The black man Donald Trump called “my African American” has quit the Republican Party and accused the president of having a “white superiority complex”.
Gregory Cheadle said he made the decision following Mr Trump’s attacks on four Democrat congresswomen and Baltimore representative Elijah Cummings.
“I’m just sick and tired of the way blacks and other people of colour have been treated by this administration and by the GOP,” Cheadle told CNN.
He said he would not use the term “racist” to describe the president but said Mr Trump had a “white superiority complex” and claimed the Republican party was pursing a “pro-white” agenda.
“President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme,” he added. “Republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.”
Mr Cheadle, who is now running for Congress as an anti-abortion, pro-gun rights independent, continued: “When you look at his appointments for the bench: White, white, white, white white, white, white.
“That to me is really damning to everybody else because no one else gets a chance because he’s thinking that the whites are superior, period.”
He was first noticed by the president in June 2016 when Mr Trump pointed to him at a rally in Redding, California, and said: “Look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?”
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Mr Cheadle said he was not offended at the time and laughed along, but added: “I’m more critical of it today than I was back then because today I wonder to what extent he said that for political gain or for attention.”
When Mr Trump was asked about the description of him as “pro-white”, the president initially said he did not know who Mr Cheadle was.
After being reminded about the 2016 incident, the president deflected the question by boasting about his popularity with African American voters.
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“We have tremendous African American support,” Mr Trump told PBS NewsHour. “I would say I’m at my all-time high. I don’t think I’ve ever had the support that I’ve had now. I think I’m going to do very well with African Americans.
“African American support has been the best we’ve had.”
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