Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) made clear that he believes President Donald Trump is a racist in an interview on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”
Brown was speaking with host Chuck Todd about Virginia’s embattled Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, and the racist photograph that appeared on Northam’s page in a medical school yearbook. A number of potential Democratic presidential candidates, including Brown, swiftly came forward to call for Northam’s resignation over the weekend.
Asked by Todd if there was anything Northam could do to convince Brown that “he should remain in the public square to lead in the healing,” as Northam suggested during a defiant Saturday press conference, Brown reiterated his call for the Virginia governor’s resignation.
“I think he should resign now. He then can contribute to this dialogue,” Brown explained. “But as I said, he should do it as a private citizen.”
But the conversation took a turn when Todd asked Brown about the changing climate for what is acceptable past behavior from politicians.
“Well, I think this country hasn’t dealt well with the issues of race,” Brown said. “I mean, we have a president who’s a racist.”
Todd quickly interjected, seemingly caught off guard by Brown’s candid remark about the president, and asked the senator to clarify whether he believes Trump, “in his heart,” is a racist.
But Brown didn’t hold back, offering a full-throated defense of his decision to call the president a racist:
“Well, I don’t know what, ‘in his heart,’ means. I know that he built his political career, knowing what he was doing, on questioning the legitimacy and the birthplace of the President of the United States. I know, early, and we — there have been all kinds of news reports about what he did early in his career on housing. We know, I mean, read ‘The New Jim Crow’ by Michelle Alexander. Read ‘The Color of Law,’ about housing discrimination and decades and decades and decades of housing discrimination. And we know that the Trump family, including the now-sitting president, played to that and deepened that.
So these issues, this is not a recent — Charlottesville was only a symptom and a more-public viewing and outing, if you will, of the president’s views about race. I mean, there’s just no question about that. We know the president doesn’t tell the truth frequently. We know he lies frequently. And we know of his racial back — racist comments and background.”
As Todd attempted to continue the interview with a question about Brown’s potential 2020 run and a recent trip to Iowa, the Ohio senator jumped back in to offer further evidence of his argument against Trump.
Brown went on to argue that the Trump administration is working to suppress voters, running counter to work he did as Ohio’s secretary of state.