Lebanese academic Walid Phares, who is the foreign policy advisor to US presidential candidate Donald Trump, claimed Thursday Trump would surprise Arabs with a conciliatory speech to be delivered this week.

In an interview with the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper, Phares said Trump "is certainly not a racist" and blamed his "lack of expertise in politics" for making comments that are interpreted as racist and fascist towards Arabs and Muslims.

"He is certainly not a racist and nothing on a personal level shows that he is," Phares said of Trump.

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