Donald Trump has launched an unprovoked attack on beloved black civil rights leader Al Sharpton after days of repeated racist insults directed at Baltimore and its congressman of colour.
The president tweeted a number of insults towards Mr Sharpton, all of which were posted without accompanying evidence, prompting a public spat between the pair.
Mr Trump’s posts on Monday morning represent his latest in a series of attack directed against people of colour in recent weeks.
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In addition to his series of racist posts about Baltimore and its congressman Elijah Cummings, the tweet about Mr Sharpton was immediately followed by another attack on “the squad”, a group of congresswomen of colour who he has repeatedly targeted with racist rhetoric.
In the new post, the president said he had known Mr Sharpton for 25 years and had been friends with him, before labelling him a “troublemaker” and saying he “hates whites and cops”, while providing evidence for neither claim.
Mr Trump’s attacks had been in response to a tweet by Mr Sharpton, who said he was “headed to Baltimore” in the wake of the president’s attacks. “Long day but can’t stop,” he wrote, without making any explicit reference to the storm over Mr Trump’s comments on the Maryland city.
The president then quoted that tweet and launched a volley of insults against Mr Sharpton.
Soon after the president posted that tweet, Mr Sharpton shared a picture of him with Mr Trump in 2006, in which he said the future president was praising him.