Steve Harvey Regrets Private Meeting with Trump

Harvey said he should’ve listened to his wife and skipped the meeting.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with television personality Steve Harvey after their meeting at Trump Tower in New York, January 13, 2017.REUTERS

If TV host and comedian Steve Harvey could go back in time, he wouldn’t have agreed to a private sit-down meeting with President Donald Trump in January. Harvey said he should have taken his wife’s advice and instead set sail on a planned boat trip for his birthday.

Before Trump’s inauguration, Harvey met in person with the then president-elect at Trump Tower in New York City on Jan. 13 and spoke over the phone with now Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson about affordable housing. Harvey received backlash from the Black community for attending — and even more so after he posted a glowing statement on Twitter following the meeting:

“I feel that something really great could come out of this … I would sit with him anytime,” he said.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) published Tuesday, Harvey talked about the backlash.

“It was so vicious that it really threw me,” he said. “I was being called names that I’ve never been called: Uncle Tom. A coon. A sellout. Because I went to see this man?”

Those critical of Harvey believed his adoration of Trump was an about-face from previously slamming him.

“If Donald Trump becomes president, then I’m running,” Harvey told the Daily Beast in February 2016. “Because then obviously background checks have gone out the window. How do you let a dude who was on the cover of Playboy magazine and has been married 18 times be your president? Now come on. Hell, then I qualify.”

Harvey told THR that former President Barack Obama’s transition team facilitated the appointment with Trump after the then president-elect’s transition team said they wanted a meeting with the TV host.

“I have a relationship with Obama,” he said. “We’re friends. So I say, ‘Okay, cool.’”

However, his wife, Marjorie, thought the meeting wasn’t a good idea.

“Now, here’s the crazy thing: I’m supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, ‘Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You’ll meet with him some other time,’” Harvey said. “God, I should’ve listened.”

Harvey told THR that he spoke with Trump about golf for 20 minutes and even divulged to him that he campaigned for Hillary Clinton, adding that Trump didn’t receive his vote. Harvey said he shared his ideas with Trump on how to use HUD funds to help closing schools in cities around the country and “reopen them as vision centers and teach STEM and computers and coding.” The comedian said Trump called Carson during the meeting.

Harvey said he has not spoken with Trump since Jan. 13, but he has met with Carson and has been to HUD twice.

“We have several teams in place,” he said regarding his work with HUD.

Harvey has six shows, one of which is a new daytime series called “Steve” that films in Los Angeles. But the comedian is still dealing with tarnish to his affable image following the leak of a memo he sent to staff members of his former show.

Harvey’s scathing memo was shared with Chicago media writer Robert Feder in May during “The Steve Harvey Show”’s final week of production in Chicago. Feder posted it on his blog.

Related Story

Steve Harvey Regrets Private Meeting with Trump

Steve Harvey’s Rules to Staff: Don’t Talk to Me

“I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me,” wrote Harvey.

Harvey made it crystal clear that staff should give him his space.

“I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me,” wrote Harvey.

He told THR that “for four years, I tried to be congenial.”

“I’ll talk to people,” Harvey said. “’Hey, how you doing?’ But I started watching them take advantage of me.”

He sent out the memo out at the beginning of the year “so in year five I can just walk from backstage to my dressing room,” he said. “’Cause other celebrities, trust and believe, you can’t bother them.”

Harvey said an “angry” staff member who was not selected by his producer to join the “Steve” show team in Los Angeles leaked the memo.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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22 comments


  • Phillip Seeberg

    My comments regarding Steve Harvey’s comments.
    1) Jimmy Carter was the interview in Playboy once, so Trump being in the magazine is not unique.
    2) Harvey regrets meeting with Trump, but still considers Bill Cosby a friend. Seems inconsistent.

    • 2) The article says he considers President Obama a friend…. and Ben Carson was called….. I didn’t see or hear anything about Bill Cosby being his friend. Just getting the facts straight.

      • Susan, perhaps not based on this article, but others, where Steve Harvey himself states that Bill Cosby is a friend.

        Not sure if we are allowed to post links here, but:

        “Harvey told THR that he’s friends with Cosby and that “when I’m your friend, I’m your friend.” He said that Cosby helped his sons at Morehouse College, and Cosby taught him how to do the business of comedy.

        “When I heard all the trouble he was in, I called and asked him how he was doing,” Harvey said. “You know what he says to me? ‘Hey man, I appreciate you calling, but just stay away from me right now. You don’t need none of this on you. You’re doing good. Whatever happens to me happens to me, but don’t you get none of this on you.’ That’s an amazing thing for a guy to say.”

        Hope that clears up the facts.

  • Shame on your misleading headline – AGAIN!! Harvey “regrets” meeting with Trump because of the backlash he got from the black community – not because Trump did anything wrong. Quite the opposite. Harvey gained new respect for Trump during the meeting. But the headline makes you think bad of Trump and in reality the community that called Harvey all the bad names is in the wrong.

      • She definitely has it backwards. An example of reading what you want. I’m more curious about numbers though: how much has Harvey lost as a result of taking that meeting? I know many Black people who said they were done with Harvey after that stunt.

    • Harvey received backlash for meeting with Trump BECAUSE Trump does many things wrong.

      We don’t dislike Trump (or Harvey) because we have nothing else better to do with our time. We dislike them because they are garbage people and have demonstrated such on countless occasions.

  • I think it’s a shame that he got such negative backlash for meeting with the president.

    If you can’t meet with someone with whom you have profound disagreements, how do you ever convince them of what is right?

    I’m no Trump fan, but I’d love to see his calendar filled with meetings with people like Steve Harvey who are trying to do the right thing.

    How else will any decency seep in?

  • I have no sympathy for this man. Over the years I’d begun to see him as problematic. His idea of humor can definitely be tone deaf. From his jokes about Asians, to his making fun of a man from Flint, telling him to “enjoy his glass of brown water”. His meeting with Trump cemented my opinion that we needed to part ways.

    His relationship working with Dr. Carson is just as suspect. I trust Dr. Carson as far as I can throw him. He’s adrift in his position, just as many of 45’s appointees are. I’d be happy to see these STEM centers take flight, but I’m honestly skeptical that they’ll ever see the light of day.

    • I agree with you. Harvey is also quite misogynistic. I already have more misogyny in my life than I can handle, I certainly don’t need to his brand.

  • Steve got played as they say. Maybe he realizes it now and always listen to your woman!!. Steve got off focus due to his success (my opinion), I too was never a Steve Harvey fan, but he was used for a photo op as was Jim Brown and others. Based on what I read in the article they spoke of no real substance……..two rich guys making decisions for those less fortunate. what has transpired as a result of his meeting?

    • I agree with you, Warren. Steve got played. In fact, he played himself! I’m not a Steve Harvey fan so I have no empathy for him. Talk is cheap. I want see the results of these “several teams” that are in place @HUD. That’s more important than Steve’s big ego.

  • I’ve listened to Mr. Harvey’s radio program for years, listened to his fans and supporters, etc., and what many people outside of this do not ‘get’ is that he had a very strong audience that would support him in everything he does. They felt betrayed that they had no idea that he was going to meet with President Trump and his thin excuse of “wanting to have a seat at the table”. His fans didn’t buy it, still don’t and don’t give two hoots about what Ben Carson and he HUD are involved in or whether or not he should have listened to his wife. It’s all just more BS to them.

    You see, Mr. Harvey included his audiences in on everything –and I mean everything, every step, every minute of what he was involved in, and when he did this and the photo was released around the world, his supporters felt very left out of his Trump meeting, and also that he snuck and did this instead of being more forthcoming. In listening to his fans the consensus was if he let them know he was going to see the President and speak with him, it would not have looked as devious as it did. Then the leaked memo comes out with made him look even more disconnected with the people who connected with him. And his excuse for the memo sounded “Trump-like”. Everyone understands that Mr. Harvey needed space and that he cannot have everybody and their mom interrupting him 100 times a day. Many felt this would be handled if he hired an assistant who handles these things, but instead, the memo made him sound more ‘snottier’ and “Trump-like”. For Mr. Harvey’s loyal fan base, it was a matter of trust being broken after him being so forthcoming with his meetings. He lost a lot of support and even putting this out will not bring back those supporters he lost. To them, this appears as if he’s trying to get back in their good graces, especially after the Trump ‘related’ National Enquirer’s big headline of the past week is “Steve Harvey is a Crook!”. Is there anything Steve Harvey can do to make ammends with his loyal fan base for these things? For many in his ardent fanbase, no.

  • Sorry but Harvey doesn’t regret meeting with Trump, he regrets that he exposed himself for who he really is as a person. We now know that he isn’t the nice funny guy that we once thought he was. People don’t like being deceived Steve and since that’s what you did to the people that have supported you down through the years we’ve lost confidence in you and we don’t have the kind of adulation and respect for you now that we once had.

  • It’s the BIG EGO, when you finally break it all down. This dude’s head is bigger than his lips. I know of a great deal of people who are not impressed with him because of his ego.

  • Who wouldn’t regret meeting with Trump, or Obama, or Bush, or Clinton (either one) or any politician? I remember Michael Jackson, leaving his one shiny glove on to shake Reagan’s hand, and some of the more prescient of my Army buddies defending Michael in barracks conversations, pointing out that it’s probably smart to wear a glove to handle any politician, ever.

  • What a classic, worn out recipe by white racists: Get one sellout, di- NOTHING half-baked ex-President [O’Bamma], mix up one illiterate, paid Southern-bred slave/clown [Harvey], mix him together with another Uncle Tom from the projects of Detroit and cook up a white “angel” [tRUMP] cake! Top it off with dark chocolate frosting [Omarosa]. The only thing missing in this racist recipe is Don King to serve it up to other racist ReBubbaCant’s.

    If O’Bamma was so damned concerned about inner cities, why didn’t he do something when he was pretending to be president for 8 years! Especially in his adopted home city of Chicago. It’s filled with so many thugs, I can understand why O’Bamma fell in love with it.

    tRUMP and other racist ReBubbaCan’ts insult Black intelligensia by inviting Family Feud clowns like Harvey [“Dey gonna try to win THEYSELVES lots of cash”; I wish his wife would tell him to use proper English.] Then he appoints a project rat like Carson to HUD instead of his Kushner who knows how to build luxury highrises (but only for rich white folKKKs, including fake Jews like him).

    Uncle Toms like Harvey, Clarence ThomAss, Condy Rice, Kanye, Vernon Jordan, Whoopie, Don King, and T.D. Jakes like to flatter THEYSELVES that they’ve ARRIVED by meeting with equally incompetent, lying, corrupt presidents like tRump, O’Bamma, Bushwackers, and Clintonistas. They’re all high-priced BlacKKK slaves willing to place THEYSELVES on 21st Century auction blocks to the highest bidders (including being BlacKKK bed wenches to white plantation SLAVE masters).

    • I’ve finally figured it out! My prior theory – based on the fact that the moderator never calls her out over her hateful comments — was that ZaziJams was an in-house shill designed to liven up the debate. Now, it seems more likely that s/he’s an actual White Supremacist — masquerading as a Black woman — which is the only way s/he can get away with making all these racist, anti-Black slurs, which are much more virulent against African-Americans than any other group. Eureka!

      • You are probably correct, GB, and we’re once more agreeing, but I can’t help but wish DI’s probable in-house shill was a little smarter and funnier.

  • Wake up Black folk’s/// This photo was taken on January 13,2017.
    On master plantation he always has a spook who sat by the door;
    Take the chain of your brain.

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