As President Trump wades through the fallout from his reported comments that Haiti and several African states are "shithole countries," a story published Friday by NBC News claims that on two separate instances, Trump made prejudiced assumptions about White House visitors because of their ethnicity.
In a meeting last fall, the president apparently said that a female intelligence expert should be assisting the U.S. in its negotiations with North Korea purely because of her Korean heritage, NBC News reported. The unnamed woman was briefing the president about a hostage situation in Pakistan, NBC News explained, when the president asked her, "Where are you from?" Despite her response of "Manhattan," the president apparently kept digging and inquired about the origins of "[her] people" until she told mentioned that her parents were from Korea.
Trump then asked aloud why "the pretty Korean lady" wasn't working on the North Korean nuclear crisis, NBC News reported, citing "two officials with direct knowledge of the exchange."
In the second instance, NBC News detailed how Trump was reportedly surprised to learn in a meeting last March that several black members of Congress were not in fact personally acquainted with Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development and the only black member of Trump's Cabinet:
Trump asked the elected officials if they knew just one member of his incoming cabinet — Ben Carson — according to two people in the room.
None of the lawmakers knew Carson, and Trump found that surprising, the attendees said.
During that same meeting, a member relayed to Trump that potential welfare cuts would harm her constituents, "not all of whom are black." The president replied, "Really? Then what are they?" [NBC News]