‘I Certainly Am Not A Racist’

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A businessman who co-chaired the Trump campaign in New York state said his recent derogatory statements about President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle weren’t meant for publication but were nevertheless “inappropriate” and a “mistake.”

In a statement first reported on Buffalo’s WBEN radio, Carl Paladino said he intended his email response to a weekly alternative publication’s survey to only go to a couple of friends, not the newspaper itself. He says he mistakenly hit “reply” on his computer instead of “forward.”

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The millionaire developer told Artvoice last week that he hoped President Obama would die from mad cow disease and called Michelle Obama a male who should be “let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe.”

Paladino is a member of the school board in Buffalo. The board is holding a special meeting Thursday to “discuss board member conduct.”

The son of President-elect Donald Trump’s New York campaign co-chairman has denounced his father’s comments about President Barack Obama and his wife.

Paladino founded a Buffalo development firm now run by his son, William Paladino.

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The younger Paladino wrote on the company’s Facebook page that the company didn’t condone what his father said. He called the statements “disrespectful and absolutely unnecessary.”

The elder Paladino, a wealthy real estate executive and Buffalo school board member, confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday he made the comments. He said in an emailed statement they had “nothing to do with race.”

The Buffalo News first reported the posting Sunday.

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