In an odd and meandering Press conference that was emblematic of his sloppy, barely three weeks old presidency, Trump went from brown-nosing Putin to asking April Ryan, a reporter, to handle a matter of state in setting up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
One of Trump’s more bizarre claims was that he made attempts to meet with Representative Elijah Cummings but that Cummings had refused to meet with him. He then made allegations that Senator Chuck Schumer likely told the Congressman not to meet with him.
Trump then went on to ask White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan to set up a meeting between himself and the Congressional Black Caucus. Trump purports that he had been trying to set up a meeting with the CBC for weeks and that he had repeatedly made phone calls to that end.
But the CBC was having none of the nonsense. Shortly after Trump’s claim that he made repeated attempts to contact the Congressional Black Caucus, they had this to say:
— The CBC (@OfficialCBC) February 16, 2017
Sad, indeed. We have a compulsive liar elected to the White House by a part of the nation that has been misinformed by Fox News and right wing propaganda. They cannot determine fact from fiction. This is why we need tuition-free college.
Here, in part, is what the ignored letter from the CBC to Trump said:
“Dear Mr. President-elect, During your campaign, you pledged to address a number of issues being faced by African-Americans. Unfortunately, your “New Deal for Black America” represents the same old “Trickle Down” economics assumptions that didn’t work for our communities in the 1980’s or in the 2000’s when these failed experiments were tried before. Furthermore, your insistence on reducing the African-American experience solely to the conditions faced by many in our inner cities is ultimately unproductive. 39 percent of African-Americans live in suburbs compared to 36 percent who live in inner cities. The remaining 25 percent live in small metropolitan areas and rural communities. For more than 45 years, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has worked to improve conditions for AfricanAmericans from all walks of life. Collectively, our Members represent 78 million Americans, 17 million of whom are African-American. Our districts are rural as well as urban. Some of our Members represent majority-minority districts while others do not. If you are serious about addressing issues in the African-American community, you would be wise to tap into the decades of expertise held by Members of our Caucus.”
The letter can be read in its entirety in PDF format here. So no, Trump did not try to meet with the CBC. It actually looks like he has been avoiding them. He just can’t come out in a Press conference and say that he doesn’t have any interest in improving the lives of our brothers and sisters of color.
Below is a video from CNN with Ms. Ryan’s response to being asked to set up a meeting with the Black Caucus.
Reporter responds to Trump asking her to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus https://t.co/DG5Lci46Al
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 16, 2017