virginia, his alma mater, to enforce academic penalties on students for acts of racial intolerance was "racial idiocy." 

“Fine . . . let’s say they called him n----- ,” Blankenstein wrote, spelling out the word. “Would that make them racists, or just assholes?” 

In a separate blog entry, Blankenstein also wrote that “hate-crime hoaxes are about three times as prevalent as actual hate crimes.”  

The Post said that it was able to verify that the blog was partially authored by Blankenstein by evaluating details such as his age and his graduation from the University of Virginia.

Blankenstein confirmed to the newspaper that he wrote the posts in question.

In a statement to the Post, Blankenstein said, “the insight to be gained about how I perform my job today - by reading snippets of 14 year old blog posts that have nothing to do with consumer protection law — is exactly zero."

“Any attempt to do so is a naked exercise in bad faith, and represents another nail in the coffin of civil discourse and the ability to reasonably disagree over questions of law and policy,” he said. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Blankenstein was appointed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE and is among the highest paid employees in the government, according to the Post.  He helps lead an agency that was created by former President Obama in wake of the financial crisis.