Donald Trump said on Monday evening that racism is a bigger problem in the United States than people understand it to be.
Trump was speaking with the Virginian-Pilot in a Facebook live chat when he made the comments.
"A bigger problem than people understand," Trump said, when asked about the scope of the problem of racism in America. "I think it's far bigger than President Obama wants to admit. I mean he doesn't want to admit it. It's taking place during his administration. I mean, when you have 11 cities absolutely ready to blow up over the last three or four days. And it could very well get worse."
Trump said he did not believe he contributed to heightened tensions surrounding race. "No. I know what I'm saying," said Trump. "I know what I'm saying. Often what I say, the press misinterprets. But no, no, I don't do that."
Trump claimed police officers needed more authority to "solve problems" but needed to be "beautifully trained and perfectly trained" to avoid incidents like the shootings by police of black men in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
Trump said jobs would help deal with the problem, which he defined as people losing faith in the country, citing the death of five police officers on last Thursday night in Dallas.
"Jobs. Jobs. I mean speaking is very important, but it's going to be jobs," said Trump. "And I will be the greatest cheerleader that this country ever had."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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