President Donald Trump reportedly not only made vulgar insults against Haiti, El Salvador and African nations during a combative immigration reform meeting last week, he also said he didn’t care about the Congressional Black Caucus’ (CBC) input, according to reports. Trump, who has declared he’s not a racist, has no regard for the thoughts of an influential group of Black politicians.
Sources cited by the Washington Post, including more than a dozen White House officials, Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers, said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) had suggested that CBC members would be more agreeable to the bipartisan deal on immigration if certain countries were included in the plan’s proposed protections.
“Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about that bloc’s demands,” according to the Post.
“’You’ve got to be joking,’ one adviser said, describing Trump’s reaction.”
Trump reportedly said he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) had been working on. He told them their proposal would not work.
The president knows exactly how to feed his base. That’s why you don’t hear Republicans complaining or even criticizing. Meanwhile, the old white man billionaire administration and its agenda keeps rolling along.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sat “stone-faced” as Trump belittled Haiti and made his “shithole” comments about African nations. Graham told Trump that “he should use different language to discuss immigration,” the Post reports.
In October, Kelly, who attributed the Civil War to the “lack of ability to compromise,” shared a false story about CBC member Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), portraying her as a grandstanding politician as he attempted to defend Trump in the wake of controversy over his phone call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson. Kelly also refused to apologize to Wilson at the request of CBC members.
Before Graham and Durbin arrived to the meeting, Kelly told Trump the proposal would probably not be good for his agenda, White House officials said.
Following reports of Trump’s vile comments at the meeting, CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said in a statement:
“President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views. It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.”
Richmond also said that months ago, Trump “committed to sign the Dream Act into law if it included enhanced border security measures. Sadly, the President has injected his racist policies into these negotiations, mainly his unreasonable demands to completely end the Diversity Visa Program. This program greatly benefits immigrants from African countries and provides an opportunity for them to achieve the American Dream.”
On his radio show Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh praised Trump for his dismissal of the CBC.
“Amen!” Limbaugh exclaimed. “This is exactly why he was elected. This is the kind of disruption that when it happens you need to recognize it as another successful day, folks. Draining the swamp. Busting it up. Changing the direction of Washington.”
State of the Union Boycott
Wilson, along with fellow CBC members Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), have said that they would not attend Trump’s State of the Union address on Jan. 30.
“At this junction, I do not plan to attend the State of the Union,” Lewis, a civil rights icon, told MSNBC’s Katy Tur on Friday.
“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself.”
Waters continues to reclaim her time.
“Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?” she said on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
“Someone who lies in the face of facts, someone who can change their tune day in and day out. What does he have to say that I would be interested in?
“I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time … listening to what he has to say,” she continued. “He does not deserve my attention.”
Wilson told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday, “The United States’ reputation is smoldering in the ashes of [Trump’s] recent racist and incendiary remarks about Haiti and African nations. Many of his proposed domestic policies are harmful to people of color, low-income communities, and the middle class. It would be an embarrassment to be seen with him at a forum that under any other president would be an honor to attend.”