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Trump Accused Of Racism After Referring To Kamala Harris As A 'Monster' Twice

In the days following the debate between vice presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Mike Pence on October 7, you've likely noticed that much of the public conversation surrounding it has involved strangely peripheral parts of it.

If you've spent enough time on Twitter, you doubtless saw a barrage of memes and other posts about the fly that landed on Mike Pence's head. And when people weren't talking about the fly, they were arguing over whether Harris' facial expressions throughout the debate were "relatable" or "unlikable."

And while that may have to do with the fact that most of both candidates' statements wouldn't come off as terribly new revelations for those following the Trump and Biden campaigns, it could also have to do with the relatively civil nature of the debate.

It was this fairly standard atmosphere that makes President Donald Trump's remarks in response to it so puzzling. And to some critics, "puzzling" is far too light of a term to describe them.

Although the debate wasn't completely free of interruption, both candidates kept their responses focused on the issues and didn't resort to personal attacks.

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Indeed, one moment saw Vice President Pence thank Harris and Biden for their supportive comments following President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis and congratulate her on the "historic nature" of her nomination, which she in turn thanked him for.

Nonetheless, the events of the debate apparently led Trump to call Harris a "monster" during an interview with Fox Business.

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As he put it, "This monster who was on stage with Mike Pence — who destroyed her last night by the way — this monster."

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Determining the winner of the vice presidential debate obviously comes down to a matter of personal opinion, but previous contexts in which Trump used the word "monster" to describe people raise some concerning implications in his choice to describe Harris this way.

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Up until now, he's largely used the word to describe people who committed violent acts.

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As Buzzfeed News reported, he has referred to members of the gang MS-13 this way, as well as terrorists, and people who have killed police officers. He also used the term "mentally ill monsters" to describe the separate shooters responsible for massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Curiously, the only other context in which he's publicly called someone a monster was in reference to the weight the First Lady apparently gained during her pregnancy. And even in that case, he told Howard Stern, "I mean monster in the most positive way."

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It was this history President Trump has with the word that led some to suspect he had racial motivations for referring to Harris this way.

Among them were the NAACP, who may not have been surprised to hear such comments from Trump, but nonetheless made it clear that the civil rights organization considered them unacceptable.

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Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr. also tweeted out his condemnation of these remarks and suspected they were rooted in both racism and misogyny.

Award-winning MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee also responded to the interview and said, "There’s no dog whistle, no disguising it, no wink or nod. The president almost exclusively uses this kind of disgusting language for Black women."

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During the Fox Business interview, Trump also referred to Harris as "a communist."

The moment in which he makes this statement can be found here.

This opinion is presumably based on a report from The Stanford Daily, which The New York Times described as referring to her father as a "Marxist scholar."

However, nothing in Harris' own statements indicate any affinity on her part for communism or Marxist philosophy.

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A clip containing Trump's "monster" remarks can be seen here.

You will also notice that Trump suggests that Harris indicated that the Biden campaign would push for a ban on fracking.

Although Vice President Pence made a similar characterization during the debate, Harris stated that a ban on fracking is not a feature of Biden's campaign.

Although CNN confirmed that Harris has previously made statements in favor of banning fracking, neither her nor Biden are pursuing that option now.

h/t: Buzzfeed News

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