A group of young, African-American conservatives visiting Washington, D.C., on Friday for an event called the Young Black Leadership Summit stopped in at the White House where they were addressed by Donald Trump — who had an interesting question for them.
According to an account by The Week, Trump told the group that African-American ex-convicts were able to find jobs in the current economy, which Trump called “incredible.” But Trump then reversed course, noting that some black ex-convicts would not make “incredible” employees.
He then looked out at the crowd of African-American conservatives, and suggested that there must be some “bad ones” among them.
“Even in this room, we probably have a couple of bad ones,” Trump said, as quoted by Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale. “Are there any bad ones? Huh? No bad ones?”
Trump also defended a statement he made repeatedly on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, in which he said that African-American voters should support him because “what the hell do you have to lose?” as the New York Post reported.
The crowd appeared to enjoy Trump’s remarks, breaking into chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” But despite the support from the group in the room, recent polls have shown that Trump’s support remains low among black voters, holding at between 10 percent at 15 percent throughout 2018, according to the Washington Post.
According to a report on the meeting by the Washington, D.C., publication Roll Call, the meeting with the Young Black Leadership Summit in the White House quickly transformed into a “mini-Trump Rally.”
“The crowd played the role typically reserved for the campaign trail, turning the East Room into a rally site with chants about Trump’s proposed southern border wall and catcalls about ‘fake news,’” Roll Call reported. At least one member of the group even echoed a familiar chant when Trump mentioned “globalists,” responding, “Lock them up.”
Trump also reiterated his often-stated gripes about what he perceives as his unfair treatment by the media.
“We all get attacked. Who gets attacked more than me?” Trump told the group. “I can do the greatest thing for our country, and on the networks, it will play bad.”
In the same speech, according to the account by Dale on his Twitter account, Trump called on what he called “The Democrat Party” to change its name to “The Democratic Party.” But as Dale noted, “Democratic Party” is, in fact, the party’s name.