GOP Lawmaker Doesn’t Care If President Used the N-Word Before Becoming President

Holding Trump accountable would set a “bad precedent.”

Donald Trump

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Michael Williams, a Republican state senator from Georgia, went on TV Saturday morning and declared that he would be upset if Donald Trump spewed racial slurs. That may seem simple enough, but apparently, it’s actually quite complicated. Williams, you see, went on to explain that while he would object if Donald Trump—the individual—used the N-word, he couldn’t care less if Donald Trump—the president—used the N-word before becoming president.

“It would matter as an individual,” Williams told CNN’s Victor Blackwell. “It would not necessarily matter to me as the person that is running our country.” And, Williams said, it “sets a bad precedent” to hold Trump, the president, accountable for allegedly using the N-word before becoming president.

Make sense? No? Well, let Williams explain:

“I always have a problem with the use of it,” Williams told Blackwell. “I don’t have a problem with Donald Trump, having used it in the past, as my president.”

“I would always say using the N-word is wrong, and is bad, and should never be accepted in our society,” he added. “But just because [Trump] might have done it years ago, not as our president, doesn’t mean that we need to continue to berate him because he used it.”

The question came up after former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed that a recording existed of Trump using the racial slur while on the set of the Apprentice. Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters she could not guarantee that the American people would never hear such a recording, but Sander noted that she had not heard the president say the word. On Monday, Trump denied ever saying the word.

Williams might sound familiar to close watchers of Georgia politics. During the states GOP gubernatorial primary, Williams infamously launched a campaign tour on his “Deportation Bus,” which bore the messages: “Danger! Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and others on board,” and “Fill this bus with illegals.”

“We’re not just gonna track ’em and watch ’em roam around our state,” Williams said in announcing the tour. “We’re gonna put ’em on this bus and send ’em home.” He failed to make it through the first round of the May primary, earning less than 5 percent of vote.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate