President Donald Trump defended his efforts on behalf of African-Americans in the United States on Tuesday, repeating he was not racist.
“I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world,” Trump said to reporters at the White House.
The president commented on his record as reporters questioned him about his comments criticizing Rep. Elijah Cummings’ failure to help his rat-infested district in Baltimore. He spoke about the issue as he left the White House for his trip to Jamestown, Virginia to celebrate the settlement’s 400th anniversary.
Trump described Rev. Al Sharpton as a “conman” as the veteran activist protested his comments as “racist.”
“Al Sharpton, he’s a racist,” he replied.
Trump boasted again that under his administration, African-American unemployment was at the lowest level in history.
“Nobody can beat that,” Trump said.
The president also touted his new program for tax-exempt opportunity zones for inner-city neighborhoods and getting criminal justice reform passed, as a way to help black Americans.
“The African-American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy about what a president has done,” Trump said.
Trump said many black Americans had expressed support for his comments, thanking him for telling the truth about corrupt Democrat-run cities.
“The White House, and myself, and letters and emails and phone calls, have received more phone calls than I think on any other subject, of people from Baltimore and other cities, corruptly run by Democrats, thanking me for getting involved,” Trump said.
Trump disputed his comments were racist, dismissing the criticism as partisan Democrat talking points.
“You may have a couple of politicians boycott, but it’s all a fix,” he said. “The fact is African American people love the job I’m doing because I’m working for them, I’m not working for the politicians.”
The president appeared open to visiting the City of Baltimore, telling reporters he would visit, “at the right time.”