New York Times journalist Charles Blow rolled his eyes at conservative Paris Dennard’s claims that all black people in Washington, D.C., do know each other.
Blow joined CNN’s Don Lemon in discussing comments President Donald Trump made Thursday during his press conference to veteran reporter April Ryan about the Congressional Black Caucus. In a previous interview, Ryan said it was unclear if Trump didn’t hear her question or didn’t know the acronym CBC. Blow wasn’t giving Trump a pass, however.
“There’s no on-the-job training for president of the United States,” Blow told Lemon. “You make a mistake as president and get criticized — you have to take that.”
Blow also noted that Trump seems to have an impulse to be defensive and diminish people when they speak.
“So, watch as she was trying to ask the question and couldn’t get it out because he wanted to be defensive and interrupt,” Blow continued. “When he’s doing that, the natural person comes out. He really does talk down to you. He was talking down to her and assuming — she must be — she’s black, she must know the other black people. ‘Go set up the meeting, if you want me to do it.’ It’s really dismissive, part of what was happening throughout entire press conference. I think that character flaw is something Americans should be worried about.”
Dennard argued that all African-Americans do know all of those members and that the CBC’s letter that they sent to Trump came to him the day before his inauguration and to the transition office. He also claimed that no one should ever ask for a meeting with the president.
Blow simply rolled his eyes. Lemon probed Dennard asking why he would ask her to set up a meeting like that. Dennard said it was because Ryan was giving him some sort of “on-the-spot treatment.”
“Isn’t a press conference an on-the-spot treatment by ever reporter?” Lemon asked Dennard.
“Forget about the tone question,” Blow said. “You’re the president of the, literally, United States. Leadership demands that you meet with people who may be critical of you. This president brought up Frederick Douglass, do you understand how Frederick Douglass treated Abraham Lincoln before they met and Lincoln had him in the White House? He called him an excellent slave hound. Frederick Douglass said this man seems to want to continuously make him look silly. Blistering critic of Lincoln, and Lincoln still invited him into the White House because he realized that Frederick Douglass had something he needed. He needed to reach out to black people, particularly the soldiers in the Civil War.”