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Trump says he's the 'least racist person' in the room

President Trump said that he was the “least racist person” in a room with at least one person of color while talking about race and Black Lives Matter during the final presidential debate of 2020 on Thursday.

Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, had a contentious and at times awkward exchange when asked by debate moderator Kristen Welker about Black Lives Matter and “the talk” that Black parents have with their kids about the police during the “Race in America” portion of the debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

“Mr. President, you’ve described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate,” Welker said. “You've shared a video of a man chanting white power to millions of your supporters. You've said that Black professional athletes exercising their First Amendment rights should be fired. What do you say to Americans who say that kind of language from a president is contributing to a climate of hate and racial strife?”

Trump said when he first heard of Black Lives Matter, protesters were chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,” and he thought it was “horrible.” The phrase was said at a Black Lives Matter-organized protest in 2015, according to CNN, but is not an official chant or slogan of the national organization or any of the local chapters.

“I got criminal justice reform done and prison reform and opportunity zones. I took care of Black colleges and universities,” Trump said. “I can't even see the audience because it's so dark, but I don't care who's in the audience. I'm the least racist person in this room.”

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President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News speaks as President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland. (Olivier Douliery/Pool vi AP)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, gesturing during the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

US President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden take part in the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the first presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the first presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the first presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the first presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace directs the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / POOL / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP)

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on stage at the end of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: First lady Melania Trump stands with President Donald Trump as he looks at Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden as he is hugged by his wife Jill Biden during the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, lean in to talk to moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News at the conclusion of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

President Donald Trump walks away form the podium at the conclusion of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

From l-r, first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, walk off stage at the conclusion of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, enter, walks in from l-r., Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, fo the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows waits in his seat for the start of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Guests wear face covering as the wait for the start of the first presidential debate, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

President Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland. (Olivier Douliery/Pool vi AP)

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland. (Olivier Douliery/Pool vi AP)

A face mask and debate program are left on the floor following the conclusion of the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News speaks before the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump arriving for the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden holds up his face mask during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Welker, an NBC News correspondent who was in the room, is a Black woman.

Before asking about Black Lives Matter, Welker asked Biden and Trump if they understand why Black and brown families have to prepare their children for potentially hostile encounters with law enforcement because of the color of their skin. 

“I do,” Biden said. “I never had to tell my daughter, if she's pulled over, put both hands on top of the wheel and don't reach for the glove box because someone may shoot you. But a Black parent, no matter how wealthy or how poor they are, has to teach their child: don't have a hoodie on when you go across the street. Making sure that if you get pulled over, just ‘yes, sir, no sir,’ hands on top of the wheel.”

Trump said he also understands, but then argued that no one has done more for the Black community than him. 

“And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I've done. Criminal justice reform, Obama and Joe didn't do it. I don't even think they tried because they had no chance at doing it.”

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