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

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.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

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


Support our journalism

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


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.