Congressman Has One Condition Before Meeting with Trump: Steve Bannon Can’t Be Present

The only way Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York will meet with President Donald Trump is if “stone cold racist” White House adviser Steve Bannon is absent from the meeting.

During a Friday, Feb. 17, MSNBC Live interview, Jeffries demanded that Trump meet with Black lawmakers instead of Black celebrities. But he insisted that Bannon not be in the room because “he’s a stone cold racist and a white supremacist sympathizer.

“It would be hard for me to participate in any meeting with Steve Bannon that normalizes his presence in the White House,” the Brooklyn Democrat says. “Beyond that, we’ll have to see.”

In the wake of a strange Thursday, Feb. 16, presser where Trump requested that veteran White House reporter April Ryan set up a meeting with the CBC, Jeffries told MSNBC’s Katy Tur that the CBC leaders sent out a letter in January requesting a meeting with Trump, but no one from the administration responded.

He said that the administration has neglected Black people living in the suburbs and in rural areas because of its focus on inner cities.

If the president is truly interested in meeting with the CBC, Jeffries and others would like to address the broken criminal justice system. He said there also are other pressing issues that must be discussed such as creating an economy that works for everyone and fixing the Voters Rights Act.

“It was very strange, but he’s done a lot of strange things over the last 28 days, and hopefully some of his advisers have informed him that one, a letter has already been sent to him and that we’re looking forward to an open dialogue,” Jeffries says.

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