Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went on MSNBC Thursday afternoon to discuss a broad range of issues.
Midway through the conversation, host Nicolle Wallace began to press Rice, who is a Republican, on claims that President Trump is a racist. Wallace specifically used comments from Rice’s former boss, George W. Bush, who said that under Trump “bigotry has been emboldened.”
Rice said that America is going “through a period of time where we are labeling each other and calling each other names,” before being interrupted by the anchor asking if Trump is calling people names.
“Nicolle, I will tell you this started a long time before this president,” Rice said of the name calling.
The MSNBC host asked if Trump is “making it worse calling out good people on both sides of a KKK rally,” referring to Trump’s comments about the violence in Charlottesville.
Rice had a measured, thoughtful response:
I think we have to look at this broadly. We as a country have become a country of grievance. We as a country have become a country where ‘My grievance is superior to your grievance.’ And that’s not in the last year – that’s over the last several years.
So, everybody needs to look in the mirror and say, ‘Why are divisions so deep and what part am I playing in making those divisions deep?’
Obviously with the situation in Charlottesville, that was unconscionable. Good people don’t actually carry torches at night in a very bad reminiscence pf a time in our country which actually is as a child I experienced. We need to focus on these broader trends that are tearing us apart, not just what the president says on any given day.
Wallace then asked about an Associated Press poll showing that 57 percent of respondents thought the president was racist.
Condi floored with her response, blaming the press for repeating the accusation time and time again. “I think you hear this in the press over and over and over again…”
The host was flabbergasted and attempted to interrupt when Condi said bluntly, “I have met the president. I can’t know his heart, but I do know that this is somebody who treated me very well when we met. I think he believes he’s doing what’s right for the country.”