President Donald Trump is firing back at Jay-Z after the hip-hop star described Trump’s “shithole countries” comment as disappointing and hurtful, spotlighting the problem of racism in America.
“Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” the president tweeted on Sunday morning.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter made his comments on the debut of “The Van Jones Show,” which was broadcast Saturday on CNN.
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“It is disappointing, and it’s hurtful. It really is hurtful,” Jay-Z said. “Everyone feels anger, but after the anger, it’s real hurtful.”
He likened America’s racism problem to a trashcan full of bugs.
“What you’ve done was spray perfume on a trash can,” he said, adding that more spray attracts more bugs and is not actually dealing with the trash: racism.
“You don’t take the trash out. You keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable, and then, you know, as those things grow, then you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug,” he said.
“Donald Trump is a human being, too,” he said, adding he was just being funny. “Somewhere along his lineage something happened to him ... and he’s in pain and he’s expressing it in this sort of way.”
Trump earlier this month tweeted about the African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates.
“African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in our country,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped a full point in the last year and is close to the lowest in recorded history. Dems did nothing for you but get your vote! #NeverForget @foxandfriends,” he added.
That tweet followed an Associated Press report that the African-American unemployment rate reached a record low in December, at 6.8 percent.
Trump made the “shithole” comments about Haiti and African nations in an Oval Office meeting, according to some of the participants, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal. “Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?” he reportedly told senators on Jan. 11.
Trump has denied making the statements and says he is not a racist.
“No, No. I’m not a racist,” Trump told reporters. “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
Trump, meeting with the chairman of the African Union on Friday, ignored questions from reporters about his alleged comments.
On Sunday morning, Trump added that jobs are coming back to the U.S. and that the economy is on the right track.
“Our economy is better than it has been in many decades. Businesses are coming back to America like never before. Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA. Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track!”
The president’s exchange with Jay-Z comes in the middle of Grammys weekend.
Jay-Z is up for eight Grammys at Sunday’s ceremony including album, record and song of the year. The event will be held in New York at Madison Square Garden.
Along with his wife, Beyoncé, he held his annual Roc Nation brunch Saturday on the top of the World Trade Center.
With stunning views of New York City as the backdrop, the superstar hosted a lavish five-hour soirée of food, booze and music with stars including Diddy, Susan Sarandon, Iggy Azaela, DJ Khaled, Remy Ma and more.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.