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.