Movie director Rob Reiner excoriated the Donald Trump movement in America during an interview on Morning Joe Thursday, explaining its rise by saying, "There are a lot of people who are racist."
Reiner had a tense exchange earlier in the segment with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski regarding the media's treatment of Trump, saying it had been too soft, a criticism with which Scarborough and Brzezinski are all too familiar. Co-host Willie Geist challenged Reiner to explain Trump's success with the millions of people who don't take their marching orders from the press.
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"They listen to what he says for themselves and vote for him. How do you explain that?" Geist asked.
"There are a lot of people who are racist in this country," Reiner said.
"Oh my God," Scarborough said. "Did you just say that? You just said that."
"Well, that's true," Reiner said. "Let me finish. They're not all racist."
"You led with that, though," Scarborough shot back.
"I said there are a lot of people who are," Reiner said. "There's racism in this country that has been submerged for a long, long time, and all of a sudden there's a man … He's unearthed a lot of it."
Scarborough asked whether this was about a working class in the country that had been left behind as well, and The Princess Bride director noted plenty in that vein were following Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
"They're racists," Brzezinski said sarcastically.
"No. Do you see any racist people at the Bernie rallies? Do you see any skinheads?" Reiner asked.
Scarborough chuckled at Reiner as he became more animated, while Brzezinski looked more and more irritated throughout the exchange. He brought up the infamous moment where Trump wouldn't immediately disavow support from David Duke and other white supremacists, and Scarborough chimed in that he was harshly critical of that moment.
"There's a strain of racism there," Reiner said.
"But they're not all racists," Geist said.
"No, they're not all racists. They're not all racists, but there is a strain there," Reiner said.