Donald Trump says left wing 'always play the race card' after Jimmy Kimmel's Oscars attack

Trump tells Fox and Friends he 'did much better with Hispanics, I did much better with African Americans', without supporting evidence

Adam Withnall
Tuesday 28 February 2017 12:20 GMT
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Donald Trump says left wing 'always play the race card' after Jimmy Kimmel's Oscars attack

Donald Trump has accused his political opponents of "always pulling out the race card", in response to Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel's suggestion that his administration has a problem with racism.

Speaking in an interview with Fox and Friends aired on Tuesday morning, the President said: “Look, it just seems like the other side, whenever they’re losing badly, they always pull out the race card. I’ve watched it for years. I watched it against Ronald Reagan, I’ve watched it against so many other people. And they always like pulling out the race card."

Kimmel's speech at the Academy Awards on Sunday failed to court with as much controversy as spectators were expecting, but he did take the opportunity to allude to recent criticism of Mr Trump's travel ban against citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.

“I want to say thank you to President Trump," Kimmel said. "I mean, remember last year when it seemed the Oscars were racist?”

Alluding to nominated films Hidden Figures and La La Land, Kimmel quipped: “Black people saved Nasa and white people saved jazz. That’s progress.”

Mr Trump insisted his election performance showed he had the support of minority communities, even though a Reuters review of polling data in late November suggested he won with the lowest backing from black and hispanic voters of any president in 40 years.

"In fact, I did much better than many other … Republicans in the last election. I did much better with Hispanics, I did much better with African Americans," he said, without providing clear numbers to back up his point.

Also in the Fox and Friends interview, Mr Trump said he believes an extra $54 billion dollars he has proposed for the US military budget will come from a stronger economy as well as cuts in other areas.

"I think the money is going to come from a revved up economy," Mr Trump said, hours before he was to address a joint session of Congress.

"I mean you look at the kind of numbers we're doing, we were probably GDP of a little more than 1 percent and if I can get that up to 3 or maybe more, we have a whole different ball game. It's a whole different ball game."

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