South African party rejects alleged Trump comment on Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The report that U.S. President Donald Trump made crude, disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela has drawn an angry response from South Africa’s ruling party and others. According to a book written by Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, Trump said that Mandela, who guided South Africa in its transition from a racist apartheid government to a democracy, was a terrible leader. Cohen wrote that after Mandela’s death in 2013, Trump said: “Mandela (expletive) the whole country up … he was no leader.” The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Mandela is widely revered by all racial groups in South Africa and generally has a glowing international reputation as a skilled statesman. The comments could also affect the U.S. presidential election in November.