In 2017, former President Donald Trump allegedly made a racist joke aimed at Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, who served as prime minister at the time, according to a former U.S. diplomat to Hanoi.
What he said: Trump is accused of poking fun at Nguyễn’s given name, Phúc, while preparing to travel to Vietnam for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2017. The trip included a meeting with the then-prime minister.
- “You mean like FOOK YOO?” Trump allegedly said after hearing Nguyễn’s name, according to Politico Playbook. “I knew a guy named Fook Yoo. Really. I rented him a restaurant.”
- The former president allegedly continued, “When he picked up the phone, he answered ‘Fook Yoo.’ His business went badly. People didn’t like that. He lost the restaurant.”
- The news comes from a new memoir by Ted Osius, “Nothing is Impossible: America’s Reconciliation with Vietnam,” which goes on sale Friday. A Barack Obama nominee, Osius served as Washington’s ambassador to Vietnam from December 2014 to November 2017.
- Trump repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” or “Kung Flu” since the onset of the crisis. Because the pathogen was first detected in China, he argued that using such terms is “not racist.”
- Last Thursday, Trump told Fox News that the “hundreds of thousands of people” coming from Haiti “will probably have AIDS” — and that letting them into the U.S. would be a “death wish.” He also referred to Haiti as a “shithole country” in 2018.
- Other controversial comments made by Trump include claiming that Obama was born in Kenya, calling Mexicans “rapists” and saying that the “Squad” — four Congresswomen of color — should “go back” to their “broken” and “crime-infested countries” before telling how the U.S. should be run. He also called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who claimed to be Native American, “the fake Pocahontas.”