The President: Well, thank you very much.
We're with friends of mine and members of the African
American community, and we're going to be talking
about law enforcement, education, business,
health, and various other things.
As you know, tomorrow, we're going to Dallas.
We're going to start our rallies back up now.
We've had a tremendous run at rallies.
I don't think there's been an empty seat in -- since
we came down in the escalator with the First Lady.
That was with the future First Lady, at that point.
It's been an amazing thing to behold.
And we're going to be starting our rallies.
The first one, we believe, will be probably -- we're
just starting to call up -- will be in Oklahoma --
in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A beautiful, new venue -- brand-new.
And we're looking forward to it.
They've done a great job with COVID, as you know,
in the state of Oklahoma.
We're going to be coming into Florida -- do a big
one in Florida, a big one in Texas.
They're all going to be big.
We're going to Arizona.
We're going to North Carolina at the
The governor is a little backward there.
He's a little bit behind.
And unfortunately, we're going to probably be
having no choice but to move the Republican
Convention to another location.
That'll be announced shortly.
But we'll have no choice.
We wanted to stay in North Carolina very badly.
We love it.
It's a great state.
A state I won.
Many, many friends.
Many relatives, frankly, that live there.
And we'll see how it all works out, but the
governor doesn't want to give an inch.
And what he's lo- -- doing is losing hundreds of
millions of dollars for his state.
But we'll probably have no other recourse but to move
it to another state.
We have a lot of states that want it: Texas,
We have many, many states that want it.
But we've given them everything we can -- North
Carolina, a special place -- but I think we're going
to probably end up giving you an announcement pretty
We are doing well in so many ways.
You see what's going on with Nasdaq; we just broke
another record yesterday.
Some good news came out of the Federal Reserve today,
I think -- some very good news.
We're really doing a financial comeback.
The jobs numbers were fantastic.
Now, we'll have some other job numbers come up over
the next few weeks, and we'll see how that goes.
But I think it's really good, and we're on our way
to a very big comeback.
I'd like to ask some of the folks that I'm with
today to say a few words.
They've been really supporters and friends of
They understand life.
They understand, I think, the black community better
than anybody I know.
And I will tell you, Ben Carson is an example of
exactly what I'm talking about.
He's been my friend from the first day we met, I
Secretary Carson: Yeah.
The President: And we met -- we were opponents, but
we were never really opponents.
Ben is a very exceptional guy.
He's done a fantastic job at HUD.
But I'd like to maybe start with Ben to say a
couple of words, and go to Darrell and the rest of
Let's say a few words to the press, if you would,
Secretary Carson: Thank you, Mr. President.
We're here obviously to talk about some of the
concerns in the black community that have risen
to a point that, you know, people all around the
world are making their voices heard.
This is an opportune time to do something about it
because this administration has already
established a record of actually solving problems
-- problems that other people just talk about and
then talk about for many years.
And I am delighted, Mr. President, that you
have made it a priority to solve this problem.
And we're all going to be helping with that process.
There are many others out there -- people of
You know, there are some who just wait for anything
to criticize it, but there are actually some people
who actually want to see a solution.
And I've had a chance to talk to many of them.
We'll continue to do that -- put forward the kinds
of programs that actually get people out of poverty,
not things that just keep people stable in poverty
and happy in poverty.
We want to change that whole dynamic.
And I think some of the things that have already
been done, we will get back to those quickly.
You know, this was an intentional stopping of
the economy -- of an amazing economy.
The fundamentals of that economy are still in
We will recoup that and we will move further on.
And your philosophy, of course, has been that a
rising tide floats all boats.
And that's why you don't spend a lot of time with
We want everybody to be successful.
The President: That's right.
Secretary Carson: And we're going to do
everything we can to help you do that.
The President: Well, as I've been saying, Ben, I
think that the economy will be -- next year, will
be maybe the best it's ever been.
You can already see it with the stock market, how
it's been going up, because you have a lot of
smart people that are betting on exactly what
The stock market is almost as high as it was prior to
the plague floating in from China.
It was a plague that floated in from China.
Now they're learning that it may have been much
earlier, which bears out exactly what I've been
You saw that word yesterday -- that it may
have come in a lot sooner than we were told.
A friend of mine is Darrell Scott.
And he's a great guy and he's got a tremendous
At the same time, he's a tough cookie.
I think that's what maybe attracted me to him,
I didn't get attracted to the good parts, but that's
a good part, too.
(laughter) Darrell, say a few words, please.
Pastor Scott: We're here today -- and thank you,
Mr. President, for allowing us to come -- our
nation is at a juncture where we're facing another
challenge, but this administration has become
used to challenges.
It's been one challenge after another.
And we've pressed pause, but we're ready to press
play now and continue in the positive initiatives
regarding the black community.
You know, Mr. Trump called me in November of 2016,
right after the election, right after he won.
And he said to me, "What do you want?"
And I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "Well, I mean, you've been working real
Is there anything that you want?"
And I said, "I want to be a liaison from the black
community to the Trump administration and a
liaison to the black community from the Trump
Since then, we've worked on criminal justice
reform, we've worked on urban revitalization,
prison reform, a number of initiatives that are --
HBCUs -- a number of initiatives that are
proactive towards the black community.
And here we are now, and we're facing another
challenge, and we're going to come up with some great
solutions to these problems that are
confronting this country.
And I'm just glad to have a seat at the table and to
have my input received.
The President: Well, your input has been very
Pastor Scott: Thank you.
The President: You know that.
And it is true: I've known Darrell a long time.
He didn't want anything.
What he wanted was just to have a voice so he can
make certain positions known.
And he's done that very well -- better than
anybody I can think of.
Another great voice in the black community is Wayne.
Wayne, you've been my friend for a long time.
His show is a phenomena.
It's a great success.
And people listen, and they respect what you have
Go ahead, please.
Mr. Dupree: Well, my name is Wayne Dupree.
I met President Trump when he was a businessman.
As a matter of fact, he -- he's given me five
interviews: two of them in person, three on the
And when you're talking about somebody who is not
with the mainstream media -- somebody who just has a
small voice but has a desire to make changes
with his voice -- to reach out to a billionaire in
New York, and without hesitation, he gave me
And I think he's a natural leader.
And I -- I mean, honestly, I have supported him ever
since he decided to run for President.
As a matter of fact, we interviewed him the month
before he came down the escalator, and he said,
"Well, Wayne, you know, we're going to have a big
announcement next month."
And I said, "Well, you know, you can do it here
on the show if you really want to."
(laughter) But, I mean, I'm glad that he has
changed things here in D.C. I just -- but my
daughters and my son and my family, they want to
see a lot more positive things coming from the
They -- they want to see your leadership, and they
also want to see things change for the better in
I know you can do it.
I know you can do it.
The President: We'll do it.
We'll do it, Wayne.
Go ahead, please.
Mr. Jackson: My name is Raynard Jackson.
And thank you, Mr. President; thank you,
Darrell, for inviting us to this roundtable here.
I'm from St. Louis originally, and live in
But what I'd like to say to you, Mr. President, is
kind of off the beaten path.
I'd like to say to all the media assembled here that
I wish they would quit lying about what you've
done, specifically for the black community.
So you got radical liberal journalists, like Joy Reid
from MSNBC, Don Lemon from CNN, Roland Martin, who
are putting more poison into the black community
than any drug dealer, who are killing more black
folks than any white person with a sheet over
How are they doing it?
Spreading these lies about the economy you had,
Mr. President, before the virus, was the
continuation of Obama.
That's just factually not true.
I have a degree in accounting.
I keep up with the economy.
So to all these folks on MSNBC, CNN, Roland Martin:
Are you afraid to have real black Republicans who
know what the hell they're talking about?
If you want to know the truth, if you want us to
dissect the Obama economy, let's do it.
And I think, Mr. President, your record
would win the debate.
The President: Thank you very much.
And, you know, it's interesting you say that,
but you go down the list of criminal justice reform
and all of the things we've done -- Opportunity
Zones; the best unemployment rate in the
history, just before the plague came in.
And it's going to be back again soon.
I think it's going to be back again, a lot sooner
than people think.
I think last week was a reflection of that -- the
But you look at all of the things we've done.
We've now worked on prison reform -- so important --
and so many other things.
But when you look at the economics, when you look
at how well the black community has been doing
under this administration, nobody has done anything
like we've done.
And a big thing is criminal justice reform.
I keep hearing about, "Oh, criminal justice reform,"
and everyone is trying to take the credit.
And that one, I will say, we will take the full
credit because they couldn't have done it
And I'm not sure, frankly, that the previous
They may have, but they certainly couldn't get it
And the people that came into my office really --
really asking very nicely for help.
These people that are supporters of mine.
But once we got it, they took the full credit for
themselves, and that's okay too.
But we got done criminal justice reform and all of
the other things.
I think that one of the -- one of the elements that
people aren't talking about are the Opportunity
Zones that we did with a great senator.
Your friend from South Carolina, right?
We did it with Tim.
And it was his idea.
And it was a big idea, it was a bold idea, and it's
worked much better than at our wild -- in our wildest
dreams, we couldn't have thought that that was
going to happen.
So we did many, many things, and we're going to
continue to do many things.
One of the elements that I talk about is -- and I was
telling this to Darrell before -- that 42, 44
people would come to see me every year: the heads
of the historically black colleges and universities.
And they would come up here, and I got to
actually know them.
And the first year they came, I thought it was a
They were asking for a lot of money, which they were
having a hard time getting from previous
administrations, and we got it for them.
The next year they came back, I said, "Oh, what
are you guys back for?"
He said, "Well, we want the money again."
I said, "Aren't we working long-term deals?"
And you got the money.
And then the third time, I said, "I see.
So they made you for years -- many years -- for
decades, they had to come back, keep coming back,
keep coming back.
Not like a lot of others.
"Will they get it?"
And they kept coming back and asking for money.
And I said, "What's this all about?
Why do you have to come every year?
Why don't we make a longer-term deal?"
And we made, I think, a 10-year deal.
And they were all funded up, and they were all set.
And that's historically black colleges and
And they play a tremendous function.
I got to be friendly with some of them.
I won't tell you what some of them said -- how bad it
was about the past administration and past
But they were treated very, very badly, and I
treated them very good.
So they don't have to come back.
I said, "The only bad thing is I won't see you
people anymore, maybe for a long time."
(laughter) And they were okay with that.
You know, they can -- now they can focus on what
they really do, which is education.
So we've done a lot for the black community, and
we've done a lot for all communities.
And it's a great honor to have you folks with us.
And thank you very much.
Did you have anything to say, by the way, fellas?
Please, go ahead.
Ms. Johnson: So, my name is Sonnie Johnson.
I'm the host of "Sonnie's Corner."
I am probably the most Trump-ish out of everybody
in this room, so you're -- you're going to have to
The black community is not doing okay.
Like, I understand the perspective and the desire
to put out this talking point, but it's not.
And I can do it in a simplistic way of just
saying: What are the first things you did when you
first came into the presidency?
The very first things you did was, like, remove
regulation and taxation at high levels.
Think about the black community that has been
under Democratic rule, progressive rule for 60 years.
How many rules, how many regulations, how many
different forms of taxation are on the books
in those areas that are preventing our communities
from actually being able to see sustainable growth
that we can keep and get ourselves out of this
(inaudible) of generational poverty?
We are not okay when it comes to thing like
education because we are not able to get quality
choice into our communities because we
don't have any position or power within our school
boards to be able fight for those things, and not
just to get charters in, but to also bring some
kind of reformation to the public school system as it
So, yes, as well as criminal justice reform,
and a lot of other things, as well as health and
things we can put down on the list.
All of these things have been under Democratic
control for 60 years.
And they are not going to change until you -- we
have a Republican Party that is willing to go into
these communities and actually offer a choice to
these people about how we can do things differently.
Because the way it is structured now, the only
choice that we get is "left" or either "further
left," and we're not getting the opportunity to
actually vote on what we look at as "conservatism,"
The very basic economic principles that we, on the
right, say are significant in our success and seeing
the success in our country -- those are not being
offered at the local level in black communities.
So, basically, we're asking to grow out of
concrete because we don't have the fertile soil in
these areas to make everything flourish and
bloom the way my generation would like to
So I think the numbers and statistics about my
generation are not going to be out for 20 years.
You're not going to see that we have started to
change the dynamic within families, we have started
to change the dynamic within marriage, we have
started to change a lot of the negative dynamics that
are still brought up in statistics today,
Our generation is working on making sure those
And nobody looks at us and sees the power we have to
be effective in making change, this generation,
and not just waiting for the next layer of
statistics to come out.
So until we can actually get honest dialogue, on
the right, out into the ether, then you're going
to keep on having, you know, the fake-news media
spread lies because we aren't there giving
another choice as to how these things can be done.
And it's going to continue to go left if we aren't
there, given an option to make it go right.
And that's, like, the biggest thing that we are
having trouble with on the right, is, like,
understanding how government works.
We are a republic.
That means local government has the most
power over citizens' lives, as well as how to
take that and put it into a cohesive message that
can be spread to the black community that will
already engage upon what we already know.
And we looked at, like, the photos of you before
you became President.
And you were taking pictures with Snoop, and
you taking pictures with all of the icons of hip
You did that, I think -- and you can tell me if I'm
wrong -- but you did that because you saw
capitalists, you saw branders, you saw
You saw people that were willing to take a chance
and make things grow.
That is -- that is us.
That is the black community.
And I would like to see a challenge from you to see
how many in the black community can put their
names on the side of a building coming out of
If we're really going to reshape and reform the way
that we do this, issue that challenge, because
that's what we need more now than ever.
And we need it to be focused and centric on the
black community, not into letting people come in and
gentrify areas that are traditionally ours.
The President: And you don't need closed police
Ms. Johnson: No.
The President: Do you agree with that?
Ms. Johnson: No, we -- we need the police.
But if you take a take a (inaudible), if you take a
look at what happened in Ferguson -- because
Ferguson is, like, where Black Lives Matter really
I ain't going to say it was born because, you
know, people will fight about that.
But if you go back and you look at Ferguson, the DOJ
did a report on Ferguson, and what came out of that
report was that the mayor's office was using
the police force as a taxation unit.
So they were forcing interactions between
police and the citizens as a way for them to raise
money and bring money into the mayor's office.
That was causing over-policing.
So it is not the fault of the police, nor is a part
-- the fault of the citizenry what the
legislator and the executive branches of city
government are putting -- are putting into
The President: Very good.
Well -- well stated.
Wayne, what do you think?
Mr. Dupree: (Inaudible.) The President: I think a
very good job.
Thank you, Sonnie.
Fellas, go ahead.
Mr. Smith: Well, you know, she -- she said a lot of
the things that -- (laughter) --
The President: She said a lot.
(laughter) Mr. Smith: -- I don't know if I can say it
any better than that, but just that a lot of these
things are systemic.
I think what we've done, through your leadership,
is start to break down that system and fight back.
You know, Opportunity Zones, HBCUs, criminal
justice reform, those are reversing some systemic issues.
And -- and through your leadership now, we're
looking at other layers of that, because we just saw
what's -- what COVID shined a spotlight on: on
access to capital.
It shined a spotlight on health disparities.
And then, recently, with the -- the protest, how
can we create better police and community relations.
But one thing we've -- we've done over the last
couple of weeks is listen to individuals, and now we
And those are things we're going to continue to work
through as an administration, because
it's about results.
And I think a lot of people are leaning on you
because you're result-oriented.
It's not about just us talking here; it's about
what we're going to produce out of this meeting.
Mr. Dupree: And you know what?
That's the thing: A lot of people that listen to the
show, or calling on the show, they want to see
If you go into the black community and you tell --
tell people a type of statistics, they go, "Oh,
okay -- yeah, great."
But if you show ground-moving,
ground-shaking, things -- things growing up from the
bottom, you know, that -- those Opportunity Zones,
or more jobs -- or more jobs than what they are
right now -- but if you start showing those things
and, you know, a little friendly drive-through,
"Hey, President Trump here," they -- believe me,
there are many people that are on these online boards
and, like I said, the call-ins and whatnot --
they do support President Trump.
They know what happened in the -- in the Obama administration.
They know what you're doing.
They also see what the media is doing to you.
So don't think that you are alone.
It's just that they need to hear more from you.
The President: I agree with that.
It's the only way you get through the media because
the media is almost 100 percent negative.
Ms. Johnson: But that's not the only thing that's
impeding the progress of the legislation that you
So let's take Opportunity Zones: If the Opportunity
-- Opportunity Zones pass from a federal level, they
then go down to the state and then are allocated on
a local level.
So for us as black people to actually access the
Opportunity Zones, I have to go talk to Democrats.
And I have to be willing to do what they want to do
under their agenda, how they want it done, for me
to be able to have access to the Opportunity fund --
Opportunity Zone funds.
So that's where, when you see in our communities,
instead of getting young blacks to invest and
become entrepreneurs and become owners, you're
getting gentrification, because outside forces
with more money and connections to these
Democrats are able to come in and get this money a
lot faster than the black people that it was
actually intended to help.
And so you're seeing this changing of our community,
where at no point in time are we allowed in the
process to become a part of it and maybe be the
innovators of what the future could look like.
Because that is what you really have coming out of
a black community: a desire to be an innovating
force about what our communities look like in
the future, where we have been handed policy or we
have been handed government for so long,
and now you now have a population that says we
want to use the government as a republic, localized
government to invent what our -- reinvent what our
communities look like.
And, yes, it will include police.
It will include schools.
It will include all the necessity of civilization,
but it will also include more investment,
ownership, and entrepreneurship from the
citizens in those communities.
Secretary Carson: You'll be happy to know that this
administration has recognized that problem.
The community development, financial institutions,
the credit unions, the local banks have been
excluded from a lot of the dissemination of the funds
That's been recognized -- The President: That's
Secretary Carson: -- and is in the process of being
corrected right now.
The President: Okay.
Ms. Johnson: And that goes a long way.
Mr. Lanier: Mr. President, you've been nothing short
of historic for black America.
I don't say that because I have to, because I can say
whatever I want to say as a free citizen here in the
You've been nothing short of historical.
Criminal justice reform was historical.
We were getting locked up at unprecedented rates.
You undid the 1994 crime bill, and we are forever
thankful for that.
Even the Opportunity Zones, we can be critical
of a lot of things, but the Opportunity Zones --
incentivizing people that have money to put the
money where we needed most, which are in these
urban and rural neighborhoods.
The whole -- I can go down thing after thing.
The current issue that we're having right now is
police reform, which is so much needed.
We did criminal justice reform, but police reform
is the gateway to what we see as an unjust criminal
justice system sometimes.
Meaning, if a crooked cop, doesn't do a terrible,
corrupt thing with an individual, we never get
into that bad system.
This administration has been marred by a crooked
cop like James Comey, and others going after you,
and creating -- creating things that just were not
The impeachment was -- it was -- it's just not real,
but they can do that.
And our community has been affected by that in a way
that it's hard to explain.
I tell people this all the time, this whole situation
with this policing, it's not new to black people.
We've been used to it.
As a kid, I got harassed by the police all the time
and I was a good -- I was -- I think I was a good
(laughter) But it was a part of -- it's a part of
And so we do need some things to happen on the
police-reform side, which will connect with the
great things you've already done historically
with criminal justice reform.
And we know that you're the President to get it
We know that we need some banking reform so that we
can get more access to capital.
We do also understand that we need some holistic
approaches to create this ecosystem.
Voting rights: Blacks have to go to get voting rights
every 25 years or something.
These are things that are historic, and we believe
that you are the President to get these things done
for the black -- the black community.
You've done some great things for us already, and
we're relying on you, and we appreciate everything
you've done, Mr. President.
You've been amazing.
The President: Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Lanier: You're welcome.
The President: That's beautiful.
Your friend, right?
Pastor Scott: Yeah.
The President: He's a good -- he's a good man, too.
For a long time we're known him.
Okay, thank you all very much.
And we'll see you tomorrow.
We'll see you tomorrow in Dallas.