With President Trump facing fresh allegations of racism after reportedly calling nonwhite countries "shitholes" during a meeting this week, NBC News is sharing anecdotes from lawmakers and government officials that highlight Trump's history of what could be considered culturally insensitive or outright racist behavior. In one story shared by two officials, Trump was being briefed on a hostage situation in Pakistan by an intelligence analyst and expert in hostage policy last fall when he asked the woman where she was from. The officials say neither "New York" nor "Manhattan" were satisfactory answers for Trump, who then asked where "your people" are from. When she said her parents were Korean, Trump reportedly asked an aide why the "pretty Korean lady" isn't negotiating with North Korea for him.
In another incident, attendees at a March meeting between Trump and the Congressional Black Caucus say Trump asked caucus members if they personally knew just one of his cabinet members—Ben Carson, the only black person in his cabinet—and was surprised when no one did, despite Carson never serving in Congress. During the same meeting, a caucus member told Trump that welfare cuts would hurt her constituents, "not all of whom are black." Trump reportedly replied, "Really? Then what are they?" NBC notes that incidents like these only seem to increase support from his base. Meanwhile, a presidential historian tells the AP that Trump is the most racist president since Woodrow Wilson, who left office in 1921. "In modern times, no president has been so racially insensitive and shown outright disdain for people who aren't white," Douglas Brinkley says.