Don King drops N-word while introducing Donald Trump

Updated 2:33 PM EDT, Wed September 21, 2016
Don King
CNN
Don King
Now playing
01:33
Don King uses N-word while introducing Trump
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:44
Jill Stein raises millions for recount
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:14
Scientists urge Clinton to call for recount
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:25
Donald Trump's wild ride
Now playing
01:46
Trump's challenges in the Middle East
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Fact checking Trump on crimes by immigrants
Mark Makela/Getty Images/Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Now playing
01:26
Trump vs. the tape on Obama and the protester
Now playing
01:28
Trump compares Clinton email probe to Watergate
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/AP
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Now playing
01:20
Donald Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
Trump reads letter from Patriot's coach at rally
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Now playing
01:56
Trump on US officials: 'What a group of losers'
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
Now playing
00:49
Trump's mantra in campaign's final week: Stay on point
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:52
Audio of Trump praising the Clintons and Democrats
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
Now playing
01:28
Cuomo grills Lewandowski on Clinton email 'hypocrisy'
Now playing
01:49
Meet the other Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Story highlights

Trump was sitting in a chair onstage just a few feet away from King when he uttered the word

Trump has pledged to help bring jobs and safety to impoverished minority communities

(CNN) —  

The controversial boxing promoter Don King used the N-word while introducing Donald Trump during an event Wednesday at a church.

King, who is black, said the word as he argued that African-Americans cannot achieve success by emulating white people, as they will remain “negroes.”

“If you’re poor, you are a poor negro – I would use the n-word – but if you’re rich, you are a rich negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you are intellectual negro. If you are a dancing and sliding and gliding n***** – I mean negro – you are a dancing and sliding and gliding negro,” King said, laughing along with the crowd after the slip-up. “You’re going to be a negro ‘til you die.”

Trump, who was already smirking as he listened to King, didn’t change the expression on his face, but turned slightly uncomfortably to his special counsel Michael Cohen and the church’s pastor, Darrell Scott, who head up Trump’s diversity coalition.

Trump, who said he personally invited King to introduce him, was sitting in a chair onstage just a few feet away from King when he uttered the word.

Taking the stage moments later, Trump called King a “phenomenal persona” and said: “Ah, there’s only one Don King.”

During his speech, King praised Trump as “fearless,” “courageous and brave” and said he believed Trump would “take this system apart” and “create a whole new system.”

“The system is corrupt, the system is rigged, the system is sexist, the system is racist,” King said, arguing that Trump would bring the country “back to inclusiveness.”

King’s mere presence at Trump’s side is controversial: King was convicted of second-degree murder for stomping a man to death in 1966. The governor of Ohio later pardoned King for the crime in 1983.

John Lewis calls for election observers at polling places this November

Wednesday’s moment came as Trump pitched himself as a president who would help bring jobs and safety to impoverished minority communities during the event at Scott’s church. There, Trump was flanked by a number of his prominent black surrogates, including Ben Carson and former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Manigault.

Later, as Trump fielded questions from Scott on a range of issues affecting religious and minority communities, King stood on stage by Trump, interjecting infrequently to shout about the “system.”

Warily eying King, Manigault suggested King take a seat, but the boxing promoter declined.

Moments later, as Trump’s supporters gathered around him to pray for Trump, King grabbed Trump’s wrist and raised their arms above their heads, as he would with a champion boxer.

Trump appeared to let his hand go limp, and then, unsure what to do, closed his hand to make a fist.

Just a few hours later, King flew with the real estate mogul aboard Trump’s plane to his rally in Toledo, Ohio, where he introduced GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.