Former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele — the first African-American to hold the job — said Friday that he believes President Trump is racist.
“At this point, the evidence is incontrovertible, it’s right there,” Steele said when asked if Trump is racist by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson.
Steele’s comments follow a Washington Post report Thursday, which said that President Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “s—hole countries” during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House.
According to the Post, Trump also suggested the U.S. bring in more immigrants from places like Norway instead.
“There are a whole lot of folks like Donald Trump,” Steele said. “White folks in this country who have a problem with the browning of America … When they talk about [wanting] their country back, they are talking about a country that was very safely white, less brown and less committed to that browning process.”
Trump has denied making the comment as reported. “This was not the language used,” he tweeted Friday.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who was present in the meeting with Trump, pushed back on the president’s denial, insisting that Trump “said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”
Trump’s comments sparked a wave of condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as media personalities, many of whom called the president a “racist.”
Watch Steele’s comments on MSNBC in the video above.