Donald Trump has insisted he is “not a racist” after he was accused of calling Hawaii and African nations “shithole countries”.
The President sparked widespread outrage with the alleged comments, with the UN slamming the “racist” remarks as “shocking and shameful”.
But Trump hit back at the criticism last night (Sunday), telling reporters in Florida: “I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed”.
The row erupted following a meeting to discuss protections for immigrants, during which the US leader reportedly asked: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
“We should have more people from places like Norway,” he is said to have added.
Trump has denied the claims, tweeting: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.
“What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”
In response to the Trump’s denial, HuffPost UK looks at five times the President has been accused of racism.
He called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’
During a speech to announce that he was running for the presidency back in June 2015, Trump launched a scathing attack on Mexican immigrants, making his infamous promise to build a wall along the US’ southern border.
The Apprentice judge accused Mexico of “bringing their worst people” to America, including criminals and “rapists”.
“They’re sending us not the right people,” he said. “The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,” Trump continued.
“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
He retweeted Britain First
Back in November, the President was accused of endorsing far-right group Britain First after he retweeted three inflammatory anti-Islam videos from the group’s Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen.
The videos claimed to show various violent crimes committed by Muslims.
Britain First is widely known for spreading Islamophobic and racist videos, including many proven to be fake.
Speaking at the time, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “Britain First is a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified.”
He questioned where Obama was born
Trump was a leading proponent of “birtherism” – the racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and was therefore an illegitimate president.
Trump claimed in 2011 to have sent people to Hawaii to investigate whether Obama was really born there. He insisted at the time that the researchers “cannot believe what they are finding.”
Not only did Obama release his long-form birth certificate in response to the allegations, but he endlessly mocked Trump about the claims during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner that year.
But Trump continues to insinuate that the president was not born in the country.
“I don’t know where he was born,” he said during a 2015 speech.
He failed to immediately denounce white supremacists
After a far-right rally turned violent in the US city of Charlottesville, Trump initially refused to outright denounce white supremacy, Nazis and racism.
Three people died – one 32-year-old woman, who was hit when a car ploughed into a crowd and two state troopers, whose helicopter crashed outside the city while responding to the situation ― and at least 35 others were injured in the Virginia city on Saturday.
But rather than specifically speaking out in criticism of members of the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacists or the neo-Nazis who brought torches and bats to the rally, the US president blamed the unrest on “many sides.”
The president later changed his stance, saying: “Racism is evil.”
“And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
His company was sued twice for not renting to black people
When Trump was serving as the president of his family’s real estate company, the Trump Management Corporation, in 1973, the Justice Department sued the company for alleged racial discrimination against black people looking to rent apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
The lawsuit charged that the company quoted different rental terms and conditions to black rental candidates than it did with white candidates, and that the company lied to black applicants about apartments not being available, HuffPost reports.
Trump called those accusations “absolutely ridiculous” and sued the Justice Department for $100 million in damages for defamation.
Without admitting wrongdoing, the Trump Management Corporation settled the original lawsuit two years later and promised not to discriminate against black people, Puerto Ricans or other minorities.
Trump also agreed to send weekly vacancy lists for his 15,000 apartments to the New York Urban League, a civil rights group, and to allow the NYUL to present qualified applicants for vacancies in certain Trump properties.
Just three years after that, the Justice Department sued the Trump Management Corporation again for allegedly discriminating against black applicants by telling them apartments weren’t available.