Republican 2016 front runner Donald Trump held a meeting with about 100 black pastors in New York Monday, (November 30) and while he didn’t receive a blanket endorsement from everyone, Trump appeared confident about those who did come forward in support.
ABC News reports, Trump’s campaign initially promoted the meeting as an endorsement, sending out press material to outlets and concluded a press conference would be held afterward, but later canceled the conference and no media was allowed to attend.
“He’s best for not only for the country but certainly the black community,” Pastor Steve Parson, a Richmond-area minister in Virginia said. “We’re wanting to get off of welfare and we feel that can be done through the information the knowledge of a person like Donald Trump.”
Pastor Jamal Bryant of Baltimore’s The Empowerment Temple Church vehemently disagreed with his fellow clergymen who backed the 69-year-old real estate tycoon.
“They are prostituting themselves and, in essence, the black church,” Bryant said.
Bryant–who was invited to the meeting but declined the offer–questioned the intentions of some of the reverends.
“I really felt that their contingency was really selling out their vote for nothing,” said Bryant, who briefly ran for Congress as a Democrat earlier this year before calling off the bid. “We’ve heard nothing from (Trump) about bridging the gap of economic inequality, mass incarceration, public schools, trade with Africa and other issues important to the black community.”
After the meeting, which Trump described as a “beautiful thing” he also said the pastors who have endorsed him did not ask him to change his tone, which has been the source of much controversy throughout his campaign.
“I think they want to see victory because it is about we want to win and we want to win together,” he said after the meeting this afternoon.