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

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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.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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