What to Know
- As recently as August, Paladino falsely claimed Obama was not Christian
- And in 2010, Paladino was criticized after it was revealed he had forwarded to friends racially charged emails that depicted Obama as a pimp
- The Trump transition team called his latest comments "absolutely reprehensible"
The co-chairman of President-elect Donald Trump's New York campaign is being asked to resign from a local school board amid ongoing backlash over his statements that he wanted to see President Obama die of mad cow disease and the first lady live with a gorilla in Africa.
Carl Paladino, a millionaire real estate developer who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010 as a Republican, made the comments in response to a survey by Artvoice, a Buffalo publication that asked local artists, performers and business owners for their New Year's wish list.
He now says the comments weren't meant for publication but were nevertheless "inappropriate."
U.S. & World
At a special meeting on Thursday the Buffalo school board voted 6-2 to ask the state education commissioner to remove Paladino if he doesn't resign within 24 hours.
Paladino didn't attend the meeting. He says he won't resign.
In a statement Tuesday statement, first reported on Buffalo's WBEN radio, Paladino apologized to minorities, saying he "never intended to hurt" them with his anti-Obama remarks. The comments sparked outrage from various political circles, including Trump's transition team, which called the developer's comments "absolutely reprehensible."
The White House has not commented.
The 70-year-old developer ran for governor of New York against Andrew Cuomo in 2010.
Cuomo was quick to denounce Paladino's comments, saying in a statement last week that they were "racist, ugly and reprehensible."
"While most New Yorkers know Mr. Paladino is not to be taken seriously, as his erratic behavior defies any rational analysis and he has no credibility, his words are still jarring," he said. "His remarks do not reflect the sentiments or opinions of any real New Yorker and he has embarrassed the good people of the state with his latest hate-filled rage."