Kathy Miller, onetime chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in Ohio’s Mahoning County, has resigned her position after insisting that America’s first black president was the overarching cause of racism in the United States.
“I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected,” Miller, who is white, told The Guardian in an interview published Thursday morning.
“We never had problems like this,” Miller continued. “I’m in the real estate industry. There’s none. Now with people with the guns and shooting up neighborhoods and not being responsible citizens—that’s a big change. And I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.”
Miller also claimed that “If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you.”
You can see a segment of Miller’s interview below, or skip ahead to the 5:00 mark in the video above to see an extended version.
By Thursday afternoon, fallout from Miller’s comments had reached the point of no return, and she reportedly offered her resignation to the Trump campaign’s Ohio state director, Bob Paduchik. In a statement from Paduchik, Miller is described as a volunteer who helped organize grassroots efforts. Paduchik also characterized her comments as “inappropriate.”
Miller released a statement as well, in which she apologized for her remarks.
The comments come as the Trump is allegedly attempting to court black voters, who almost universally despise him (presumably due to the rich vein of racist and xenophobic bigotry his campaign has gleefully peddled). Polling over the summer from the Wall Street Journal/Marist/NBC showed Trump at 0% with black voters in Ohio (wonder why?) and his so-called “outreach efforts” since then have been marred by missteps. (In August, Fusion’s Collier Meyerson questioned whether Trump was serious about wooing black voters in the first place.)
On Wednesday, Donald Trump appeared to suggest an openness to a national “stop-and-frisk” law enforcement policy, despite it having been ruled unconstitutional for overwhelmingly affecting minorities in New York City. He later clarified that he only meant for it to be applied in Chicago.