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CBC Chairman, Don Lemon Discuss Trump and the Black Community

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Washington, January 30, 2018 | comments

Last night, during a special State of the Union conversation hosted by CNN Tonight’s Don Lemon, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), discussed President Trump and the Black community, including what happened after the CBC’s first meeting with President Trump and whether the leader of the nation cares about African Americans.

On Meeting with President Trump

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Don Lemon: Does the president know how to fight and push for black Americans, Congressman Richmond?

CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond: I don't know if he knows how. I would say he doesn't have the desire to do it. We took the meeting with the president. In fact, we brought him this book, a 130-page policy document. We’re not only looking at the problems in the African-American community, but also suggesting solutions. And the President didn't read it. They didn't respond to it. So that's why when he called and wanted to set up a second meeting, we had no interest in meeting with him. Because we're not here for a social gathering. We’re not here to eat cheese and drink wine and we're certainly not taking that photo op picture, so if we're not going to talk policy then we'll do what we do in Congress. But if he had any real interest in improving the status of not only black America but rural America and all of these other places where we propose solutions, then he would have had his cabinet secretaries reach out. He would have done a lot more than the little lip service that he's given to the African-American community.

On Whether President Trump Cares About Black People

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 Don Lemon: Why won't he listen to people who may be trying to help him, because he is president of the United States, why won't he listen?

CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond: Well I just don't think that's in his DNA, I really don’t.

Don Lemon: Do you think he cares about black people?

CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond: I don't. If you listen to his words, if you watch his actions. Let’s just take some numbers. He’s appointed or nominated one black federal judge. He’s nominated one black U.S. attorney. And when you start talking about the criminal justice system, that's a key area for African-American men. And if you watch Jeff Sessions' actions, it's just inconsistent. So I’m not totally convinced of everything in his head. Part of what's in his head is he does what Kelly and Stephen Miller tell him to do. And that's why we see the racism coming out in this immigration overhaul, where he wants to not talk about illegal immigration. Which, by the way, he made the DREAMers illegal. They were legal until he decided to take action. But when you start talking about diversity visas and you start talking about family reunification, you’re talking about legal immigration and we could just use his words… he wants more people from Norway as opposed to Africa, El Salvador and Haiti. 

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