Fmr RNC Chair Steele: ‘Bromance’ with Kanye Doesn’t ‘Absolve’ Trump’s Racism

Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said President Donald Trump does not get his previous actions and comments forgiven by holding an Oval Office press conference with hip-hop star Kanye West.

Network host Chris Matthews said, “Here he is sitting with a hip-hop guy who apparently has some sort of bizarre politics, fine. I think it runs against the idea that he’s a racist. It runs against the idea that Trump doesn’t like minorities, that he’s going after Hirono, Maxine Waters, the usual suspects in politics, in sort of a racial way. Here he is flipping it and confusing people. Mainly it’s for white people because white people won’t vote for a guy, most of them if they think they’re racist. So if you show you’re not in some plaintive, cartoonish way, it gets him off the hook. You know what I’m saying?”

Steele said, “I understand where you’re coming from, Chris. I think, though, beyond anything else, you set the narrative, I think, the correct way,  given the tragedy that’s in Florida, given the international concern regarding “The Washington Post” reporter, the president entertaining an artist, okay, fine, who then comes into the Oval Office, it becomes a backdrop. And he proceeds to bang on the resolute desk. He begins to use foul language in that space. To me, it’s unsettling. And I think to Chris’ point, that’s the, quote, ‘genius of Trump,’ that he offsets these very important things with this kind of maniacal madness known as reality TV presidential politics.

He added, “The fact of the matter is, I’m sorry, meeting with Kanye does not absolve you of your position on Charlottesville. It does not absolve you on talking about the continent where my ancestors came from as an ‘S-hole. It does not absolve you from building a wall or absolve you of locking immigrant children in cages. So you can meet with Kanye and have your bromance moment, but the American people see through it and see it for what it is. And if you think the black community is going to wake up and go, ‘Well damn, he met with Kanye, I think I’ll go vote for Trump.’ That’s not how that works.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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