Donald Trump calls Tavis Smiley a racist

donald trump tavis smiley
Donald Trump says that talk show host Tavis Smiley is a racist.

In his latest controversial effort to dismiss media criticism, Donald Trump has labeled talk-show host and political pundit Tavis Smiley a "racist."

The attack came one day after Smiley appeared on ABC's "This Week" and called the Republican frontrunner "an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist" -- a reference to controversial remarks Trump has made about various minority groups.

Trump shot back at Smiley on Monday morning: "Why does [This Week] allow a hater & racist like Tavis Smiley to waste good airtime?" he tweeted. "ABC can do much better than him!"

Smiley, who hosts the "Tavis Smiley" talk show on PBS, is not an ABC employee. His appearance on Sunday was prompted in part by the release of his new book, "The Covenant With Black America: Ten Years Later."

Smiley responded to Trump's attack in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon late Monday night: "I don't know how I'm a racist. I'm not the one who went after Muslims, I'm not the one who went after undocumented workers," Smiley said. "My comment yesterday was not singularly directed to Mr. Trump, it's at the media. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of watching us cover this campaign without calling him on the carpet."

"It says something about America that he is resonating in the way that he is, and I can't get in the minds of the voters," Smiley continued. "I just hope that at some point we will come to our senses and that we will see that this is how these slippery slopes begin."

Trump's comments about Smiley mimic dozens of attacks the GOP frontrunner has lobbed at members of the media, but it is the first time this campaign that Trump has labeled a member of the media a racist.

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