CNN's Acosta: Americans Are Wondering If President Trump Is Secretly A White Nationalist

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CNN's Jim Acosta talked about the tussle he had Tuesday afternoon with President Trump in the Oval Office over the migrant caravan crisis in an appearance on 'Anderson Cooper 360.' Acosta grilled the president on his claim that Middle Easterners are in the caravan.

Acosta said just because there may be Middle Easterners traveling in the caravan, "it doesn't necessarily mean" there are terrorists among them. He lamented, once again, that the president and vice president may be offended Middle Eastern Americans who are "peace-loving people."

"There's just sort of a racially loaded comment that's being made in all of this by saying well, there are Middle Easterners coming up in the caravan, suggesting that they are terrorists," the CNNer said. "I said that to the president and the vice president in the Oval Office, that they may be offending Middle Eastern Americans all over the country who are peace-loving people, and they sort of brushed off that question."





The CNN correspondent said the Trump midterm campaign agenda is to play the politics of fear.

"They want to play the politics of fear in the last two weeks before the midterms, and the facts be damned," Acosta said.

"When you're demonizing immigrants, migrants coming up from Central America, trying to make their way to the United States and apply for asylum, when you're demonizing Middle Easterners and making the suggestion they're terrorists and so on in that caravan without offering any proof and then calling yourself a nationalist in front of thousands and thousands of people, I don't think it's a stretch for a lot of Americans to wonder or not whether the president is secretly considering himself a white nationalist," Acosta theorized

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Jim, the president very clearly and very directly there saying there is no proof of anything referring to the stuff he has been saying.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. We should point out of our viewers, and you know, this shouldn't be pointed out but it has to be pointed out, I suppose, there is proof for some things. There is proof for lots of things, but the president in this post-truth world that he's trying to impose on the American people and much of the world, he's trying to say, well, I can just about say anything I want and get away with it, and it sounded as if today what happened in the Oval Office, with the president and the vice president -- I'm glad you showed that clip because the president kept going to the vice president to bail him out -- is that they're just telling tales and hoping that the facts will bail them out later.

There's just been no evidence provided by the White House up until this point, and keep in mind, this is not the first time the president has been pressed on this claim about unknown Middle Easterners in the caravan. He's been offered this opportunity multiple times, and they're just not offering any proof...

Just because the White House or the president or the vice president, they say that there are Middle Easterners traveling in the caravan, it doesn't necessarily mean there are terrorists traveling in that caravan. There's just sort of a racially loaded comment that's being made in all of this by saying well, there are Middle Easterners coming up in the caravan, suggesting that they are terrorists.

I said that to the president and the vice president in the Oval Office, that they may be offending Middle Eastern Americans all over the country who are peace-loving people, and they sort of brushed off that question. They want to play the politics of fear in the last two weeks before the midterms, and the facts be damned.

COOPER: There certainly doesn't seem to be any indication that the president is going to stop peddling this narrative. You know, kind of shame might influence some people or a sense of decency, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

ACOSTA: That's right, Anderson. I think that's why that this question why this president keeps labeling himself a nationalist is so important. I asked him about this in the Oval Office. I asked, 'Are you trying to say you're a white nationalist? What about these concerns out there that you're dog whistling to your base, that you're sending coded messages to your base?'

He said I haven't heard a theory about that. Then he went on to say, well, you know, there are trade issues and so on, as to why he is attaching this label to himself.

But, Anderson, when you're demonizing immigrants, migrants coming up from Central America, trying to make their way to the United States and apply for asylum, when you're demonizing Middle Easterners and making the suggestion they're terrorists and so on in that caravan without offering any proof and then calling yourself a nationalist in front of thousands and thousands of people, I don't think it's a stretch for a lot of Americans to wonder or not whether the president is secretly considering himself a white nationalist.

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