Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris late Tuesday condemned President Donald Trump’s refusal to disavow white supremacy during the first of three presidential debates, saying that Trump’s comments on race laid bare his courtship and signaling to white supremacists groups.
“The President of the United States, in the year of our lord 2020, refuses to condemn white supremacists,” Harris told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a post-debate interview. “This is a president, you know, people talk about dog whistling. Dog whistling through a bullhorn is what he is doing.”
Harris’ comments come after President Trump’s apparent refusal to condemn white supremacy instead telling the far-right hate group known as the Proud Boys to “stand by” while claiming that “almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.”
The President on Tuesday also declined to say that systemic racism exists and remains an issue in the United States. Trump instead sidestepped the issue by addressing a move by his administration to bring an end to racial sensitivity training in the federal government, saying, “I ended it because it’s racist.”
“If you were a certain person, you had no status in life — it was sort of a reversal,” he added.
“Donald Trump is not pretending to be anything other than what he is — someone who will not condemn white supremacists, someone who cannot say the phrase ‘Black lives matter’, someone who is getting rid of training of federal employees around the issue of race,” Harris said in a separate interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams late Tuesday.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee further condemned President Trump for what she called attempts to “distract” from his failures in leadership.
“Donald Trump on almost every issue that was discussed tonight has had no plan,” Harris said.