That woman standing behind Donald Trump in Jackson, Mississippi Wednesday night wasn’t the only person taken aback by the GOP candidate’s use of the word “bigot” to describe his opponent Hillary Clinton. CNN’s Anderson Cooper also took notice.
During their interview on Thursday, Cooper gave Trump a chance to explain what he meant. While Trump had used the word “bigoted” to describe some of Clinton’s policy prescriptions in the past, this was the first time he called the candidate herself a “bigot.” Unsurprisingly, he then doubled down on the charge.
“Well, she is a bigot,” Trump repeated, pointing vaguely to her treatment of inner-city African-Americans and Hispanics as well as military veterans as evidence.
“But how is she bigoted? Bigotry is having hatred towards a particular group,” Cooper replied.
Trump replied that she is “not doing anything for those communities,”
Cooper again asked, “So you’re saying she has hatred or dislike of black people?”
Trump once again called her policies “bigoted but when Cooper reminded him that he has said she’s “personally bigoted” he said, “Oh she is. Of course she is,” adding, “She’s totally bigoted there’s no question about that.”
Cooper kept at it. “But it does imply that she has antipathy, that she has hatred toward, I guess in this case you’re talking about African-Americans, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth,” he said, as Trump continued to attack Clinton’s positions on issues like poverty. “But hatred is at the core of that? Or dislike of African-Americans?” he asked.
Trump finally relented: “Or maybe she’s lazy.”
For her part, Hillary Clinton fired back at Trump on Thursday with a speech of her own In Reno, Nevada, using the word “bigotry” to describe not only Trump’s words in this campaign but also his discriminatory actions as a landlord in New York.