Donald Trump once claimed black people were "too stupid" to vote for him and regularly used explicitly racist language before coming into office, his former lawyer has claimed.
Michael Cohen, who served as the president's lawyer and fixer for a decade, claimed he witnessed Mr Trump making derogatory comments about black people throughout the 2016 election campaign.
In his first interview since pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, Mr Cohen told 'Vanity Fair' Mr Trump said "black people are too stupid to vote for me" after he made an observation that crowds at the candidate's rallies were largely caucasian.
Mr Cohen further claimed that after Nelson Mandela's death, Mr Trump said "name one country run by a black person that's not a s***hole".
He added Mr Trump once said of his decision not to pick a black Harvard graduate on 'The Apprentice': "There's no way I can let this black f*** win".
Mr Cohen has publicly split from Mr Trump since he was charged with campaign finance violations and tax fraud earlier this year.
He pleaded guilty to several charges this summer, claiming he violated election laws at the direction of Mr Trump, to pay a porn star hush money.
It is not the first time Mr Trump has been accused of racism. Earlier this year he faced claims he had referred to African nations as "s***hole countries".
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former aide, also claimed Mr Trump had used the n-word during filming of 'The Apprentice'.
At the time, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said she could not "guarantee" Mr Trump had never used the slur. The White House has not responded to the latest claims.
It came after a week in which the US president amplified his hard-line stance on immigration, even suggesting US soldiers could open fire on a migrant caravan if its members threw rocks.
In an address from the White House on Thursday night, Mr Trump said: "If they [migrants] want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back... I told them, consider it a rifle."
Mr Trump rowed back on the comments yesterday after former US generals - including a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - rebuked the idea and questioned its legality.
The president changed course saying: "They [soldiers] won't have to fire. What I don't want, I don't want these people throwing rocks."
Earlier yesterday, the Nigerian Army, which has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, used Mr Trump's remarks to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters this week. (© Daily Telegraph London)