“I think this country hasn’t dealt well with the issues of race,” the lawmaker told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “We have a president who’s a racist.”
Noting Brown’s frank description of Trump, Todd paused for a moment, asking him to explain.
“I know that he built his political career knowing what he was doing on questioning the legitimacy and the birth place of the president of the United States,” Brown said, referring to the birther conspiracy theory Trump promoted staring in 2011, using it in an effort to undermine Barack Obama’s credibility.
Brown also pointed to housing discrimination in the Trump real estate empire, adding that violence at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, told the country even more about the president’s beliefs on race.
“Charlottesville was only a symptom and a more public viewing and outing, if you will, of the president’s views about race,” Brown said, appearing to be alluding to Trump’s weak response to the chaos when he had initially skirted around denouncing neo-Nazis.
Most recently, Brown, who is considering a run for president, has called for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam following the Democrat’s admission that he had once worn blackface in a dance contest in which he impersonated Michael Jackson. Controversy has brewed steadily over the governor since last week, when a photo of a man in blackface next to another individual dressed in a Ku Klux Klan uniform surfaced from Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook.
While Northam has indicated he has no plans to step down, Brown called on him to resign and consider participating in discussions on race “as a private citizen.”