Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that she doesn't think "you can reach any other conclusion" other than to believe that President Donald Trump is a racist. She also said that he was leader of the country only "according to title."
What did she say exactly?
In an interview with The Root's Terrell Starr published Tuesday, Harris mentioned the "incredible amount of pain and concern" that she felt after Trump's comment that "both sides" were to blame for the violence that erupted in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following this, Starr asked her if she thought Trump himself was a racist.
Well look, when you talk about his statement on that [Charlottesville], when you talk about him calling African countries s-hole countries, when you talk about him referring to immigrants as rapists and murderers — I don't think you can reach any other conclusion
When asked again if she would agree that Trump was a racist, Harris was straightforward, "I do. Yes, yes."
While Trump has had accusations of racism leveled against him by a wide range of critics, some of the other Democratic presidential hopefuls have dodged blatantly making these accusations themselves. When Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was asked the same thing, he dismissed the question by saying, "I don't know the heart of anybody" and "I'll leave that to the Lord." Although he would add that he thought Trump used "bigoted language."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro have kept their own responses similarly indirect.
While she was sure that he was a racist, Harris was less convinced that Trump was the leader of the country.
When speaking about Trump's response to Charlottesville, Harris said she was concerned that "the leader of the country, according to title, would characterize what we were observing in the way that he did."
"I notice that you didn't say president," Starr observed.
"Well, he was elected president," Harris responded. "I mean, obviously not by popular vote, but he was elected. But the reality is — and we can get into a longer discussion of what a leader really is, right? You can be elected, but if you actually are a leader, then you don't condone and support and counsel hate. You bigotry what it is. You call racism what it is. You call violence what it is."