Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is making headlines for conceding that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a racist. Smith voiced his concerns over Trump’s attitudes towards minorities in an interview with James Grimaldi, a Wall Street Journal reporter.
When the two began a discussion on a recent speech Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton made in Reno, Nevada that painted the billionaire real estate developer as a racist, Smith acknowledged the accuracy of her allegations. Smith said,
“The problem with any attempt to rebut her is that in this case she used Donald Trump’s own words, was historically accurate on his policies, on all reviewed points.”
The news anchor also went further, suggesting that Trump readily believed in fringe conspiracy theories and lacked the temperament for the nation’s highest office.
Grimaldi, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize, did not offer his opinion on if Trump is racist or not, but did suggest that the Republican nominee often uses hyperbole in his speeches. However, Grimaldi did note past poor behavior by Trump. Notably, Grimaldi pointed out that Paul Ryan, a Republican and the current Speaker of the House, called Trump’s criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel “textbook racism.” Smith also found it difficult reconciling how some of Trump’s words could not be construed as racist.
News outlets frequently point out how a large percentage of Trump’s base of supporters are from the so called “alt-right,” individuals who are known for their opposition to multiculturalism and their support of white supremacist policies. In an infamous moment from the primary campaign, David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, endorsed Trump for the presidency.
For his part, Trump has denied allegations that he is racist. This past week, the Republican candidate said in a speech that the idea of labeling him and his supporters as racist was simply an invention of the media and the Democratic Party.