Opinion: Donald Trump says he isn’t a racist because a black man won ‘The Apprentice’ once

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Donald Trump, who for a while deftly dazzled the press while demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate, is struggling to deny the unfortunate and impossible question: ‘Are you a racist?’

On Monday morning, the boisterous billionaire defended himself on ‘Fox & Friends’ by saying that he couldn’t be a racist because six years ago Randal Pinkett, an African American, won the honor of being Trump’s apprentice on the NBC show.


‘I am the least racist person there is,’ Trump said. ‘And I think most people who know me would tell you that. I am the least racist; I’ve had great relationships.’

The real estate mogul continued: ‘In fact, Randal Pinkett won, as you know, on ‘The Apprentice’ a little while ago, a couple of years ago,’ he said. ‘And Randal’s been outstanding in every way. So I am the least racist person.’

Pinkett has indeed been outstanding. His five degrees from Oxford, MIT and Rutgers, along with his victory on Trump’s show, helped his success with BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar New Jersey corporation that he helped found 15 years ago and continues to run today as its chairman and CEO.

In an interview Pinkett conducted in April revealed that although the author of three books originally thought Trump was milking the press attention to benefit the television show, he now believes that The Donald is serious about making a run for the White House. ‘When I first heard his name floated by him, my initial reaction was, this is a another publicity stunt and perhaps a wise and a shrewd one as ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ season is rolling around,’ Pinkett told Chris Yandek of ‘But I have to say, in recent months, he is really beginning to sound like he’s serious. I have been in communication with his office on other matters and they’ve responded to me he’s out taking visits to do with exploring fundraising and supporters.’

Does that mean Pinkett would vote for his old boss if he ran against Obama?

‘If Trump chooses to run against him it will put me at odds with my former employer cause I do support President Obama,’ Pinkett said. ‘I do support what he’s done and I think he’s done a good job, and I’m optimistic to see when he’s reelected how he can continue along the path he’s established.’

Trump defended himself of racist claims on ‘The View’ in March while asking to see the president’s birth certificate.

‘There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like,’ Trump declared.

‘Oh that’s a terrible thing to say,’ ‘View’ co-host Barbara Walters said.

Trump was clearly outnumbered, with only one of the female hosts supporting his statements, but seemed comfortable in the barrage of negative cross-talk, so much so that he had time to tell the most visibly upset host, Whoopi Goldberg, that he loved her.

‘I love you too, Donald, but I think that’s the biggest pile of dog mess I’ve heard in ages,’ Goldberg said, adding, ‘It’s not because he’s black, is it?’

‘It has nothing to do with him being black,’ Trump replied.

‘Because I’ve never heard a white president being asked to show his birth certificate,’ she said.


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-- Tony Pierce