Back in the late 1990s, Donald Trump was lauded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson as a friend to minorities and underserved communities.
“Jesse Jackson thinks Donald Trump is a champion of minority empowerment. Or at least he used to before the turn of the millennium,” The Daily Caller, which unearthed the video embedded below, explained.
Jackson expressed appreciation for Trump’s support of the Rainbow Push Coalition’s initiative called the Wall Street Project, which among other things aims to help minority-owned companies access business opportunities on Wall Street and, at the time, help minorities gain a foothold in the construction industry.
A lifelong Democrat, Jesse Jackson endorsed Hillary Clinton in June, saying that voters can trust her.
At a Wall Street Project conference in 1998, Jackson had this to say about Donald Trump.
“I do want to express thanks to you Donald Trump for being with us tonight. We need your building skills, your gusto…for people on Wall Street to represent diversity.”
During a similar event the following year, Jackson was equally praiseworthy of the New York real estate mogul and now presidential hopeful
“I now want to bring forth a friend who while he is deceptive of his social style…one can miss his seriousness and his commitment, but his success is beyond argument. when we opened this Wall Street project and we talked about it, he gave us space at 40 Wall Street, which was to make a statement about our having a presence there. And beyond that, in terms of reaching out and being inclusive, he’s done that too.”
In his remarks, Jackson added Trump took the Jackson for President candidacy in 1984 and 1988 seriously unlike a lot of other people and that “[Trump] came to our business meeting here in New York because he has this sense of the curious and a will to risk to make things better. Aside from all of his style, and his pizazz, he is a serious person who is an effective builder…”
Trump then took the podium to describe the success of minority hiring in the construction field.
“A large percentage of the people, and especially in construction, that are building these great jobs are black and minorities, and I’m very proud of it. We have close to 25 percent, and I think the number is going up. They do a great job. There are no better builders than we have in New York, and a big percentage of that is black and minority folks, so I just want to thank everyone in the room for being here…”
Earlier this month, Jesse Jackson told MSNBC that Donald Trump has become a far different person in the last 18 months than the individual he used to work with on the Wall Street Project, however. On Friday, Jackson demanded that Trump personally apologize to President Obama for the birther claim and that his brief statement that Obama was born in the U.S. was insufficient, the Washington Examiner reported.
Trump and Hillary Clinton have been sparring in the last week or so over the birther controversy. Trump was involved in that movement for several years in a high-visibility way, but the Trump campaign claims that Team Clinton was there first.
A former Washington bureau chief of the McClatchy news agency claims that a Hillary Clinton confidant tried to pitch the birther allegation to him when Clinton and Obama were rivals for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination.
“Asher said Friday and repeated on Monday that Blumenthal did spread the story to him and that he assigned a reporter to check it out. Blumenthal, who did not have a formal role in the campaign in 2008, denies Asher’s account,” McClatchy DC noted about the dispute.
Separately, Donald Trump’s outreach to the African-American community may be proving effective. According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll, the GOP nominee’s support among black voters supposedly has increased 16-plus percent to about 20 percent while Hillary Clinton has lost 20 percent in the same constituency during the equivalent time frame, the New York Post reported.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]