Trump and black pastors disagree on what happened in their meeting, but Trump said there was “love.”
It appeared at first to be an effective counterpoint to the perception of The Donald as intolerant: a large number of black religious leaders and ministers would endorse the Republican Presidential hopeful at his Manhattan offices. There they would vouch for Donald Trump's broad-mindedness and sensitivity.
This all changed after a few hours of this announcement when words said were backtracked and denied. Finger pointing ruled the roost. Black pastors pressed Trump to explain his racially charged rhetoric, the meeting occasionally becoming tense as the attendees brought up their misgivings concerning his blunt language.
A few hours later, the so called declaration of support gleaned from African Americans appeared to crumble as they insisted that they had never consented to back or attend Trump. The end result was that his political debut with African American leaders was remolded to a private meeting which played down any talk of endorsements.
For The Donald, he emerged from the meeting with the black pastors by dismissing any criticism from African American communities alleging that he is spouting racist rhetoric. Trump told reporters that he saw love in the room and sees love wherever he visits. Surrounded by a number of black leaders who supported his candidacy, he claimed that the meeting was attended by more than 100 people and added that he expected a number of additional endorsements as well.
Trump described the meeting as amazing and he claimed the meeting went on much longer as there was love. The billionaire also told media that he did not commit to any kind of financial contributions to churches that were represented by black leaders who attended the meeting.
Darrell Scott, who organized the meeting, claimed that a formal endorsement is coming soon. He claimed that history was made by the meeting when African-American community leaders voiced their concerns about sensitive topics. He added that the black members were satisfied with Trump's answers.
Another supportive attendee is the controversial Pastor James David Manning, who last year claimed Starbucks was selling drinks with the “semen of sodomites” in them. Earlier this year, he used his church’s billboard to display anti-gay messages like “Cursed be thou with cancer, HIV, syphilis, stroke and madness.”
Of Trump, Manning said, "He is truthful – forget about him not being politically correct. He loves America, I believe that he does."
I hope Donald Trump doesn't think that just because he met with black pastors that black people are voting for him.
— Ᏸecca (@MJStarLover) November 30, 2015
However, not everybody present in the meeting completely agreed with Trump's description of the event. One attendee, Bishop Victor Couzens, told the media that the meeting was quite smaller and also more critical than what was described by the candidate. He asserted that a bulk of the time was spent in discussing the campaign's overall tone. Couzens reportedly asked Trump that the latter should apologize and he must repent.