Trump's Black History Month Discussion Turned Weird Fast
During an event formally touted as the "African American History Month listening session," the president sat in a room filled with notable black supporters, and praised notable icons in black history.
But he also did so while calling out media organizations, in a during a 10-minute photo op that was filled with questionable statements.
Here are the most notable of them:
Reading from a prepared statement, President Trump started off talking about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said,
Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history.
Then, he looked up from his paper, and veered off into rant about fake news, saying,
You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. It turned out that that was fake news. Fake news... But they said the statue, the bust of Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that's the way the press is. Very unfortunate.
What Trump is referring to is a report from a Time reporter that was retracted within minutes and apologized for. It's worth noting Trump's press secretary accepted the apology.
It's also worth noting this literally has nothing to do with Black History Month.
Frederick Douglass getting "recognized more."
Trump singled out Frederick Douglass for praise.
I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed.
The manner in which he did it -- saying that a man who died in the 19th century is getting "recognized more" all of the sudden -- was odd, which really begs the question:
Not entirely sure the answer is yes.
Calling CNN "fake news"
While noting the presence of Paris Dennard, a Trump supporter who contributes for CNN, the president added a caveat.
But I don't watch CNN, so I don't get to see you as much as I used to. I don't like watching fake news.
Here's it's worth pointing out that Trump began calling CNN "fake news" after they reported that the nation's intelligence officials had been discussing possibility that Russia could have dirt on Trump.
And then Joe Biden confirmed CNN's report was true.
So much for "fake news."
This, too, had nothing to do with Black History Month.
But he thanked Fox News.
But Fox has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.
For their "fair and balanced" coverage, one would presume.
This also had nothing to do with Black History Month.
And, apparently, gang members in Chicago want to work with Trump.
The strangest part of the meeting? When a pastor told Trump he'd been contacted by "top gang thugs" who want to work with the administration and have more faith in this president than Obama.
At a #BHM event, @PastorDScott tells Trump some "top gang thugs" from Chicago want to work together with the president. pic.twitter.com/xM9CtDMe5b — Joseph Milord (@JoeMilord) February 1, 2017
Strange times man.
But while Trump went out of his way to create unnecessary headlines, here's what's actually most important among things he said.
We're gonna need better schools and we need them soon. We need more jobs, we need better wages, a lot better wages. We're gonna work very hard on the inner city. Ben is gonna be doing that, big league.
I'd be lying to you if I said there's any reason to believe Donald Trump and Ben Carson would do that. And I'd also be lying if I didn't point out there are notable signs to suggest the contrary will happen.
But for the love of God, I hope he delivers on that promise.