During yesterday’s Q&A with the media, President Donald J. Trump responded to a question from April Ryan, long-time White House correspondent and author of At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White by asking her to arrange a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus.
Late in a news conference that lasted over an hour, Ryan – who is African American – asked the president about a campaign pledge to revitalize American urban centers, often referred to by Trump as “inner-cities.”
The president’s response started with him stating that her question was “very professional and very good,” then followed up by Trump stating he received “a much higher percentage of the African American vote than a lot of people thought” due to his focus on this issue.
Ryan then followed up by asking the president if he was going to include the CBC” the Congressional Black Caucus, an organization of African-American Members of Congress, in discussions.
“I’ll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” the president responded.
“No,” Ryan replied, saying she was “just a reporter.”
I am a journalist not a convener! But thank you for answering my questions. https://t.co/fe9cGXG46w
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) February 16, 2017
Trump continued, saying “set up the meeting. Let’s go, set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it’s great. The Congressional Black Caucus.”
CBC spokeswoman Kamara Jones said the CBC sent the president a letter on January 19 inviting him to address the caucus, but has not yet received a response. In a reply on Twitter, the CBC stated:
— The CBC (@OfficialCBC) February 16, 2017
In a follow-up interview on CNN, Ryan said she would be happy to report on a meeting between the president and the CBC. “But as far as facilitating that meeting or convening that meeting, that is not my place. Every White House has someone to deal with this kind of meeting or this kind of bringing together of people. It’s up to that person in this White House to do that.”
Ryan has been the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks since January 1997 and is also the author of best-selling My Up Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America.