Nelson Mandela was a poor leader. Those words have seldom been uttered by anyone not associated with white supremacists. Even conservatives who once backed Apartheid don’t go there anymore. Leave it to Trump to break new ground. According to the Washington Post, who obtained a copy of the new book by Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, Trump implied just that, but went way further.
Trump, according to Cohen’s book, ranted about black world leaders, including the late anti-apartheid hero and South Africa’s first Black president. The Washington Post, who obtained an early copy of the book, printed an excerpt of Trump saying “Mandela f***ed the whole country up. Now it’s a s***hole. F*** Mandela. He was no leader.”
Cohen also alleged that Trump said: “Tell me one country run by a black person that isn’t a s***hole. They are all complete f***ing toilets.” Cohen said in his book that, “as a rule, Trump expressed low opinions of all Black folks, from music to culture and politics.”
Michael Cohen obviously has a credibility problem having been convicted of lying to congress (on behalf of Trump) among other things. White House Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany was quick to dismiss the book, “Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress. He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.”
That being said, McEnany and the Trump administration have their own credibility problem. Who do you believe, the man convicted of lying on behalf of the President or the President himself who has lied more than twenty thousand times to the American People? I’ll leave that up to you.
The quotes certainly fit into Trump’s racist ideology and past. This is the man who spearheaded the racist birther movement and used it as a steppingstone on his way to the White House. Trump also, in a meeting with Senators in 2018, had insulted Haiti and African countries by calling them “shithole countries.”
Nevertheless, saying Mandela was “no leader” is the philosophical equivalent of saying Trump is a “great leader.” It’s thoughtless and doesn’t bare an inch of truth. No president in South African history had ever brought the country together like Mandela did following the racist Apartheid Regime. On the other hand, no president in modern times has ever divided the United States like Donald Trump following the first black President.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation hit back at Trump’s alleged remarks using the Xhosa clan name by which Mandela was affectionately known. The statement said:
“Reflecting on leadership, Madiba once said: ‘A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.’ We would recommend these words to Mr. Trump for consideration.”
For those who are interested, Cohen’s book, Disloyal, drops today.