An ally of US President Donald Trump, David Bossie, has apologised for a racist comment he made on Sunday.
Bossie was replying to black strategist Joel Payne, a Democrat, during a televised head-to-head when he said: “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
Bossie was Trump’s deputy campaign manager in the 2016 election.
He appeared on Fox News and Friends on Sunday for a discussion about liberals’ reactions to Trump’s immigration policy.
In an angry exchange of words, Payne accused the president of using racist rhetoric to rally his base.
“You don’t have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the White House these days,” he said.
Bossie retorted: “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
Payne responded by saying he had relatives who had picked cotton, and that he would not allow Bossie to attack him on TV.
“Cotton-picking mind?” said Payne. “Brother, let me tell you something: I got some relatives who picked cotton, and I’m not going to sit here and allow you to attack me like that on TV. I’m not out of my cotton-picking mind.”
Bossie concluded by saying: “This is what is going on in America, this is what we’re about.”
During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did. I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers.
— David Bossie (@David_Bossie) June 24, 2018
Cotton was the chosen crop among slave owners in several parts of America in the 19th century.
After the show, host Ed Henry said he and the show did not agree with the particular phrase.
Former Trump Advisor to black guest on Fox: "You are out of your COTTON-PICKING mind"
ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING RACISM.
HIS NAME IS @David_Bossie.
MAKE HIS RACIST FACE & NAME KNOWN.pic.twitter.com/2w75wqdlQ1
— The Hummingbird ???? (@SaysHummingbird) June 24, 2018