A hostile press pounced on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump after his announcement that he will meet with black religious leaders on Monday, but Trump isn’t taking the bait.
On Friday, the Trump campaign announced that their candidate would gain the endorsement of “100 African-American Evangelical pastors and religious leaders” on Monday. The billionaire was to meet with the leaders, then hold a 1 p.m. press conference, before heading to Georgia for an evening rally.
After Britain-based liberal newspaper The Telegraph, along with CNN publicized remarks from some pastors who backed off the “endorsement” claim, the campaign decided to forego what would likely have been a rocky press event, but Trump is still meeting with the leaders at the Trump Tower.
Will be meeting on Monday at Trump Tower with a large group of African American Pastors. Many I know-wonderful people! Not a press event.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2015
Leaders such as Bishop Clarence McClendon spoke out angrily after refusing Trump’s invitation.
“I am not officially endorsing ANY candidate and when I do you will NOT need to hear it from pulpitting courtjesters who suffer from intellectual and spiritual myopia,” he posted on Facebook.
Bishop Coletta Vaughn, senior pastor of Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith (and featured in Oxygen network’s reality show “Preachers of Detroit”), tweeted that she was never contacted before her name was used. Vaughn also announced she would not meet with Trump.
“On Monday, Mr. Trump will host an informational meet and greet with many members of the Coalition of African American Ministers. This is not a press event, but a private meeting, after which, a number of attendees are expected to endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign for President,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Sunday.
In business, and in politics, Trump gets that it’s important to simply move on. After all, presidential candidates don’t work for the press, or for the approval of a small group of leaders in the African-American community. There is no shortage of supporters who stand behind their man, and candidate Trump keeps his eye on the people.
After my meeting with the pastors, it’s off to Georgia for a big rally – many thousands of great people will be there, a beautiful movement! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2015
@realDonaldTrump fed up with MSM lies & deceit. They love talking about you for ratings & RT’s but twist words & take negative spins
— jennifer (@jenilynn1001) November 29, 2015