At the final presidential debate on Thursday, President Trump said he is “the least racist person in this room” and defended a remark in which he described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate.
JOE BIDEN: Mr. President, you've described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate. You've shared a video of a man chanting "white power" to millions of your supporters. You've said that black professional athletes exercising their First Amendment rights should be fired. What do you say to Americans who say that kind of language from a president is contributing to a climate of hate and racial strife?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you have to understand the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter they were chanting "pigs in a blanket"-- talking about police-- "pigs, pigs"-- talking about our police. Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon.
I said, that's a horrible thing. And they were marching down on the street. And that was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter. I thought it was a terrible thing. As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room.
KRISTEN WELKER: But what do you say to Americans who are concerned by that rhetoric and by--
DONALD TRUMP: I don't know.
KRISTEN WELKER: --the videos?
DONALD TRUMP: I don't Know what to say. I got criminal justice reform done, and prison reform, and opportunity zones. I took care of black colleges and universities. I don't know what to say.
They can say anything. I mean, they can say anything. It's a very-- it makes me sad because I am-- I am the least racist person. I can't even see the audience because it's so dark. But I don't care who's in the audience. I'm the least racist person in this room.