Until the now-legendary Best Picture mix-up at the Academy Awards on Sunday, President Donald Trump was in full focus. Host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the night with a sharp jab against Trump in front of an audience of millions ― “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him” ― and other presenters and honorees didn’t miss their chances, either.
Kimmel’s criticism wasn’t unfounded; The Huffington Post has kept lists of Trump’s racism dating back to the 1970s. But in a segment that aired early Tuesday, Trump addressed the many attacks (watch some of them above) on “Fox & Friends,” suggesting his critics’ arguments were simply a product of “the race card.” Flippant dismissal of criticism also cropped up in his campaign, when Trump rejected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s fitness for the presidency by stating “the only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card.”
“It just seems that the other side, whenever they are losing badly, they pull out the race card,” Trump said when asked about the Oscars. “And I’ve watched it for years. I’ve watched it against Ronald Reagan. I’ve watched it against so many other people. And they always like pulling out the race card.”
The president had previously pinned responsibility for the Best Picture mix-up on the night’s attendees, saying in a Monday interview with Breitbart News, “I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end.” PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm behind the winners’ envelopes, apologized for the incident and confirmed that just one employee had been responsible for it in a statement issued Monday.
Trump also took a moment to remind viewers, for the umpteenth time, about his victory in the November presidential election, despite its irrelevance to a large portion of criticisms that centered around policies enacted after his inauguration.
“In fact I did much better than many other Republicans in the last election. I did much better with Hispanics. I did much better with African Americans. If I didn’t do better, I wouldn’t be sitting here,” Trump said.
At the Oscars, attendees shared symbols and words of protest against the president’s attempted ban on refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority nations and his plan to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Asked whether he took any of Hollywood’s jabs personally, the former reality star replied, “I can’t. Because I consider it a very serious violation when they say it, and I have to write it off as purely politics.”