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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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