NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — In his latest controversial effort to dismiss media criticism, Donald Trump has labeled talk-show host and political pundit Tavis Smiley a “racist.”
The attack came one day after Smiley appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and called the Republican frontrunner “an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist” — a reference to controversial remarks Trump has made about various minority groups.
Trump shot back at Smiley on Monday morning: “Why does [This Week] allow a hater & racist like Tavis Smiley to waste good airtime?” he tweeted. “ABC can do much better than him!”
Smiley, who hosts the “Tavis Smiley” talk show on PBS, is not an ABC employee. His appearance on Sunday was prompted in part by the release of his new book, “The Covenant With Black America: Ten Years Later.”
Smiley was not immediately available for comment on Monday morning. But he is likely to comment soon, since he is booked on dozens of radio and TV shows this week to promote his book.
Trump’s comments about Smiley mimic dozens of attacks the GOP frontrunner has lobbed at members of the media, but it is the first time this campaign that Trump has labeled a member of the media a racist.