White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended President Donald Trump to reporters on Tuesday, saying that if he’s a racist, “why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV?”
Sanders was answering a question about comments made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Monday that the president could prove he’s not a racist by approving the DACA immigration deal a bipartisan committee has already worked out.
“Why did Chuck Schumer and all of his colleagues come and beg Donald Trump for money?” Sanders said. “If they are who they want to try and portray him as, why do they want to be with him for years and years in various activities, whether it was as events and fundraisers and other things? I think it’s just an outrageous and ludicrous excuse.”
Sanders was referring to Trump’s show, “The Apprentice,” and the franchise it launched. The argument’s not watertight, though: If having a TV show were proof of one’s moral or ethical character, we probably wouldn’t have had, for example, eight seasons of a sitcom starring a man whom dozens of women would eventually accuse of rape or sexual assault.
The DACA negotiations ― like spending and immigration talks ― have been embroiled in tumult lately. Trump has been blaming the “death” of DACA on the Democrats, and there isn’t a new DACA deal in the works. According to CNN, the current plan for Republicans and Democrats regarding DACA “is to keep working on the issue but focus on a short-term funding bill this week to keep the government open.”
If a funding bill is not passed by Friday, lawmakers would have to deal with the immediate possibility of a government shutdown.
Trump has also recently taken jabs at Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for telling the public about the immigration remarks he reportedly made during a closed Oval Office meeting on Thursday.
Durbin corroborated reports last week that Trump described Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and didn’t want to include them in an immigration deal. Commentators have pointed to the remark as irrefutable evidence of Trump’s racism. Trump has pushed back, saying he is “the least racist person.”