Former BET host and social commentator Tavis Smiley received quite a bit of air time over his comments bashing presidential candidate Donald Trump as a “religious and racial arsonist.”
Smiley, when interviewed on CNN, didn’t stop there.
Tavis criticized the billionaire candidate as living a contradiction by opposing immigration yet marrying two immigrant wives.
CNN took the hateful messaging further by playing a recording of robocalls being made on Trump’s behalf by a white supremacist group.
The recording left on voicemails in Iowa stated, “I’m Jared Taylor with American Renaissance. I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people, who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”
Smiley pointed out that Trump, who was quick to respond to his own attack, failed to respond to the robocalls being made by white supremacists.
Tavis Smiley was referring to this tweet by Trump:
Why does @ThisWeekABC w/ @GStephanopoulos allow a hater & racist like @tavissmiley to waste good airtime? @ABC can do much better than him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2016
Trump and other candidates for federal office have no control over groups who endorse or oppose their campaigns. Due to regulations of the Federal Election Commission, anyone may raise funds to support or oppose candidates and use those funds as they see fit.
In the case of the robocall criticized by Smiley and CNN, it was paid for by the newly formed American National Super PAC. The group filed with the FEC just months ago in November of 2015.