- Carlo Allegri/Reuters
The Congressional Black Caucus will reportedly reject an offer to meet with President Donald Trump.
Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on The Apprentice and now White House aide, extended an invitation last week to each of the 49 members of the group, of which Politico published a copy on Wednesday.
“As requested by the President, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” the invitation read.
Manigault signed the invitation “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault” which members of the CBC told Politico irked them as they felt “she hasn’t earned that title.”
The “Honorable” title is normally used to refer to sitting members of Congress, Cabinet officials, and federal judges, though it’s not commonly used to refer to White House aides, The Washington Post reports.
The CBC met with Trump in March, though sources close to the group told Politico that the meeting would just be a photo opportunity, rather than a constructive dialogue.
“No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” a Democratic aide said.
Manigault, whose official title is the Director of Public Communication in the Office of the Public Liaison, has been tasked with helping the White House reach out to black communities and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
But members of the CBC said she’s done little to raise their issues with Trump, especially after Trump’s budget proposal didn’t include additional funding for historically black colleges and universities.
The CBC responds
The CBC’s chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond, wrote a letter addressed to Trump on Wednesday rejecting Manigault’s invitation, after an earlier meeting with Trump in March proved not to be constructive.
“We took advantage of every opportunity to educate you on the needs of the Black community and provide you with the information and solutions necessary to act on them in good faith,” Richmond said. “Through an objective assessment, we have seen no evidence that your Administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt Black communities.”
“It has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be entirely productive,” Richmond added, saying that the CBC’s concerns have fallen on “deaf ears” in the White House.
He further listed eight letters the CBC has written Trump calling for action on issues ranging from the Republican’s Obamacare repeal bill to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ review of Justice Department consent decrees, which Richmond said has fallen on “deaf ears” in the White House.
“The CBC, and the millions we represent have a lot to lose under your Administration,” Richmond said.
Here’s the CBC’s full letter responding to Manigault’s invitation:
Congressional Black Caucus declines meeting with Trump pic.twitter.com/GLB1jwEtMp
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 21, 2017