Inside The Startling Assumption Donald Trump Made About Staffers Of Color

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Donald Trump made a remarkable transformation from real estate tycoon to popular reality-show host in the early 2000s (who can ever forget his catchphrase, "You're fired?"). Then he transformed yet again into a most unexpected resident of the White House. But despite his best efforts, the former president can't seem to transform away his reputation for racial insensitivity. 

Trump has come under fire many times for comments disparaging people of color, according to NPR. He famously tried to cast doubt on Barack Obama's American citizenship, insisting that the president was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. His criticism of undocumented immigrants from Mexico included many allegations that the asylum seekers were actually criminals out to cause havoc. When pressed, Trump has condemned the actions of white supremacists at protest scenes like Portland and Charlottesville, but at the same time, he has said radical left-wingers were equally to blame for violent acts, via The Washington Post.

Now, a new biography alleges that the former president made an embarrassing racial gaffe shortly after taking his oath of office — and it happened right inside the White House. The blunder suggests that Trump takes a stereotypical view of the role that people of color play in society. 

Donald Trump allegedly confused congressional aides with waitstaff

Rolling Stone recently gave readers a preview of "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America," a new biography by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Due to drop on October 4, the book is described as "a magnificent and disturbing reckoning" that traces Donald Trump's journey to the White House and the events that followed the 2020 election. (It's not yet known whether the book includes Trump's call for a do-over of the election results.) As the title suggests, Haberman paints a rather dismal picture of the former president, and one incident in particular stands out as an example.

Shortly after his 2017 inauguration, Trump held a reception at the White House for members of Congress, among them Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Haberman reports that the new president addressed a group of "racially diverse" congressional aides and asked them to bring over some of the hors d'oeuvres that were being served. Reince Priebus, who was then Trump's chief of staff, quickly jumped in to let the president know that he had just mistaken congressional staff for White House waiters. 

Haberman's book cites other examples of Trump's racial tone-deafness, including one during a time when he dated a biracial model. After meeting her parents, Trump allegedly said that his girlfriend's intelligence came "from her dad, the white side." The model, says Haberman, was not amused — and the book's readers may not be, either.