After fiercely defending his sit-down with Donald Trump earlier this year, Steve Harvey is admitting the harsh backlash took a toll on him.
“It was so vicious that it really threw me,” Harvey confessed to The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday, Sept. 5. “I was being called names that I’ve never been called: Uncle Tom. A coon. A sellout. Because I went to see this man?! Which only happened because my business partner got a call from the Obama transition team, who said that the Trump transition team would like to set up a meeting.”
Harvey was famously photographed shaking hands with the newly sworn-in president at Trump Tower in January, describing their discussions as “really cool.” He soon faced a wave of criticism and told listeners on his radio show that “a lot of y’all hurt me.”
Steve Harvey’s Wild Ride with Trump
On his meeting with Trump, Harvey said he told the president he had lots of connections to American cities like Detroit and Chicago. Using that network, Harvey explained he could help Department of Housing and Urban Development head Ben Carson get an idea of the needs of such cities.
“‘Y’all keep closing schools in the cities,” he told Trump. “‘Why don’t we take those schools that are closing, put some HUD money in them, and reopen them as vision centers and teach STEM and computers and coding? If you connect me with Ben Carson, I can help him with that.”‘
Since speaking to Carson, Harvey said he’s visited HUD twice and is now starting to get the ball rolling on the vision centers, with hopes to make an announcement about the first one by the end of the year.
As for his relationship with Trump, he’s been giving the comedian the silent treatment.
“I haven’t talked to him since,” Harvey said.