President Donald Trump once said, “Black people are too stupid to vote for me” and suggested that all countries run by blacks are “s—holes,” Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen says in a new bombshell Vanity Fair interview.
During the interview, Mr Cohen told the magazine:
“We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighbourhood. Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this.”
Cohen recalled in the article, entitled, “Michael Cohen says Trump Repeatedly Used Racist Language Before His Presidency.”
And Cohen said that when he and Trump once talked about the first season of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” the president was “explaining his back-and-forth about not picking” Kwame Jackson, a black investment manager as the winner.
“There’s no way I can let this black f-g win,” Trump said, according to Cohen’s account.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Vanity Fair, in its article, said the White House didn’t respond to multiple requests.
Trump, for his part, has made a point of claiming he has been reaching out to black voters. Last month, he hosted entrepreneur and music star Kanye West and football hall-of-fame Jim Brown at the White House. During that visit, West rejected the notion that Trump, who has a history of making incendiary comments about race, doesn’t deserve the support of minorities.
“A liberal would try to control a black person through the concept of racism, because we know we’re very proud emotional people,” West said. “So when I said I like Trump to like someone who is liberal, they’ll say, ‘Oh, but he’s racist.’ You think racism can control me? Oh, that don’t stop me. That’s an invisible wall.”
West has since said he is distancing himself from politics.
The interview comes more than two months after Cohen pleaded guilty to tax crimes and also to election law violations by making a secret, $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election that sent Trump to the White House.
Trump, a day after Cohen pleaded guilty, tweeted a shot at him:
“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”
Vanity Fair’s story said Cohen was speaking out because he “wants to clear his conscience and warn voters about what he sees as the president’s true nature in advance of the midterm election.”
The article says that “Cohen recalled a discussion at Trump Tower, following the then-candidate’s return from a campaign rally during the 2016 election cycle.”
Cohen said, “I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television,” a reference to the overwhelming number of white people.
“Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me,’” according to Cohen in the article.
Several years before, when talking about the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela, Trump said to Cohen, “Name one country run by a black person that’s not a s–hole,′ and then he added, ‘Name one city,’” Cohen recalled.
Last January, during a meeting with members of Congress Trump repeatedly called African nations “s—hole” countries, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said at the time.
The White House denied the comments on Mr Cohen’s claims but press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders previously said Ms Newman’s book was “riddled with lies and false accusations”.
Mr Trump was forced to deny being a racist after reports emerged at the beginning of the year that he had referred to African countries as “s***holes”.
He told reporters at the time he was “the least racist person you have ever interviewed”.
He has faced intense criticism for similarly incendiary language including describing Mexicans as “rapists”.