Rapid City Councilman apologizes for racist comments

A Rapid City Council member accused of making racist comments to a black TV reporter has publicly apologized. Bill Clayton made his apology at a council meeting last night, saying he wasn't aware of the race of Taisha Walker of KOTA during a phone interview last August.

Walker...who's been a frequent anchor of the KDUH 10 pm news the past 2 years, says that during the interview, Clayton asked if she was even American and suggested she be deported "back to Kenya with Obama."

Clayton questioned the accuracy of the quote and its context during his apology, but did take responsibility for causing the controversy.

The apology came after the city council voted 6-0 to release an unredacted version of a report compiled by the city attorney's office into comments Clayton made to Walker and about fellow Council Member Charity Doyle.

Clayton said he doesn't watch KOTA new and hadn't seen or met Walker before she called him about an upcoming council vote on a controversial tax increase.

When she asked him how he planned to vote on it, he asked her how she planned to vote in the presidential election...triggering the exchange that led to Clayton's questions about her patriotism and his deportation comment.

In his apology, Walker said he held "birther" positions on President Obama at the time of the interview by that he now understands that "our president is our president and a citizen of the United States."

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