The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, has been accused of racism after being confronted by a woman during a shopping trip to an Apple store in Washington DC, the Guardian reports.
“How does it feel to work for a fascist?” asked Shree Chauhan, a 33-year-old woman who works at a non-profit in DC, while using Periscope to record the encounter.
“Have you helped with the Russia stuff? Are you a criminal as well? Have you committed treason, just like the president?” she demanded of Spicer.
Spicer replied: “Such a great country that allows you to be here.”
Chauhan, who was born in New York and is of Indian origin, said she believed Spicer’s response was a reference to her skin color.
“That is racism and it is an implied threat,” wrote Chauhan in a Medium post about the incident .
“I am still stunned by the boldness of having my citizenship threatened on camera,” she added.
“I have spent enough time with online [sic] to encounter rabid Trump supporters. Many of these folks see my brown skin and question my citizenship. They question whether I am here legally. They tell me to leave the country. They have told me to go back to where I came from. To which my snarky reply is often, “Go back where? New York?”
“It’s one thing to have a Twitter egg tell say you do not belong in America, it is quite another to have the Press Secretary of the United States of America do so.”
It is not known whether Spicer’s comment was a response to the woman’s racial background or a comment on free speech and her ability to ask a government official questions in a public space.
The White House has been contacted for comment.