Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.) said Friday he was "pleased" that President Donald Trump did not ask a black reporter to "sweep and mop" the floor in the room where his press conference took place the prior day.
April Ryan, an African-American reporter and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, asked Trump on Thursday if he would include the Congressional Black Caucus in conversations regarding his plan to help rebuild inner cities. Trump responded by telling her to set up the meeting.
"I'll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?" he said. "Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?"
The president also called Ryan's question "very professional and very good" and touted the support he received from the African-American community during the election.
Cleaver described Trump's behavior during the exchange as "disrespectful" on MSNBC.
"I'm also really pleased that he didn't ask her to sweep and mop in the, uh, in the room where the press conference was being held," Cleaver said, appearing to suggest that Trump looked at Ryan as inferior.
Host Craig Melvin looked down at his desk but did not ask Cleaver about his comment. Instead, Melvin cited Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.), who also characterized Trump during the exchange as "disrespectful."
Melvin then suggested that Trump had a problem relating to minorities.
"What is it about this administration and its relationship with not just black voters and hispanic voters but minority voters in general?" Melvin asked.
He then reminded viewers of when Trump told reporter Jake Turx for Ami Magazine, an Orthodox Jewish weekly based in Brooklyn, to sit down during Thursday's press conference after Turx asked the president how he plans to address rising anti-Semitism in the country.
"So here's the story, folks," Trump said after cutting off Turx. "No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism, the least racist person."
Published under: Donald Trump