Trump made a racist impersonation of another world leader: report

The president can't take the high road

By Matthew Rozsa
Published January 22, 2018 12:28PM (EST)
 (Getty/Ron Sachs)
(Getty/Ron Sachs)

President Donald Trump has once again been caught making allegedly racist comments.

In a piece describing America's future in Iraq, The Washington Post included an anecdote that said Trump impersonated a major world leader, using a racist accent. The purpose of the anecdote was to illustrate how Trump believes the rest of the world perceives America to have been played for a fool when it comes to the Afghanistan war.

Senior administration officials said that the president has been known to affect an Indian accent and imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in an Oval Office meeting last year told him, “Never has a country given so much away for so little in return” as the United States in Afghanistan.

This is the second time since the start of the year that Trump has been caught in a racist faux pas. During tense negotiations about immigration reform, Trump was heard by several senators referring to African nations as "s**thole countries" and asking, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out." He also suggested that the United States should aim to have more immigrants from countries like Norway.

In October, Trump mocked Puerto Rican accents during a speech that purported to be sympathetic to the plight of Hurricane Maria victims.

"We are also praying for the people of Puh-werto Rico. We love Puh-werto Rico. Puh-werto Rico! And we also love Puerto Rico," Trump said during his speech.

Trump's racism has been a core component of his political identity, stretching all the way back toward his affiliation with the "alt-right" during the 2016 presidential election.

"The alt-right was looking like it was going to fall apart by mid 2015, even as it was trying to get off the ground, just because of the internecine quarreling that always erupts with these far right movements," journalist David Neiwert told Salon in December. "Trump came along and really became the banner under which they could all unite. So that was really a significant thing for the movement."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Afghanistan Donald Trump India Narendra Modi