SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Haskell held a news conference on Friday to "address recent news coverage related to unsubstantiated allegations of racism in the Prosecutor's office," according to a press release.
This is the first time Haskell has spoken publicly since racist comments made by his wife on social media were uncovered.
After the Inlander published an article regarding racist statements from Lesley Haskell, his wife, Larry Haskell issued a statement saying the allegations on the article don't represent his personal views.
According to the article, Lesley Haskell used racial slurs on the social media platform Gab after expressing her reaction to a New York Post story titled "MSNBC's Joy Reid: Conservatives would trade tax cuts to 'openly say the n-word." Lesley Haskell commented, saying Reid was "the true definition of the word" and then explicitly typed out the racial slur.
In another post, Lesley Haskell described herself as a proud white nationalist.
Larry Haskell later issued a statement on his official website, stating in part:
I want to strongly reassure everyone that what was expressed in the Inlander, as my wife’s comments are not my views nor the views of the prosecutor’s office – nor should they ever be. No amount of republishing of her social media posts will make that so. I have never and will never use such language. I apologize for the language and content as contained in the article.
During Friday's press conference, he apologized for his wife's remarks and referred to them as racist. However, he said that his wife is not a racist person.
"I believe the comments are racist, absolutely," Haskell said. "And as I said, they're reprehensible. And they've caused a lot of pain, and I humbly apologize for them."
Haskell also said that he does not share those views with his wife and stated that they have not influenced his work as a prosecutor. He also said he instructs those in his office to not pursue cases based on race.