A new book written by journalist Bob Woodward exposes President Donald Trump's lack of empathy and interest in the livelihood of Black Americans in addition to his frustration with his limited support from Black voters.
Woodward conducted, and recorded, nearly 20 interviews with Trump over a series of months that details the president's thoughts on the killing of George Floyd, the protests over police brutality and his thoughts on race and Black people, according to The Washington Post.
Excerpts of Woodward's new book Rage and recordings of Trump's comments have been given to The Washington Post.
Woodward spoke by phone with Trump on June 19, just three weeks after Floyd was killed. During the conversation, the president downplayed concerns Black people have about racism in America.
When Woodward tells Trump that they are both "privileged" older white men and they have to be more aware of how Black people feel, Trump mocks him, saying they do not need to understand the "anger and pain" felt by Black communities.
“No…You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all,” he told Woodward.
Even as Woodward presses the topic of race, Trump pivots to his impact on the economy. He makes the statement that he "has done more for the African American community than any other president in history besides Lincoln," The Hill reports.
“I’ve done a tremendous amount for the Black community. And, honestly, I’m not feeling any love,” he said during a conversation on July 8.
Days later, Woodward asked the president about race again but Trump said systemic racism isn't limited to just the United States.
“Well, I think there is everywhere. I think probably less here than most places. Or less here than many places,” Trump said.
When repeatedly pressed on racism and whether it exists in the United States, Trump eventually says, “I think it is. And it’s unfortunate. But I think it is.”
Throughout the interviews, Trump spoke derisively about Black leaders, only referring to former President Barack Obama as "Barack Hussein."
“I don’t think Obama’s smart. I think he’s highly overrated. And I don’t think he’s a great speaker,” Trump told Woodward, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called Obama an "asshole" when they spoke privately.
Trump has had a problematic relationship with the Black community for decades. He has faced lawsuits and accusations that he and his family broke federal laws in barring Black people from living in his buildings.
But, his standing within the Black community started to plummet when he began to push a conspiracy of Obama's birth and eventually becoming beloved by former and current Ku Klux Klan members, white supremacist groups and neo nazi organizations.