comScore Hakeem Jeffries Defends Calling Trump the 'Grand Wizard'

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Defends ‘Grand Wizard’ Trump Comments: ‘We Cannot Whitewash’ Racial Insensitivity

On Wednesday, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) doubled down on the recent speech where he referred to President Donald Trump as “The Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Jeffries’ comments came as he delivered an address on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, during which, he also called Trump the “hater in the White House” and the “Birther-in-Chief.” In an interview with CNN, Alisyn Camerota repeatedly asked Jeffries if he went too far by connecting Trump to the Ku Klux Klan.

Jeffries defended his comments by saying its time for an honest, albeit uncomfortable conversation about race in America. The congressman also argued that even though he doesn’t think Trump is a Klansman, he does have “a troubling pattern of racially insensitive and outrageous at times behavior that spans not months, not years, but decades.”

As Jeffries noted several of Trump’s biggest race-related controversies, Camerota acknowledged his point that the president inflames racial tensions, but asked Jeffries if he’s inflaming the situation as well.

“Is that helpful,” she asked, “likening someone to the head of the KKK?”

“[The president] has presided over and engaged in directly a series of racially insensitive remarks,” Jeffries countered. “We cannot whitewash that, we cannot hide it, and on King day we should be able to have that candid discussion.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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