CNN’s Jake Tapper reacts to President Trump taking offense to a question about nationalism and white nationalism at his post-midterm election press conference on Wednesday. PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, the reporter who asked the question, is a black woman. Tapper said it “boggles the mind” that Trump could believe that a black reporter could ask what the president said was a “racist question.”
“On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. There are some people that say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalism because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?” Alcindor asked at the presser.
Tapper’s reaction on CNN:
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Look, if the president has an explanation for his use of the word ‘nationalist,’ I don’t mean it that way, I’m trying to reclaim it, I just mean it in terms of I am not a globalist, I am about the United States, then make that explanation.
If you want to make the argument, make the argument.
The idea that any reporter asking that question, in particular an African-American woman is asking a racist question just boggles the mind. I mean, it is a perfectly legitimate question and I’m sure there is a perfectly legitimate answer. I’ve had conversations with conservatives who think that the idea that this is a code word, or is a dog whistle is not fair, it’s the media being biased, the media being liberal. Make that argument. That’s fine. Make the argument that the use of the word is not racist, is not meant to convey a dog whistle. There’s a perfectly logical way to do that.
But no one should be surprised because this is how the president does that. You challenge him, he attacks you harder and that’s what this press conference was all about. And I feel threatened, therefore I’m going to threaten everybody here.