President Donald Trump celebrated Black History Month on Feb. 1 by praising himself and attacking the media during a meeting with African-American supporters in the White House (video below).
Trump made a brief mention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before quickly seguing into an attack on the media, notes Politico:
Last month we celebrated the life of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news, fake news...
But they said the statue, the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace. But that's the way the press is, very unfortunate.
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Trump mentioned abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, as "somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more." He also cited Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks before taking some jabs at CNN, which was broadcasting the event live.
Trump went on to say that he and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson were going to improve inner cities with more police: "We’re going to do that with law enforcement. We’re going to make it safe. We’re going to make it much better than it is right now. Right now it’s terrible."
Trump also took the opportunity to praise his election numbers among African-Americans:
If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African-American community. And after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things. We ended up getting, I won’t go into details, but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years.
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The New York Times reported that exit polls showed Trump receiving 8 percent of the African-American vote.
Trump went around the room as his African-American guests introduced themselves and praised the president.
Later during the meeting, Trump attacked the media again:
A lot of the media is actually the opposition party. They're so biased. And really it's a disgrace. Some of the media is fantastic and fair. But so much of the media is opposition party. And knowingly saying incorrect things.
So it's a very sad situation. But we seem to be doing well. It's almost like in the meantime, we won, so maybe they don't have the influence they think. But they really are, they really have to straighten out their act. They're very dishonest people
The Atlantic noted in September 2016 how Trump described inner cities where black people live as worse than "war zones in countries that we’re fighting," and how "crime is through the roof. Through the roof. People can’t walk down the street without getting shot."
Trump also said that African-American communities are "absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before," which was factually untrue given the long history of slavery and Jim Crow laws in the U.S.