Donald Trump behaves like a mobster and has “a low opinion of all black people”, according to the US president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
The allegations come from Cohen’s new book, Disloyal: A Memoir, written during his jail term for Trump campaign finance violations, among other crimes.
Cohen claims Mr Trump also made racist comments about Nelson Mandela and Hispanics.
The White House says Cohen is lying.
“Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement at the weekend. “He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.”
In the book, Cohen alleges that Mr Trump is “guilty of the same crimes” that landed him in prison, and calls his former boss “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a conman”. He said he had the mentality of a “mob boss”.
Various US news outlets have published quotes from the book, which comes out on Tuesday. Here are some of the key claims.
On black people and Mandela
“As a rule, Trump expressed low opinions of all black folks, from music to culture and politics,” Cohen writes in his book.
He claimed Donald Trump said the late South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was “no leader”.
“Tell me one country run by a black person that isn’t a shithole. They are all complete [expletive] toilets,” Mr Trump once said, according to Cohen.
The words echo similar allegations, from 2018, that Trump referred to African countries as “shithole” nations.
Back then, Mr Trump told reporters: “I am not a racist. I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”
Racism accusations have marred his first term and continue to be an issue as the Republican president campaigns for a November re-election against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
The Nelson Mandela foundation has responded to the allegations regarding the former South Africa president affectionately known as Madiba.
“We do not believe that leaders who conduct themselves in the way Mr Trump does are in a position to offer authoritative commentary on the life and work of Madiba,” it said in a statement.
“Reflecting on leadership, Madiba once said: ‘A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.’ We would recommend these words to Mr Trump for consideration.” Read more