Black Pastors to Trump: Our Session Is Not an Endorsement


When a group of black rectors agreed to meet with Trump on Monday, they did not anticipate that meeting would turn into a de facto endorsement of the Republican frontrunner.

The majority of a group of prominent African-American ministers scheduled to meet with Donald Trump on Monday are building clear that they have stimulated no commitments to endorse the real estate magnate. Their public declarations of non-endorsement come after a press release from the Trump campaign announced a coalition of 100 African-American religious leaders will appear with the real estate mogul soon after the meeting to endorse him.

The 100 rectors they say are endorsing Donald Trump? I dont know where those 100 are coming from, told Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent AME pastor based in Baltimore.

Bishop Clarence McClendon, a Los Angeles-based pastor who was invited to the Monday meeting with clergy, posted to Facebook after the Trump campaign announced the coming endorsements.

I am not officially endorsing Potential candidates and when I do you will NOT need to hear it from pulpitting courtjesters who suffer from intellectual and spiritual myopia, he wrote.

Bishop Corletta Vaughn, the senior pastor of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith in Detroit, posted a message on Facebook after she said her inbox was blowing up with inquiries after her name was included on a list of rectors meeting Trump.

Let me be clear, she wrote. I was invited to attend a collecting of clergy to listen to Mr. Trump on Monday November 30. I respectively( Sic .) declined as I do not support nor will endorse Donald Trump.

I was asked 2 meet with Mr Trump too but I rejected because until he learns how to respect people you cant represent me thru my endorsement, Bishop Paul Morton, a prominent pastor in Atlanta tweeted on Friday.

The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about which ministers will endorse him on Monday.

In fact, of the pastors scheduled to meet with Trump earlier in the day, so far only one, Pastor Darrell Scott, has said he will attend the press conference to endorse Trump.

In an interview with The Daily Beast on Friday, Scott said that he had organized Mondays meeting between Trump and black clergy, but that his invitation was for them to meet with Trump , not to endorse him.

Some of these rectors have never even satisfied Trump yet, Scott told. They told me, I dont know if Im ready to endorse yet. I want to see him and I want hear his heart.

Some might not endorse Monday, he told. Some might not endorse at all.

All of these guys are my friends and they know me, he told. I let them know I am endorsing, but that doesnt mean you are endorsing.

The Trump camps own proclamation that 100 black ministers will endorse Trump has been greeted in the black faith community with a combination of embarrassment and fury, particularly after a week in which Trump has mocked a New York Times reporter with a disability, suggested that a black protester who was kicked and punched at a Trump rally in Alabama deserved it, and when Trump himself has suggested Muslims be surveilled at certain mosques.

Recent polls show Trump getting between 3 and 10 percent support from African Americans. Trump has assured his mob he will win the black vote.

The 100 rectors they say are endorsing Donald Trump? I dont know where those 100 are coming from, told Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent AME pastor based in Baltimore. Bryant, who earlier this year work for Congress as a Democrat, said he had spoken with a number of the pastors attending the Monday meeting who were taken aback by the Trump announcement about the endorsements. I dont know what policy these rectors could mobilize around. I cant find a strand of any policy he has that the larger black community would be respond to.

Bryant said that he discoveries Trumps larger message to minorities to be disturbing and troubling. Its a cross between Archie Bunker and reality television, Bryant told. Its frightening and unnerving that the Republicans would be at this phase with him as their frontrunner.

Bishop Wiley Jackson, the founder of the Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral in Atlanta, called Bryants comments a serious accusation” and emphasized he was not going to New York to endorse Trump.

I want to address an upcoming meeting , now Pastor Jamal Bryant, made an assumption from a flyernow I was asked to be of a coalition of African-American rectors, who were to meet with the presidential nominee Donald Trump by a friend , nowhere on the flyer does it mention an endorsement of Mr. Trump or any candidate for that are important, he said in a video on his YouTube page.

Bishop George G. Bloomer, senior pastor of Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, North Carolina, in a press release on Friday blamed marketing by the Trump campaign to cause people to jump to the wrong conclusion.

I have never publically endorsed a presidential nominee in the past, and it is unlikely I will do so in the future, he said.

Dr. Cindy Trimm, a motivational speaker and writer based in Georgia, corroborated she was attending the meeting in a Facebook post on Saturday but emphasized was not going to endorse anyone.

I have not yet endorsed any candidate for the presidency of the United States. I am attending this meeting for a greater causeunity, she wrote.

Orrin Pullings Sr ., presiding pastor of the United Nations International Church Fellowship, also took to Facebook to declare he wasnt heading toward Trump Towers to endorse the mogul.

A local NBC News Crew simply left my office inquiring about the Donald Trump Pastors meeting that will be held this Monday in New York City, he wrote Saturday. I made it clear to them that this meeting is NOT a TRUMP ENDORSEMENT, instead an opportunity to express my communitys issues and concerns in America.

In response to a question from The Daily Beasts Goldie Taylor on Twitter, Bishop Victor Couzens, an Ohio-based pastor, tweeted he was meeting with Trump for the same reason early leaders met with oppressive voices. We can’t speak to the narrative from outside the room.

He afterward tweeted, politically nothing depicts him to Trump He sets people down. He’s vague with his policies. Not substantive.

Still, Scott said he expected there would be a number of rectors endorsing Trump, but did not know who or how many. He described his own reasons for endorsing Trump as personal, political, and spiritual.

He considers Trump a friend and said that his message resonates with him personally. Scott also said that Trump has never offered him fund, as many have suggested , nor would he accept it.

If God raises up somebody who can speak the word of God to Trump who he will listen to, and God feels I can help provide an boulevard for him to have a dialog with African Americans, then I espouse that posture, Scott told. If that does happen, its God that did it.

Contributing: Jackie Kucinich and Goldie Taylor

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