Data Staff Edited Report
President Donald Trump on Tuesday referred to former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, the only African-American to have served in a senior role in the White House, as a “dog.”
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
Referring to an African-American woman as an animal is at best a sharp departure from the language typically employed by Presidents and at worst a reference that traffics in sexual and racial imagery. Trump has long denied being racist and has dismissed a claim made by Manigault Newman that he used a racial slur on the set of “The Apprentice.” He’s also invoked “dog” to insult non-African-Americans — including Mitt Romney and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
As President, however, Trump has stoked racial tensions in the US, blaming “both sides” after violence sparked last year by a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also also privately referred some African nations as “s***hole countries” and lambasted the protests led overwhelmingly by black NFL players.
The attack stirred an immediate backlash.
“How dare he? How dare he call anyone a dog,” Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democratic lawmaker and a black woman, said on CNN. “We already have racism raining down all over America.”
Heather Hurlburt, of the New America think tank, criticized the president.
“I know we’re all supposed to be post-shock now, but the President of the United States calling anybody, and specifically a black woman, a dog cannot be allowed to pass in silence,” she said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office declined to comment.
Trump has been accused in other instances of using racially charged insults. He has repeatedly referred to Rep. Maxine Waters, a black woman, as “low IQ.” In announcing his presidential bid in 2015, he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals.”
It’s far from the first time the president has called someone a “dog,” and the word isn’t limited to women or people of color. In 2012, he commented on actress Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson “like a dog.” In 2013, rapper Mac Miller was called an “ungrateful dog.” In 2015, Trump said conservative political commentator Glenn Beck had been “fired like a dog” by Fox News.
And later in 2015, just a couple months out from announcing his presidential campaign, he called media mogul Arianna Huffington a “dog who wrongfully comments on me.”
Trump has drawn criticism in particular for the insults he’s lobbed at women and people of color.
“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly told Trump at the first GOP candidate debate in 2015.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he retorted.
In a separate tweet Tuesday morning, Trump referred to a crash outside the UK’s Houses of Parliament as a “terrorist attack” committed by “animals,” though the incident was still being investigated and the identity of the driver had not been publicly released.
The President also has been accused of calling some women “fat pigs” and “dogs,” though Trump has defended his treatment of women and denied multiple sexual misconduct claims against him.
Manigault Newman was fired from her job as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison by Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly last December.
Trump’s attacks on Manigault Newman come as her tell-all book “Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House” is released this week, which contains several unflattering claims against the President and his staff. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has said the book is “riddled with lies and false accusations.”