WASHINGTON — Kara Young, a model who dated Donald J.Trump for two years before he married another model named Melania Knauss, remembers clearly bringing up her race with the real estate tycoon early in their relationship. “He would say, ‘You’re like Derek Jeter.’ And I would say, ‘Exactly.’”“I never heard him say a disparaging comment towards any race of people,” she added. Trump has created with his equivocation over the violence this weekend at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va., has refocused attention on the president’s relationship with matters of race.
Pay Pal has blocked hate groups from using its financial services, and the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have urged drivers to report unacceptable customers.
Airbnb took steps to stop white nationalists from renting rooms through its app before their gathering in Charlottesville, Va.
The president “doesn’t see color the way the average person does,” she said.
He assesses people based on “their successes and their failures.”Ms. Trump was not a racist because as soon as he decided to run for president, he hired her as a national spokeswoman for his campaign and encouraged her to speak on multiple television networks.“A racist does not pick a single black mother to represent his entire freaking presidential campaign,” Ms. “A racist would not endorse Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in the ’80s twice.
Trump is colorblind when it comes to keeping people at bay.“Forget black friends — he doesn’t have any friends,” said Mr. Trump was racist or supported white supremacist ideals, Ms. Young was among the few African-Americans to be personally close to the real estate developer and reality television star. He didn’t talk much about race or racial history, she said, but he had a curious racial awareness and a propensity for stereotypes.“We went to the U. Open once, and a lot of black people came because it was Venus and Serena,” she said, referring to the Williams sisters. Among President Trump’s closest African-American associates are, from left, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a White House aide, Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, and Lynne Patton, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New York and New Jersey office.“A. doesn’t like Trump for one reason: I stole his girlfriend. Trump told his friend, the radio shock jock Howard Stern. Young said she had watched the fallout from Charlottesville and was “horrified” by his comments putting white supremacists and counterprotesters on the same plane.
“He was impressed that a lot of black people came to the U. Open because they were playing.”Black people, he seemed to think, did not watch tennis. Young, who would not give her age but said she was roughly two decades younger than Mr. She despaired over the racial landscape in the country and her former boyfriend’s stoking of tensions.“It’s horrifying what happened at the rally,” Ms. “I think it’s crazy, and I think it’s sad that this is where our country is.”Lynne Patton, who headsthe Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New York and New Jersey office and is black, said Mr.It was someone hiring you to entertain them and make them money,” said the Rev. Trump was friendly at various points as they both came up as characters in the New York City tabloids.“He has made a deliberate choice to not be inclusive and to be racially exclusive,” said Mr. “He has nobody black, at all, in his inner circle.”Others see a much more complicated social life, less exclusionary than exclusive, infatuated with celebrity of all colors but personally close to few people, regardless of background. Trump does have a small handful of close friends, but most are people he has done business with over the years. Trump, did discount his elbow-rubbing with the black celebrity class as an indication of his open-mindedness.“It’s definitely easier to be with your own kind.Abe Wallach, a former Trump Organization executive, said Mr. At one point, he gave free office space to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. It’s easier for everybody, so if someone is super, super special and super, super interesting you can take them out,” Ms. “I think it was very interesting to him to meet and hang out with Russell Simmons and meet Sean Combs.”But when asked whether she thought Mr. Young, whose mother is black and whose father is white, recalled a man with limited understanding of other cultures. Young at a party in the Hamptons and later asked someone for her number and called her.As with so many issues, he steered the conversation to celebrity.“I didn’t hide my race from Donald Trump. Long before he embarked on his improbable political career, he had courted racial controversy, calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teens who were later shown to have been wrongly convicted of a rape in Central Park, settling a Justice Department suit that charged the family business with housing discrimination and falsely accusing the nation’s first black president of being born in Kenya.Beyond dating a biracial woman, he made outsize efforts to hang out publicly with African-American celebrities: the boxing promoter Don King, the hip-hop impresarios Kanye West, Russell Simmons and Sean Combs, and celebrities as big as Muhammad Ali, James Brown and Michael Jackson.Officials said a woman on OKCupid had watched a Vice News report on the violence in Charlottesville and recognized a man she saw on her screen as someone who had recently contacted her through the site.