WASHINGTON, D.C. — Omarosa Manigault, assistant to President Donald Trump, said the Congressional Black Caucus “had no intention” of sitting down with President Donald Trump, hours after the group’s Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) rejected the invitation to meet and referred to it as a “social gathering.”
“It’s obvious, by his response to my letter inviting them back as they committed to, that they had no intention of ever sitting with the president,” Manigault told Charles Payne in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday. “In fact, they called the invitation a ‘social gathering,’ which nowhere in my letter did it ever say that it was social. But that just shows you that they’re not serious.”
In his letter declining the meeting with President Trump, Richmond wrote, “Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your Administration, we decline your invitation for 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you.” He added that he failed “to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for” and suggested the administration’s policies were causing “legitimate alarm” among African-American lawmakers and was worrying their constituents.
In her interview with Fox, Manigault said she sees a repeated pattern of behavior from the CBC in this regard:
But if we think back, Charles, to their relationship with the previous administration, they had none. In fact, they had a very contentious relationship with the previous administration because of these same types of antics. In fact, Barack Obama didn’t meet with the Congressional Black Caucus until 600 days into his administration. We met with them on March 22, which was at the 60-day mark of our administration. So the math doesn’t lie. We were making a concerted effort and, unfortunately, they are not committed to getting their constituent issues on the table and at the forefront.
Richmond included the dates of seven letters and one document the CBC sent to the Trump administration and which he said the administration failed to respond to in his letter.
Manigault said of this:
The truth of the matter is, they said in front of the president and the vice president of the United States on March the 22nd, right here at the White House and made a commitment to meet with the president and work through the myriad of issues that they’ve presented. They have 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus from different districts from all over this country. Resolving their issues in a month-and-a-half is just not possible. But coming to the table, over and over again, to work through these issues, is the only effective way to get where they wanted to go. And, instead, they’re show-voting and actually shorting out their constituents that they committed to represent by not coming to meet with the president.
During their initial meeting with Trump, the CBC had expressed their concern with the optics of being seen in a picture with him. They likely believed that such a photo would indicate they support the president and might upset their constituents.
Politico noted that back in March CBC members tried to avoid snapping a pic with Trump “for fear it would be used to make it look like they had thrown their support behind the president.”
Despite the CBC’s decision to reject President Trump’s request to meet, Manigault told Fox News she will continue to push to help the African-American community by fostering more communication and finding ways to “get their issues heard.”