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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in Macon, Georgia on Nov. 30, 2015. Several GOP leaders told the Associated Press that the early work for a brokered convention was a necessary contingency given the deeply divided Republican field. Weeks before the Feb. 1 leadoff Iowa caucuses, there are still a dozen Republican candidates in the race. Photo By Christopher Aluka Berry

Every moment in Donald Trump’s long and complicated history with race

As he displayed at a Tuesday rally in Phoenix, President Donald Trump’s long history with race is complicated.

He is a man who was accused of racial discrimination multiple times at his businesses but who used his Mar-a-Lago resort to smash white-only membership policies in Palm Beach, Florida.

He was among the loudest voices attacking the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president, but launched one of the most public Republican efforts in modern history to reach out to the African-American community.

He has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, yet left Jews out of a Holocaust remembrance statement.

He fired a longtime aide for using a racial epithet, but secretly funded ads that associated Native Americans with drug use and crime. And he has repeatedly called Mexicans rapists and criminals while insisting that he loves them.

While Trump’s actions have landed on both sides of racial currents, his public record depicts a man who most often moves in one direction: overlooking racial sensitivity and concerns in the name of fighting “political correctness.” That’s something his base likes, but also something that has caused him problems within his party and with voters at large.

To understand this side of the president, especially after his remarks about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, we combed the archives (and Internet) for more of Trump’s words and actions on race. We found nearly 100 critical moments.

1973

Discrimination charge. Donald and Fred Trump are accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against potential minority renters. They insist they are innocent and fight the sweeping charges.

1975

DOJ settlement. The Trumps settle with the Department of Justice over housing discrimination charges, agreeing to meet certain standards while not admitting any wrongdoing.

1978

Renewed discrimination charge. The Department of Justice accuses the Trumps of continuing to discriminate in spite of their settlement.

1983

Report: disproportionately white tenants. The New York Times reports that two Trump properties have populations that are 95 percent white.

1989

Central Park Five Ads. After five young men of color — known as The Central Park Five — are arrested for a brutal attack on a jogger, Donald Trump buys full-page newspaper ads  stressing law and order and urging return of the the death penalty. He writes that white, black, Hispanic and Asian families have lost a sense of security in their neighborhoods. (The five men, who Trump called “crazed misfits,” were exonerated 13 years later.)

1990

Criticizes a whites-only club. Trump tells Vanity Fair he did not want to join a Palm Beach, Florida, club because it does not allow black or Jewish members.

1992

Trump hotel penalized for discrimination. A judge rules against the Trump Plaza Hotel in New Jersey, concluding the hotel discriminated in removing a African-American dealer from a table at the request of a wealthy player.

1993

“They don’t look like Indians to me,” Trump says during a Congressional hearing when talking about Native American casino officials, accusing them of working with organized crime. He adds that political correctness have given Native American status to some people who don’t “look like Indians.”

1995

Opens racially-inclusive club.  Trump turns his Mar-a-Lago resort into a private club open to Jews, African-Americans and all races, breaking with many other local elite clubs in Palm Beach, Florida.

1996

Sued by 20 African-Americans. Twenty people from Indiana sue Trump, alleging he did not make good on promises to hire a large number of local minorities for his new casino.

Feb. 14, 2000

Calls David Duke a racist. In a “Today Show” interview, Trump calls David Duke a “bigot, a racist, a problem” and separately sends a statement to the New York Times, saying the Reform Party’s inclusion of Duke makes it a party he does not want to join.

Oct. 6, 2000

Secretly funds anti-Native American ads. Trump agrees to apologize and pay a fine for secretly financing sharp ads opposing a Native American gambling proposal. The ads included pictures of syringes and cocaine and asked “Are these the new neighbors we want?”

Feb. 10, 2011

First publicly doubts Obama. Trump tells conservative CPAC that President Barack Obama’s classmates never saw him at school. Politifact rated this statement “pants on fire.”

March 23, 2011

Birtherism begins. Trump goes on “The View,” says that President Obama must show his birth certificate.

April 21, 2011

Questions Obama’s place at Harvard. In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump questions how President Obama got into Columbia and Harvard.  Later, he tells reporters Obama should “get off the basketball court.”

May 9, 2011

“I am the least racist person there is,” Trump says to FOX News, pointing to the fact that an African-American won “The Apprentice.”

April 14, 2011

“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump tells an Albany, New York radio show.

Nov. 1, 2011

Claims there are double standards when it comes to racism. In a YouTube video (now marked private), Trump accuses Jon Stewart of racism and says there is a double standard (Stewart seemed to use a voice imitating Herman Cain).

April 24, 2013

Disputes innocence of The Central Park Five. Trump tweets that a documentary about the full exoneration of the five men of color in the Central Park jogger case is “one-sided” and didn’t explain their “horrific crimes.”

April 24, 2013

Calls Jon Stewart by his Jewish birth name. Trump tweets that he’s smarter than “Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart …”

June 5, 2013

Repeats falsehoods on minorities and crime. During the ramp-up to George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial, Trump tweets that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics.” This seems to come from a New York City report showing blacks and Hispanics were also the majority of crime victims. An FBI report disputes Trump’s claim nationally.

Aug. 5,

2013

Claims double-standard on “n—–”. On FOX News, Trump responds to Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel’s use of the word “cracker” for white people by saying there is unfair and greater backlash against Republicans who use “n—–” to describe black people.

June 21, 2014

The Central Park Five settlement is a “disgrace,” Trump writes in an Op-Ed for the New York Daily News. He wrote that the five men falsely jailed were no “angels” and the city’s $40 million dollar settlement with them is a “heist.”

Feb. 25, 2015

Mexico “sending criminals.” Trump tweets that Mexico is corrupt and sends criminals over the U.S. border.

April 28, 2015

“Thugs.” In midst of violent reaction to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Trump tweets that “thugs” are happily and openly destroying the city.

June 16, 2015

Mexico sending “rapists.” In the speech announcing his candidacy for president, Trump charges that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S.

June 23, 2015

African-American youth “have no spirit,” Trump told a Republican luncheon in Baltimore, adding “they’ve just about never done more poorly.”

June 30, 2015

“I love the Mexican people,” Trump tweets, but adding “Mexico is not our friend.”

July 1, 2015

Stands by Mexican “rapists” remark. In an interview with CNN, Trump insists Mexico is sending rapists to America. He does not seem to accept research showing that rapes of women crossing the border are largely done by traffickers.

July 5, 2015

Swipe at Jeb Bush’s Mexican-American wife. In a tweet he later deleted, Trump writes that Bush “has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” Columba Bush was born in Mexico and legally immigrated to the United States.

Aug. 2, 2015

Trump campaign fires aide for use of racial epithet. After saying it found use of a racial epithet to describe African-Americans on his Facebook page, the Trump campaign fires longtime Trump aide Sam Nunberg. Nunberg denied he wrote such posts.

Aug. 19, 2015

“Passionate” Trump supporters beat Hispanic man. After two white men indicated Donald Trump inspired them to beat and urinate on a homeless Hispanic man, Trump initially calls it a “shame” but says his supporters are “passionate.” He later tweets that the incident was terrible and he does not condone violence.

Aug. 25, 2015

Mimicking Asians? Talking about Japanese and Chinese negotiators, Trump, seeming to use an accent, says their approach is “we want deal.”

Aug. 26, 2015

Would not want David Duke’s support. Trump tells Bloomberg he doesn’t want David Duke’s endorsement and doesn’t need any endorsement. Asked if he would repudiate Duke, Trump said, “sure … if it made you feel better.”

Nov. 2015

False statistics about African-Americans. After a black protester chanting “Black Lives Matter” at his Alabama rally was pushed and punched, Trump tweets (and later deletes) false statistics about the percentage of whites killed by blacks. Politifact rated one claim as “pants on fire.”

Dec. 3, 2015

Jews as “negotiators.” Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump discussed Israeli-Palestinian talks and then said “I’m a negotiator, like you folks” and “this room negotiates perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to, maybe more.” (In February, Trump would tell CNN the “Persians are great negotiators.”)

Dec. 8, 2015

Compares his Muslim ban to Japanese internment, World War II policies. In an interview with ABC, Trump says his Muslim ban proposal is no different that President Franklin Roosevelt’s orders regarding Japanese-, German- and Italian-Americans during WWII.

Feb. 25, 2016

David Duke supports Trump. On Facebook, the former Klansman urges his followers to vote for Trump, saying it is “treason to your heritage” to vote for others.

Feb. 26, 2016

Trump disavows David Duke. At a news conference, Trump says he didn’t know about Duke’s announcement and responds “I disavow. OK?”

Feb. 28 – 29, 2016

Trump non-answer on David Duke. On CNN, Trump is asked in multiple ways if he condemns David Duke and does not directly answer. The following day, Trump says this was because he had a bad earpiece.

May 5, 2016

Taco salad. Trump tweets photo of him eating a taco salad, tweeting “I love Hispanics” and “Happy #CincoDeMayo.”

May 26, 2016

First criticizes Mexican-American judge. In a San Diego, California speech, Trump criticizes Judge Gonzalo Curiel hours before Curiel’s court announces he has cleared the public release of some controversial Trump University documents. Trump said Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” He also states “Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.”

June 2-3, 2016

More on judge’s Mexican heritage.Speaking with the WSJ and CNN, Trump says Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage is an absolute conflict in his oversight of the Trump University case and he cannot be fair. On CBS, Trump calls his inference that Curiel is biased because of his race “common sense.”

June 3, 2016

“My African-American”; Chinese-American support. In Redding, California, Trump stresses support from African-Americans and points to a black man in the crowd, saying, “Oh look at my African-American over here!” In the speech, he also spoke of support from a group of Chinese-Americans.

June 11, 2016

Misleading claim on black unemployment. In Richmond, Virginia, Trump says he will expand his campaign theme to include “everyone.” Then, around the 25 minute mark, he argues America is in decline, saying “African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent.” Politifact rated the claim “mostly false.”

June 25, 2016

Muslim ban, but not for certain Muslims. Trump tells reporters with him in Scotland that it wouldn’t bother him for a Scottish Muslim to enter the United States. This, after he had pledged in December to ban all Muslims from arriving in the U.S.. Advisers try to walk back the comments and say the ban would focus on countries associated with terrorist groups.

July 11, 2016

The law and order president. Days after a racially-motivated black gunman killed five Dallas police officers at a protest march, Trump gives a Virginia Beach speech supporting law enforcement, declaring, “I am the law and order candidate” and “the candidate of compassion”.

July 12, 2016

Blacks not necessarily wrong about police. In wake of police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Alabama, Trump tells FOX News that blacks are not necessarily wrong about police mistreatment and that police shootings “could be” part of systemic racism. In the same interview, he criticizes the Black Lives Matters movement.

July 15, 2016

“…the South overplayed its hand,” Trump says of the Civil War in an interview with Time. Trump indicates he thinks the South could have settled without war.

July 30, 2016

Ghazala Khan. Trump questions why Gold Star mother and Pakistani-American Ghazala Khan was silent when her husband spoke at the Democratic convention. “Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” Trump suggested. Mrs. Khan later said she did not speak because she was overcome by emotion.

Aug. 16, 2016

Direct appeal to African-Americans. Trump directly asks for African-American votes in a speech about law and order. He vows to protect minorities from immigrants who could take their jobs and accuses Hillary Clinton of bigotry.

Aug. 18, 2016

Appeal to African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump promises “jobs, safety” and “fair, equal representation” to “African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and all Americans.” (Note: he also expressed regrets for some of his recent words, though did not specify which words.)

Aug. 19, 2016

“What do you have to lose?” Trump asks African-Americans as he argues that Democrats have failed them and they should give him their vote. “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.” These less-scripted remarks were in Dimondale, Michigan, which critics pointed out is 93 percent white. He also repeated incorrect statistics about black youth unemployment.

Aug. 20, 2016

Trump says GOP should be home for African-Americans. At a Fredericksburg, Virginia rally, Trump says he wants the Republican Party to “be the home of the African-American vote once again.”

Sept. 2, 2016

Philadelphia black roundtable. Trump participates in a roundtable discussion with black leaders and community members affected by crime in Philadelphia.

Sept. 3, 2016

Detroit black church visit. Trump attends event at African-American church in Detroit. He did not originally plan on speaking, but said in an address that “I’m here to learn.”

The NYT obtained a proposed campaign script for an interview with the church’s pastor. Trump also visited Ben Carson’s boyhood home.

Sept. 15, 2016

Continues birtherism. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump refuses to answer whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States.

Sept. 16, 2016

Ends birtherism. In a 10-word statement at his D.C. hotel, Trump tells a room of supporters and media that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”

Sept. 20, 2016

African-American communities are in “the worst shape ever,” Trump says at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina. Politifact gives that a “pants on fire” rating.

Sept. 21, 2016

Stop and frisk. While recording a town hall with FOX News’ Sean Hannity, Trump is asked about his solution to black-on-black crime and responds that he supports “stop and frisk,” which allows police to question and temporarily detain anyone. Studies have shown minorities are disproportionately detained in “stop and frisk.”

Sept. 24, 2016

Praises African-American museum but gets name wrong. While speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Trump praises the recently-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington as “beautiful” but mistakenly calls it the “Smithsonian national Museum of American History, African-American Art”.

Sept. 26, 2016

“Living in Hell.” At the first presidential debate, Trump states that “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell. You walk down the street and you get shot.” He again calls for “law and order.”

Oct. 6, 2016

Still believes Central Park Five are guilty. Trump gives CNN a statement about the five men falsely imprisoned for a 1989 rape, saying “they admitted they were guilty.” Experts point to the men’s confessions as an example of police coercion. DNA evidence concluded another man committed the crime.

Oct. 9, 2016

Wrong on black poverty and narrow idea of where blacks live. During the second presidential debate, Trump equates inner cities with African-Americans and falsely states the urban black poverty rate (inflating it by nearly 20 percentage points).

Oct. 11, 2016

Apprentice contestant claims racist comment. Randal Pinkett, the first-African American champion of the show, tells the Hollywood Reporter that Trump asked him if he would share his title with the runner-up — a white woman.

Oct. 26, 2016

A new deal for black America, “uneven justice.” In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump unveils his “new deal for black America,” pledging to push for tax holidays in U.S. cities and incentives to move foreign jobs to urban centers. He also declared there is “uneven justice.”

Oct. 27, 2016

“Ghettos.” At a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Trump refers to problem urban areas initially as “ghettos” then as the “inner city.”

Nov. 11, 2016

Specific plan for black America. A list of 10 specifics for Trump’s “new deal for black America” appears on the celebrity website Media Take Out. The site says the list came from the Trump transition team.

Dec. 5, 2016

Ben Carson nominated to a mostly-white cabinet. Trump announces Ben Carson as his choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson was the only African-American on the president’s initial 22-person cabinet slate and one of three minorities, along with Elaine Chao (Transportation) and Nikki Haley (United Nations). Alexander Acosta, of Hispanic descent, was later nominated to be labor secretary.

Dec. 9, 2016

Thanks African-Americans who did and didn’t vote. At a “thank you” rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump says African-American voters came through for him, arguing that those who stayed home did it in order to help him.

Dec. 13, 2016

Meetings with Jim Brown, other African-American celebrities. Trump meets with former NFL star Jim Brown to talk about a program serving African-Americans. The same day he meets with two other high-profile African-Americans: former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis and hip hop artist Kanye West.

Dec. 15, 2016

Trump again thanks blacks who did not vote, this time at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Jan. 15, 2017

Changes African-American museum visit. ABC and others report the president would not visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16) as previously discussed.

Jan. 27, 2017

Doesn’t mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Trump’s written statement calls for remembering “victims, survivors, heroes” but omits mention of Jews, who were the largest ethnic group affected. Politico later reports the State Department had drafted a version which did mention Jews, but the White House blocked its release.

Feb. 1, 2017

Black History Month kickoff and Frederick Douglass. Trump begins Black History Month with a White House breakfast. He praises Martin Luther King Jr. and African-Americans in general. He also seemed to speak as if 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass were a living person.

Feb. 16, 2017

“Are they friends of yours?Trump asks American Urban Radio reporter April Ryan, who is African-American, in response to her question about whether he would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. He said he would love to meet with the CBC and asks Ryan to set up a meeting. (She later tweeted that’s not her job).

Feb. 16, 2017

“I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen,” Trump says in the same news conference. He has a tense exchange with a young Jewish reporter asking about an increase in anti-Semitic acts.

Feb. 21, 2017

Visits African-American museum, denounces anti-Semitism. Trump toured and spoke at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, pledging to unite a divided country. He also denounces racism and anti-Semitism (following a rise in vandalism and threats nationwide).

Feb. 25, 2017

Black History Month ends. Trump uses his last weekly address of the month to praise the African-American community. He again pledges to improve education, jobs and safety.

Feb. 27, 2017

Meets black college presidents. Trump speaks with and takes an Oval Office photo with a large group of Historically Black College and University presidents.

Feb. 28, 2017

HBCU executive order. Trump signs an executive order moving the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the White House and calling for greater efforts to find funding.

Feb. 28, 2017

Speech to Congress. In his first address to Congress, Trump begins by speaking about African-American history month and recent anti-Semitic crimes. He calls for unity. Black female lawmakers wear black flowers to represent concern for his stance toward minorities.

March 8, 2017

Trump language has been “hurtful” to African-Americans. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., tells the president in a White House meeting that his words have been “hurtful,” “offensive,” and not helpful to the black community.

March 22, 2017

Trump meets with the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House. Leaders of the group present him with a 130-page document outlining issues and ideas for the black community.

April 17, 2017

White nationalist says he acted because of the president. A white nationalist leader facing charges he assaulted an African-American protester in 2016 defends himself in a court filing by claiming he was acting based on the words of then-candidate Trump.

April 27, 2016

Aide: The president is trying harder than black activists.  Trump’s liaison to the black community tells the Associated Press the White House “is waiting, willing to work with [the black] community” but “it’s not a one-way street.”

May 1, 2017

“Why was there a Civil War?” Trump asks in an interview on Sirius/XM, questioning why the Civil War couldn’t have been avoided.

May 5, 2017

Questions HBCU funding. In a signing statement for $1.1 trillion funding bill, the president points to $20 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as potentially being unconstitutionally based on race.

May 8, 2017

Supports HBCU funding. The president seemed to walk back an earlier signing message with a new statement stressing “unwavering” support for black colleges and universities.

July 6, 2017

“The West.” In a sweeping foreign policy speech in Poland, Trump stresses the need to protect “the West, “civilization” against forces from “the South and East” that threaten western values.

June 9, 2017

Invitation to black leaders. The White House invites the entire Congressional Black Caucus for a meeting with the president.

June 21, 2017

Invitation declined. The Congressional Black Caucus declines Trump’s invitation. CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., writes Trump a letter charging that his administration responded to neither their policy ideas nor seven other letters or documents from the group.

July 25, 2017

Flip on minority jobless rate. In a speech in Toledo, Ohio, Trump says that unemployment for African-American and Hispanic youth is at its lowest since “just after the turn of the millennium.” The Washington Post calls this a flip-flop from Trump’s remarks in June 2016 calling the same rate a sign of American decline.

Aug. 12, 2017

Condemns “many sides” for Charlottesville racial violence. After a white nationalist attending a rally drove a car into a crowd, killing one protester and injuring many more, Trump condemns “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.” He did not mention white supremacists or nationalists specifically.

Aug. 13, 2017

White House tries to clarify Trump’s words. A White House statement says “of course” the president included white supremacists in his condemnation.

Aug. 14, 2017

Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis. Speaking from the White House, the president says, “racism is evil” and goes on to specifically name the KKK., neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Aug. 15, 2017

Trump again blames “both sides.” During an impromptu news conference, Trump again condemns neo-Nazis but also insisted “both sides” deserved blame for violence in Charlottesville and that counter-protesters had acted “very, very violently.” He incorrectly said protesters were “quietly” supporting the Robert E. Lee statue.

Aug. 22, 2017

“I love all the people” and Confederate statues are “our heritage.” Speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Trump lashed out at coverage of his remarks about Charlottesville, Virginia, saying he loves “all the people of our country” and repeating that “racism is evil.” He called the white nationalist driver who killed a protester in Charlottesville “a murderer.” Minutes later, Trump defended Confederate statues, charging that those who want to remove them “are trying to take our history and our heritage away.”

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