*He may not have overwhelming support, but Donald Trump insists that he has received endorsements from “most” of the 100 black pastors he met with on Monday.
According to reports, the private gathering went on as planned at Trump Tower as the Republican presidential frontrunner voiced his thoughts on what went down.
“I thought it was an amazing meeting. I met some fantastic people,” Trump told the press following the two and a half hour meeting.
Among those standing with Trump are former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, who is now a minister, as well as pastor Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Echoing Trump’s praise for the meeting, Scott mentioned that it was a “productive” and “constructive” gathering and the group of religious leaders is a “united front.”
“We voiced concerns sensitive to the African-American community,” Scott said. “We’re all satisfied with the answers.”
Although he couldn’t provide an official count, Scott did say that there were a number of pastors who endorsed Trump. As for the undecided ministers, Trump stated that they are “praying about it.”
“Nobody at this meeting came out with negative reaction in any kind of way,” Scott said, adding that “Everybody in the room likes Donald Trump.”
Monday’s meeting may have come as a surprise for folks, in light of Trump cancelling a planned press conference where it would’ve included him highlighting endorsements from 100 black religious leaders. The cancellation resulted after several of the pastors issued denials that they were endorsing Trump for president.
Monday, after the meeting, Trump mentioned African-American unemployment as one of the issues addressed during the meeting and ended the conference emphasizing that he has made no financial commitments to any of the churches the pastors represented.
Trump’s meeting with the religious leaders marks the latest development in his continuing campaign. Since launching his bid to become president, Trump has generated headlines and taken criticism for what many deem as anti-Muslim comments and views as well as questions about an altercation between a Black Lives Matter protester and white attendees at a recent rally.
Regarding Black Lives Matter, Trump dismissed the movement, saying, “Black lives are very important, white lives are very important, and to me all lives are very important.”
The following are highlights from Trump’s mini press conference on Monday via Gawker:
On addressing charges of racism:
“I’ll think we’ll be addressing them over the coming months and even over the coming years.”
On meeting with the pastors despite rumors that it had been canceled:
“We actually didn’t think we were going to be having a press conference. But it was such a good meeting, we thought we would do that, and we had many, many endorsements coming out of the meeting.”
On how many black pastors endorsed him today:
“Some committed. The rest are praying about it.”
On Black Lives Matter:
“I don’t want to discuss that. To me, black lives are very important. White lives are very important. All lives are very important.”
On why the meeting with the black pastors ran long:
“It went longer because of the love. It didn’t go longer for other reasons. There were unbelievable solutions to problems that we will solve that other people won’t be able to solve.”
To see Trump’s interview after the meeting check out the video below: