Trump made a racist joke about the then-Vietnamese PM’s name, a former diplomat says in a forthcoming book.
Trump asked if Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s name was “like Fook Yoo,” Politico reported.
Former US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius recalls the episode in his book.
Former President Donald Trump made a racist joke asking if a former Vietnamese prime minister’s name was like “Fook Yoo” in preparation for a 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, Politico Playbook reported on Friday, citing a former diplomat’s forthcoming memoir.
Former US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius recounts the episode in his book “Nothing is Impossible: America’s Reconciliation with Vietnam,” which is set to be published on October 15. Trump made the comment upon hearing the then-prime minister’s name, Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
“You mean like Fook Yoo?” Osius quotes Trump as asking, according to Politico. “I knew a guy named Fook Yoo. Really. I rented him a restaurant. When he picked up the phone, he answered ‘Fook Yoo.’ His business went badly. People didn’t like that. He lost the restaurant.”
The former president has a long, documented history of making racist and xenophobic comments.
He pushed the “birther” conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and frequently called Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” He also famously kicked off his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists” and “murderers,” and said that four congresswomen of color – three of whom were born in the US – should “go back” to where they came from.
The latest such example came in a Thursday night interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, when Trump said there are “hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti,” and claimed without evidence that “many of those people will probably have AIDS” and that letting them into the country would be a “death wish.” This, after reportedly calling Haiti a “shithole country” in early 2018.
In her recent memoir “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham recalls how the former president “frequently said insane things,” including culturally and racially insensitive blunders, to foreign leaders.
Those episodes included Trump asking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation if they had seen the controversial 1978 film “Midnight Express,” saying, “That’s a dark movie for you guys.” The movie, based on a true story about an American put in a Turkish prison, was criticized for pushing exaggerated, negative stereotypes about Turkey and Turkish people.
Trump, at another point, according to Grisham, said the Iranians were “always trouble,” wondering if “maybe they’re wired that way.”
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