NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks talks to Donald Trump prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on September 23, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Tony Schwartz, co-author of Donald Trump‘s “The Art of the Deal,” thinks his ongoing feud with LaVar Ball suggests something deeper about the president’s feelings about Black people.

Anchor John Berman brought up Trump’s recent tweet storm in which he attacked Ball, the father of UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball, who was caught shoplifting in China. The president is now at odds with the elder Ball after the former NBA star refused to thank Trump for playing a role in his son’s release.

Berman asked Schwartz if “it’s what LaVar Ball said or, as some are alleging, how he looks,” that upsets the president so much.

“Both,” Schwartz answered. “First of all, his father is a tall Black man and I think Trump is half awed and half frightened by black people. And his only way of dealing with them is to attack them. And on the other hand, I think he has a zero tolerance for any criticism of any kind. That’s why he goes after anybody who says virtually anything about him that’s negative.”

Berman said the comments about Trump being “awed and afraid” of Black people is a “big statement.” The anchor then pressed the author to justify the comment.

“Well, I mean, I watched him. I mean he was awed, unequivocally awed, during the many times I saw him with members of the team he owned in the USFL, and when he sponsored fights — prize fights,” he stated.

“I think he had this kind of ambivalent relationship, where he wished he could have been an athlete like they were. And on the other hand, if he felt fear, he always felt aggression…and a need to put them down.”

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