When 23-year-old Sahar Kian needed a roommate for her home near Georgetown University, she turned to Craigslist.
Among her house rules? No alcohol, pets or meat products. And no supporters of President Donald Trump.
“Alcohol, pets and meat products are not allowed in the house,” Kian, who works for an education-focused nonprofit organization, wrote in her ad.
“Neither are Trump supporters.”
After telling her story to The New York Times, Kian rejected CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s suggestion Saturday that she was being “a bit intolerant.”
“Look at me, I’m brown. I’m a woman. I am somebody who is heavily reliant on Obama’s pre-existing condition clause,” Kian said, referring to the Affordable Care Act, which bars insurers from banning people with pre-existing medical conditions or asking them to pay higher premiums. High on Trump’s to-do list is repealing the law.
Kian added that having a Trump supporter for a roommate would make for a “hostile environment” — especially for her other roommates who are immigrants.
She said she has no issue interacting with Trump supporters in a public setting, but will not do so in her home.
“I would be more than happy to settle issues with you at protests or in a Congress setting … but I am not obligated to turn my house into a political battlefield when I come home from work in the evening,” she said.
Kian also insisted that her ad did not discriminate against “political differences.”
“It doesn’t say no conservatives in my ad, it doesn’t say no Republicans, it doesn’t say no Christians, it says no Trump supporters. There’s a distinction between Republican, conservative and Trump supporters,” she emphasized.
The difference with Trump, Kian said, is that anyone who supports him “by all means is a bigot.”
Smerconish interjected: “I can’t buy the notion that says 46% of those who voted in the recent election are by definition bigots. To the blue-collar worker who’s been a reliable Democratic voter but feels disenfranchised in this economy and has a set of grievances about their inability to get ahead and earn an income … and voted for Donald Trump. I’m just not putting them in a basket of deplorables.
“Some of them, perhaps. But not all of them. And I guess that’s what troubles me is that you’re painting with a broad brush.”
Kian responded that her house rules aren’t a case of “extreme vetting,” a phrase Trump has used to describe the review process he intends to make newly arriving immigrants and refugees undergo, and that she wouldn’t “drill” potential roommates on their political beliefs.
Still, Kian remained adamant that she wouldn’t want to live with a Trump supporter.