*While he continues to reign above his competition as the GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump has found a new person to go to war with.
The kicker is the target’s none other than Tavis Smiley and he is calling the mogul turned politician out on his controversial rhetoric.
Smiley fired the first shot in the beef when he labeled Trump “an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist,” during an appearance Sunday (Jan. 10) on ABC’s “This Week.” The description came amid controversial comments Trump’s made throughout his campaign, including those calling undocumented immigrants criminals as well as his call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
As expected, Trump didn’t let Smiley’s comments slide as he took to social media to respond with calling the “Tavis Talks” host a “hater & racist.” Scroll below to see Trump’s tweet:
Why does @ThisWeekABC w/ @GStephanopoulos allow a hater & racist like @tavissmiley to waste good airtime? @ABC can do much better than him! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2016
On Monday (Jan. 11), Smiley weighed in Trump’s Twitter post, telling CNN’s Don Lemon,
“First of all, for a guy with a Wharton degree, he’s got to do better than ‘hater and racist.’ Can we just remove the word ‘hater’ from our lexicon?”
From there, Raw Story reports that Smiley continued to put the heat on Trump while questioning how “The Apprentice” star could pull the racist card on him when he (Trump) didn’t condemn a white supremacist group for making campaign robocalls for his campaign.
“I’m on your program tonight because I made a comment about Donald Trump yesterday on a morning show,” Smiley said. “And within a matter of hours, Donald Trump had tweeted about me… So if that story broke over the weekend about this white supremacist — again, he can’t be responsible for who is supporting him. But how can he get around to calling me a racist and a hater in less than 24 hours, but since the weekend he hasn’t gotten around to condemning a white supremacist for supporting his campaign.”
Smiley went on to point out that “nobody in the media is asking these questions.”
Prior to commenting about Trump’s tweet, Smiley addressed the comment he made about the politician. In his eye, Smiley believes the media is asking the wrong questions regarding Trump’s appeal to voters.
“What troubles me quite frankly is that we keep talking about… Trump rising in the polls as if somehow this is happening miraculously,” the author-TV host said.” It’s happening in part because, as your lead-in shows with these now white supremacists supporting him — it’s happening because he’s appealing to a certain base voter in this country. He’s appealing to the dark side, the night side of America and that’s why he’s rising in the polls. And we ought not cover him without condemning him for doing that.”
To see Tavis Smiley’s appearance on “This Week,” check out the video below: