Real estate mogul Donald Trump condemned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments on Monday, but suggested Sterling had been “set up” by the “girlfriend from hell.”
TMZ released audio that purported to be a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano on Friday, in which Sterling told Stiviano that he didn’t want her taking photos with black people or bringing blacks — like NBA legend Magic Johnson — to basketball games with her. The fallout was swift and widespread: everyone from President Barack Obama to Michael Jordan condemned the remarks and the NAACP revoked Sterling’s lifetime achievement award.
“It’s terrible. He got set up by a very, very bad girlfriend, let’s face it,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”
“She’s called the girlfriend from hell, but what he said was terrible and despicable and a very strong action’s going to be taken,” he added. “There’s no question about it.”
Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, sued Stiviano last month in an attempt to recover a duplex and three luxury cars she says her husband bought for the girlfriend, according to the Los Angeles Times. In response, Stiviano argued that Rochelle Sterling had to have known that her husband was carrying on extramarital affairs.
Trump went on to say that Stiviano was “baiting” Sterling and called her a “terrible human being.” Sterling did give “horrible” and “disgusting” answers to Stiviano’s questions, he said, but the NBA owner may have been in questionable mental health.
“He could be pretty much out of it in terms of his whole mentality,” he said. “The whole thing is so crazy, and the way she led him along — he should know if he were there, if he was with it, he would know after one or two of those questions that she was asking that there is something going on here.”
The NBA said over the weekend that it was conducting an investigation into the matter. Trump said Sterling should be expelled from the league and thought its new commissioner, Adam Silver, would “make the right decision.”