(Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

Report: Trump asked why "pretty Korean lady" hostage expert wasn't negotiating with North Korea

NBC reported the story of Trump meeting with an analyst and his fixation on her race


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Rachel Leah
January 12, 2018 10:37PM (UTC)

After President Donald Trump's reportedly disparaging and foul language used to describe immigrants from Haiti and countries in Africa, outlets are more and more calling Trump what he truly seems to be: a racist.

But for many people of color, immigrants, LGBT individuals, women, Muslims and anyone who has found themselves targeted by Trump's vulgar, inflamed rhetoric and dangerous policies, or cares about those who have been, this is nothing new. Still, the depths to which can crawl still may shock.

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Today, NBC curated a lengthy, but unfinished, list of other instances in which Trump acted in profoundly racist way. In one fresh case, the outlet reports that "A career intelligence analyst who is an expert in hostage policy stood before President Donald Trump in the Oval Office last fall to brief him on the impending release of a family long held in Pakistan under uncertain circumstances. This was the analyst's first meeting with the president and after the briefing, he  asked her "Where are you from?" according to two officials with personal knowledge of the encounter.

The analyst told Trump that she was from New York. But the officials told NBC that Trump was "unsatisfied" with this answer and asked again. "Referring to the president's hometown, she offered that she, too, was from Manhattan. But that's not what the president was after," NBC wrote. "He wanted to know where 'your people' are from, according to the officials, who spoke under condition of anonymity due to the nature of the internal discussions."

The analyst told Trump that her parents are Korean. Then, according to NBC, "Trump turned to an adviser in the room and seemed to suggest her ethnicity should determine her career path, asking why the 'pretty Korean lady' isn't negotiating with North Korea on his administration's behalf, the officials said."

Trump more constant targets black people, Muslims and Middle Eastern and Central American immigrants. Still, this isn't the first time made time in his busy schedule for bigotry towards Asian people.

Notoriously in 2015, during a campaign rally for the presidency, Trump attempted to mimic Japanese and Chinese people with a terrible accent and incorrect grammar. "Negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China, when these people walk into the room, they don't say, 'Oh, hello, how's the weather, so beautiful outside, isn't it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they are doing wonderful. Great,'" Trump said to a crowd in Dubuque, Iowa. "They say, 'We want deal!'"

https://twitter.com/TheLastWord/status/636327218428317700?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com%2Fnews%2Fasian-america%2Ftrumps-offensive-asian-parody-sparks-criticism-n416926

There was also the time where Trump compared his Muslim ban to Japanese internment camps and other jingoistic policies Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted after Pearl Harbor. "What I'm doing is no different than FDR," Trump said on "Good Morning America" with an inappropriate measure of price.

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According to PBS, in the same speech where Trump called a black man in the crowd "my African-American," he boasted of his support from a group of Chinese-Americans. Overall, the president did not win the vote of this country's many growing Asian communities in 2016.

Today, as the president announced the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, his tweet on the matter and bulk of his address to the press did focus on the reverend's monumental accomplishments in the field of civil rights and the fight for racial equality. Again, no surprises there.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah

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