Fact check: No, African Americans are not happy with Trump

Wednesday, 31 Jul, 2019

Reverend Bill Owens, leader of the Coalition of African-American Pastors and a former participant of the Civil Rights Movement, has told reporters that he doesn't believe President Trump is racist after meeting him at the White House together with almost two dozen inner city ministers on Monday.

The president followed this bold gambit by claiming that "the African-American community" has been calling the White House nonstop for attacking Cummings and trashing Baltimore.

Just weeks after the president suggested four minority congresswomen should "go back" to where they came from, he has now suggested that Baltimore, the home city of representative Elijah Cummings, is "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" and "the worst run and most risky [district] anywhere in the United States". They really appreciate what I'm doing and they've let me know it. Calling me a troublemaker?

Asked Tuesday whether his attacks on Cummings and other minority members in Congress were part of a larger reelection strategy, Trump demurred. "I'm not angry at anybody", Trump responded.

Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday defended the president, saying the tweets against Cummings were not racist. "Mr. President, come on down".

"Folks want to talk to you. Put the tweet down brother, and show up".

Trump's advisers have concluded that the overall message sent by such attacks is good for the president among his political base - resonating strongly with the white working-class voters he needs to win reelection in 2020. "I think, if we put aside partisanship with investigations, we can find bipartisan solutions that will benefit not only Chairman Cummings' district but the country as a whole". "So, he's not a racist, absolutely is not", she continued, "and the programs that he has moved forward, the higher job market is helping African Americans".

Like in his 2016 campaign, Mr Trump has made race a front and centre topic while Democrats are also grappling with the issue, as they seek to select a 2020 presidential nominee from almost two dozen candidates, including several racial minorities and women. Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

Trump, who has not visited Baltimore as president, said he will visit the city at the "right time".

And in a rare interruption of a presidential speech, a Virginia state lawmaker heckled Trump and held up a sign reading "Deport hate" and "Go back to your corrupted home". "He doesn't have a policy agenda".

Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young on Monday said Trump should take action to help USA cities. On Tuesday, the president told reporters on the White House South Lawn that residents of Baltimore are "living in hell".