Administration

Trump responds to Biden’s accusation of racism by comparing himself to Lincoln

President Trump on Wednesday responded to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s allegation that he’s the “first racist president” by again claiming he’s done more for the Black community than anybody except perhaps former President Lincoln.

Trump was asked about Biden’s attack during a press briefing ostensibly intended to focus on the coronavirus pandemic. The president responded by highlighting the passage of criminal justice reform and the strength of the economy for minorities prior to the pandemic.

“I’ve done more for Black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Nobody has even been close,” Trump said before turning and leaving the briefing room.

Trump has in the past similarly compared himself to the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. But he has drawn criticism for the comparison and frequent allegations of racism for some of his rhetoric and actions.

Biden, during a town hall with union workers, lashed out at Trump over his use of the term “China virus” to describe the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

“No sitting president has ever done this,” Biden said of Trump’s rhetoric. “Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed. They’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

Critics were quick to point out that past presidents have used racist language, supported racist policies and in some cases owned slaves.

But Trump has faced frequent allegations of racism since before he took office. He pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that former President Obama, the country’s first Black president, was not born in the United States.

He has referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” claimed Mexico was sending criminals over the border and suggested four minority congresswomen should “go back” to their countries despite three of them being born in the U.S.

Trump on Wednesday was asked why he blamed Obama for violence in Chicago in 2016 but has now taken to blaming the city’s mayor for a recent spike in violent crime.

“Because President Obama was invited in and he did a poor job. President Obama could have gone into Chicago,” Trump said. “He could’ve solved the problem, and he didn’t.”

The president earlier Wednesday announced a surge in federal agents being sent to Chicago to try to quell the recent violence. He attacked Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) during the briefing, saying she’s “making a big mistake” by rejecting federal assistance.

Lightfoot told reporters she believes Trump’s constant criticisms of Democratic mayors is intended as a distraction from his “failed leadership on COVID-19.”

Tags Barack Obama Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden
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