CLEVELAND, Ohio– Boxing promoter Don King — who presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump previously said may speak at the Republican National Convention — talked to reporters on Monday evening outside the Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held, saying Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus never spoke to him because “He didn’t have that much sense.”
The New York Times reported on Sunday that King was nixed by Priebus and won’t be taking the stage to speak:
Donald J. Trump was told, no, it was not sensible to have Don King, the flamboyant boxing promoter, address the Republican convention. But Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly boasted of having Mr. King’s support, kept pressing the matter.
Finally, officials including Reince Priebus, the Republican national chairman, firmly explained to Mr. Trump why Mr. King should not be invited: He once stomped a man to death and was convicted of manslaughter. The party could not associate itself with someone convicted of a felony.
Mr. Trump eventually relented. Mr. King, a Cleveland native, will not take the stage.
“Trump called me. I did not call Trump,” King explained to reporters on Monday. “And he asked me if I would do it for him because he knows what I did for George Walker Bush. And he knows I brought the Haitian vote in Florida to make George Walker Bush get Florida.”
“He never talked to me. He didn’t have that much sense,” King stated about Priebus. “That would have been the sensible thing to do, but when you don’t count, it don’t make no [difference] — that’s why you got to understand the system.”