When asked at a press conference on Wednesday about the consequences of calling himself a "nationalist," President Trump refused to answer the question, calling the question "racist."
Trump was asked by PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is black, about comments he made late last month at a political rally in which he called himself a nationalist. Alcindor asked if he thought his rhetoric was emboldening white nationalists across the country.
"That's such a racist question," Trump said. "I don't believe that."
Trump went on to cite approval numbers among African-Americans as to why he didn't think white nationalism was on the rise.
"I love our country," Trump added. "You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love the world. I would love to help the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. But to say, that, what you said, is so insulting to me. It's a very terrible thing you said."
I'm simply asking the questions the public wants to know. https://t.co/bZ1cZVBKhd
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
Trump said he considered himself a nationalist at an Oct. 19 rally in Houston.
“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can’t have that,” Trump said, according to USA Today . "You know, they have a word – it’s sort of became old-fashioned – it’s called a nationalist. And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word."
Less than a week later, a white nationalist shot and killed two black people in a Kroger parking lot in Kentucky, and eight days later a man killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The accused Kentucky shooter Gregory Bush reportedly attempted to enter a black church before shooting his victims at a nearby grocery store. He also reportedly told a bystander before he was taken into custody that "whites don't shoot whites."
Robert Bowers, the suspected shooter at the Pittsburgh synagogue, frequented Gab — a social media platform with a large white nationalist following. He also decried migrants as "invaders" and accused a Jewish advocacy group of helping smuggle those migrants into the country.