Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a crucial Ohio county has resigned after an interview with the Guardian in which she said there was no racism in America until the election of Barack Obama.
Kathy Miller, who was coordinating the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, apologized for her “inappropriate” remarks on Thursday and said she would no longer have a role with the campaign.
Her resignation came just hours after the release of the first film in a series of election videos, Anywhere but Washington.
The video included an interview with Miller in which she said there was “no racism” during the 1960s and claimed black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.
Mark Munroe, the Mahoning chair for the GOP, said he immediately contacted the Trump campaign in Ohio asking for Miller to be dismissed over her “insane comments”.
He told the Guardian that Trump had undertaken impressive steps to appeal to minority voters and that Miller’s remarks risked jeopardizing his standing in Ohio. “We should not let those really inappropriate comments affect the Trump campaign.”
As well as chairing the campaign in Mahoning, a volunteer role, Miller was an official Ohio elector to the electoral college for the Trump campaign. She said in a statement that she had decided to resign from both positions.
“My personal comments were inappropriate, and I apologize. I am not a spokesperson for the campaign and was not speaking on its behalf,” she said. “I have resigned as the volunteer campaign chair in Mahoning County and as an elector to the electoral college to avoid any unnecessary distractions.”
Bob Paduchik, Ohio state director for the Trump campaign, said he had replaced Miller with another local campaigner. “Our county chairs are volunteers who signed up to help organize grassroots outreach like door-knocking and phone calls, they are not spokespeople for the campaign.”
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