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Congressional Black Caucus disses President Trump's invitation

Jul 6, 2017
In The News

The Congressional Black Caucus isn’t interested in meeting President Trump for “a social gathering.”

The conference of African American lawmakers declined a June 9 invitation by presidential assistant Omarosa Manigault for a follow-up meeting “to continue the discussion of issues presented in our previous meeting” on March 22. In a letter to Trump, caucus Chair Cedric Richmond said the conference hasn’t seen action from the administration “advancing the interests of our people and the goals of the CBC” since initially reaching out to Trump in January.

“Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your Administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you,” Richmond said. “The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your Administration. I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for.”

Two North Carolina lawmakers, Reps. Alma Adams of Charlotte and G.K. Butterfield of Wilson, are caucus members. Both are Democrats.

The caucus presented Trump a 130-page “policy document” in March that explained the history of African Americans and the CBC’s suggestions for improving their situation through government intervention.

“Through an objective assessment, we have seen no evidence that your Administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt Black communities,” Richmond wrote. “While we agreed to explore possible future discussions when we first met, it has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be entirely productive, given the actions taken by your Administration since our first meeting.”

Richmond said the caucus has reached out with correspondence regarding Trump’s “New Deal for Black America” and health care as well as policy concerns with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions but haven’t gotten a response.

“Your Administration has yet to provide a response to the policies we presented,” Richmond wrote. “Additionally, your Administration has not followed through on a pledge you made to us to facilitate meetings with relevant Cabinet officials.

“In fact, based on the actions taken by you and your Administration since that meeting, it appears that our concerns, and your stated receptiveness to them, fell on deaf ears.”