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Trump cochair wishes death on Obama, calls 1st lady male

AP file photo

Donald Trump, left, is joined by Carl Paladino during a gun rights rally at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, N.Y., on April 1, 2014.

The Associated Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A wealthy businessman who cochaired president-Elect Donald Trump’s state campaign confirmed to the AP on Friday that he told an alternative newspaper he hoped President Barack Obama would die from mad cow disease and that the first lady would “return to being a male.”

Carl Paladino, a millionaire real estate developer who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010 as a Republican, made the comments in response to a survey by Artvoice, a Buffalo, N.Y., publication that asked local artists, performers and business owners for their New Year’s wish list.

Asked what he would most like to happen in 2017, Paladino responded that he hoped “Obama catches mad cow disease,” dies and is buried in a cow pasture.

Asked who he would like to see “go away,” he said Michelle Obama.

Reached at his western New York office by phone, Paladino, a member of the Buffalo school board, confirmed to the AP the answers published in Artvoice were his.

In a subsequent emailed statement, Paladino, 70, claimed his comments had “nothing to do with race” but instead reflected his opinion of the president’s performance in office.Speech

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