The Hill: Trump to black reporter: Help me meet with Black Caucus
Washington, DC, February 16, 2017
The Hill - President Trump on Thursday asked a veteran African-American reporter whether she could help arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
Trump to black reporter: Help me meet with Black Caucus
By Mark Hensch
President Trump on Thursday asked a veteran African-American reporter whether she could help arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in conversations [on] your urban agenda, your inner-city agenda?” April Ryan asked during a White House press conference. "Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus?”
“Do you want to set up the meeting?” Trump responded to Ryan, who is the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). "Are they friends of yours?”
“Set up the meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. Let’s go. I think it’s great.”
Ryan tweeted at Trump after Thursday’s press conference, thanking him for his time but noting she is “a journalist not a convener!”
During the press conference, Trump said he had already attempted to set up a meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a CBC member, but he backed out.
“I was all set to have that meeting,” he said. "We called him and called him. I spoke to him on the phone and he wanted it.”
“[Cummings] was all excited and then he said, ‘Oh, I can’t move it,’ ” Trump said. "'It might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.’”
“He was probably told by [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer [D-N.Y.] — or some other lightweight — ‘Don’t meet with Trump, it’s bad politics.' That’s part of the problem in this country.”
Cummings fired back after the press conference, calling Trump's account untrue.
"I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Senator Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the president," Cummings said.
Cummings said he was "actually looking forward to meeting with the President about the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs."
"I look forward to meeting with him on this issue and others."
Meanwhile, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), another CBC member, challenged Trump to personally contact Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) following the president’s exchange with Ryan Thursday.
“Want to set up a meeting with @OfficialCBC?” she tweeted at Trump. "Show some leadership and call @RepRichmond yourself.”
“@AprilDRyan is [an] honest & professional reporter,” Moore added before urging Trump to talk to Reince Priebus, his chief of staff. "She’s not your secretary. @Reince knows @RepRichmond’s number. Use it.”
The CBC’s official Twitter additionally tweaked Trump, calling it “sad” he never responded to a Jan. 19 letter they sent him about issues facing the black community.
The CBC later said in a statement that the White House had reached out Thursday and they were working out a time to meet.
Ryan told the Washington Post Monday that Trump administration official Omarosa Manigault “physically intimidated” her during a confrontation last week.
Manigault and Ryan reportedly had a falling out last October when the former sent the latter two emails asking if she was being paid by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.