Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley Responds After Donald Trump Calls Him a ‘Racist’

January 12, 2016 Updated: January 12, 2016

Donald Trump attacked talk show host Tavis Smiley, but Smiley lost no time in hitting back.

Trump’s attack came on Monday, after Smiley appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and called the Republican frontrunner “an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist.”

Trump took to Twitter, one of his favorite mediums of expression, following the interview.

“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 hosts his own show on PBS. His appearance on “This Week” was primarily to promote his new book, “The Covenant With Black America: Ten Years Later.”

Smiley responded to Trump on CNN, saying: “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.”

“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,” he added.

“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.”

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