WTAF!? The Moment Donald Trump Accused A Black Woman Of Racism For Asking A Question

Donald Trump was in full flight in his 90 minute post-election news conference. By any traditional measure, it was ugly.

He was fighting with reporters, calling them -- once again -- “enemies of the people”.

But Trump’s not troubled by conventional rules. He knows the media are even less popular than he is. For his base these attacks work a treat.

They have become routine in the gladiatorial entertainments that are his rallies.

The President had called the news conference to declare victory in the election in which his party had lost the House of Representatives.

He was “extraordinarily happy,” he said. “We did unbelievably well.”

Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour asks a question to U.S. President Donald Trump after remarks by the President a day after the midterm elections on November 7, 2018 (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

He called it a “great victory… I think people like me and I think people like the job I’m doing, frankly.”

The loss of the House of Representatives is a big blow for any president but one that was weathered by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who suffered far deeper losses in their first midterm tests.

President Trump, as always, sees an upside.

”Now what’s bad for (the Democrats), being in the majority, I’m just going to blame them,” he chortled. “Honestly, it makes it much simpler for me.”

So a little over an hour in to the Presidential news conference, we had been given a compellingly theatrical performance within the broad bounds of what we have come to expect.

And then Yamiche Alcindor got up to ask a question.

Alcindor is a black woman, a reporter for the American public broadcaster, PBS. She wanted to know if the President calling himself a “nationalist” was “emboldening white nationalists.”

“I don't know why you say that,” said the President. “It's such a racist question.”

In fact, the question went to the tone of the President’s recent language in the context of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the dispatching of home-made bombs through the mail -- both by men who professed to be Trump supporters.

In Texas, two weeks ago, Donald Trump told a rally “I’m a nationalist, OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist!”

He says the label should be brought back.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a rally in support of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on October 22, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

The US Southern Baptist Law Center describes White Nationalists as espousing “white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of non-whites.”

Not once, but three times in response to Yamiche Alcindor, Donald Trump accused her of asking a “racist question.”

Pretty much anything goes in the United States these days.

But a President, standing in the White House, accusing a black woman of racism -- racism! -- for asking a straightforward and important question breaks new and depressing ground.