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When asked about his campaign promise to “fix the inner cities” at a press conference today, President Trump asked a black reporter if she could set up a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Are they friends of yours?” he asked.
“I’m just a reporter,” veteran journalist April Ryan replied. “I know some of them.”
Ryan, who has covered the White House for 20 years and recently accused Trump communications official Omarosa Manigault of physically threatening her, later tweeted she was “not a convener.”
CBC member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told CNN that Trump’s question to Ryan was “inappropriate,” and said the administration was “running this government like children.” The CBC also responded to the conference, saying it sent Trump a letter in January that went unanswered.
Later, Trump went on to claim that he did reach out to former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Elijah Cummings, but alluded to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) getting in the way of a meeting. Cummings refuted this in a statement, but said he would meet with Trump.
“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today,” he said. “Of course, Senator Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the president.”
Trump has long come under fire for his insensitivities when addressing black people and people of color in general. In a national televised debate, he equated all black people and Latinos to living in inner cities. More recently, it seemed he didn’t know who author and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass was. He then took credit in declaring Black History Month “National African American History Month,” after deciding black was “outdated” and that “African-American” was the more politically correct term.
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the Congressional Black Caucus.
Jessica Machado is the IRL editor of the Daily Dot. Previously, she was an associate editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Elle, Vice, Salon, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Bitch, Bust, the Cut, the Awl, the Toast, among others.