Tags: Donald Trump | congressional | black caucus | CBC

Trump Has Caustic Exchange With Reporter Over Congressional Black Caucus

Image: Trump Has Caustic Exchange With Reporter Over Congressional Black Caucus

President Donald Trump (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 04:57 PM

President Donald Trump came under fire Thursday for an awkward exchange with a black reporter after she asked him about his urban agenda to improve inner cities.

In a wide-ranging news conference called to announce the president's new labor secretary nominee, Trump remarked "it's so sad when you look at the crime" in some cities, describing how people "lock themselves into apartments petrified to even leave in the middle of the day."

April Ryan, who serves as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, then followed up, asking Trump: "When you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda?"

She added, apparently in an attempt to clarify what "CBC" stood for, "Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus . . ."

"Well, I would," Trump replied. "I'd tell you what – do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?"

Ryan shook her head and answered: "No, no, no, I'm just a reporter . . . I know some of them but . . ."

"No . . . set up the meeting," Trump urged. "Let's go, set up the meeting, I would love to meet with the black caucus – the Congressional Black Caucus."

Mediaite posted video of the exchange.

The CBC later tweeted it had already asked for a meeting – and got no response from the president, commenting, "Sad." 

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, also a CBC member, challenged Trump to contact caucus chairman, Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond. 

Trump also added he had once had a scheduled meeting with Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"Every day I walked in and said I would like to meet with him, because I do want to solve the problem," Trump said. "But he probably was told by [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer or somebody like that . . . he was probably told 'don't meet with Trump. It's bad politics.' I was all set to have the meeting."

Cummings refuted the comment, issuing a statement immediately after the news conference.

"I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today," the statement read. "Of course, Sen. Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President.

"I was actually looking forward to meeting with the president about the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs," he said, adding he looks "forward to meeting with [Mr. Trump] on this issue and others."

Trump came up in some Twitter jibes after the exchange. 

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President Donald Trump came under fire Thursday for an awkward exchange with a black reporter after she asked him about his urban agenda to improve inner cities.
congressional, black caucus, CBC
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2017-57-16
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 04:57 PM
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