- President Donald Trump allegedly asked an intelligence analyst some racially-tinged questions last fall.
- News of Trump’s comments came one day after he was widely criticized for making derogatory remarks about African nations.
President Donald Trump continued to draw fire for making inflammatory comments this week, after officials recounted a conversation he allegedly had with a female intelligence analyst last fall.
According to two officials with knowledge of the conversation, Trump reportedly asked the woman where she was from, NBC News reported. She responded that she was from New York.
Trump posed the question again, according to NBC, to which she replied that she was from Manhattan. The president pressed further, asking her where “your people” were from, the report said, citing the two officials with knowledge of the conversation.
The analyst, a hostage policy expert, said that her parents were Korean, to which Trump responded by asking an adviser in the room why the “pretty Korean lady” was not negotiating with North Korea in an official capacity, NBC News reported.
Trump’s comments drew swift backlash from Asian Americans working in the government and the intelligence community:
“Another awful story on how Trump cannot see women for more than their looks & only sees minorities as others, not Americans,” Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California said in a tweet. “If true, this story that he called a skilled analyst just a “pretty Korean lady” is latest evidence he is unfit for this office.”
“Asian Americans are Americans,” Mieke Eoyang, Vice President for Third Way’s National Security Program and a former defense policy advisor, tweeted in response to the story. “Our brains work on all issues, not just Asian ones. Trump may not think Asia is a sh!thole, but that doesn’t make this any less racist.”
“Hey @realDonaldTrump: Everyone in America or their ancestors (other than Native Americans) came from another country,” Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California tweeted. “I came from Taiwan. The pretty Korean lady you identified (or her ancestors) came from Korea. We are AMERICAN. If you don’t understand that, you need to resign.”
“Hey @realDonaldTrump: Where are your people from?,” Lieu said in another tweet. “The answer to that question is somewhere else. Everyone in America is either an immigrant or their ancestors were immigrants. But we are all now Americans. Get it yet?”
Trump’s alleged comments drew some fierce condemnation online:
some places I’ve said for kicks when asked “where are you from” to the frustration of many
-westchester, ny (I wanted to feel extremely rich)
— Seung Y. Lee (@seungylee14) January 12, 2018
If you are a “pretty Korean lady” congrats, you are an expert on US-Korean peace negotiations
— 아주맵게 해주세요 (@noahjussi) January 12, 2018
Trump where-are-you-really-from’d an Asian-American intelligence briefer and called her the “pretty Korean lady” https://t.co/o2pydSXBzY
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) January 12, 2018
News of Trump’s previous comments came a day after he made another remark that has since caused an uproar not only in the US, but abroad. During a meeting to discuss US immigration policy on Thursday, Trump questioned the inclusion of immigrants hailing from Haiti and other African countries, according to a Washington Post report.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here,” Trump allegedly said.
Lawmakers who were with Trump during the meeting appear to be divided, with some confirming the account, while others said they “do not recall” the alleged comment.