*Looks like Donald Trump’s team didn’t get the memo on the real purpose behind his meeting with a group of prominent black pastors today, Monday (Nov. 30).
According to The Daily Beast, the ministers are disputing a press release from Trump’s campaign that mentioned how a coalition of 100 African American religious leaders will appear with the tRepublican presidential frontrunner shortly after the meeting to endorse him.
“The 100 pastors they say are endorsing Donald Trump? I don’t know where those 100 are coming from,” the Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent Baltimore AME pastor, told the Daily Beast, adding that he spoke with various pastors attending Monday’s meeting who were taken aback by Trump announcing the endorsements
“I don’t know what policy these pastors could mobilize around. I can’t find a strand of any policy he has that the larger black community would be respond to.”
Taking to Facebook, Bishop Clarence McClendon, a Los Angeles-based minister who was invited to the meeting, made it clear that his presence is in no way an endorsement of Trump.
“I am not officially endorsing ANY candidate and when I do you will NOT need to hear it from pulpitting court jesters who suffer from intellectual and spiritual myopia,” he posted in response to the release.
Since news about the endorsements surfaced, reaction has been mixed between confusion and anger, according to the Daily Beast, which cites recent polls, which reveal that Trump’s support from African Americans, has been three and 10 percent. Nevertheless, Trump has assured his supporters that he will win the black vote.
Like McClendon, Bishop Corletta Vaughn, the Senior Pastor of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith in Detroit, and prominent Atlanta pastor Bishop Paul Morton set the record straight on social media whether or not they’re endorsing Trump.
For Vaughn, she admitted that her name being included on the list of pastors meeting with Trump resulted in her inbox “blowing up with inquiries” once the endorsement release surfaced.
“Let me be clear,” she wrote on Facebook. “I was invited to attend a gathering 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.”
Morton joined those not endorsing Trump on Friday (Nov. 26) as he stated his reason for feeling as such, tweeting, “I was asked 2 meet with Mr. Trump too but I refused because until he learns how to respect people you can’t represent me thru my endorsement.”
Although it’s unknown exactly which ministers will endorse Trump, Pastor Darrell Scott has admitted that he will be at the meeting to endorse Trump. Despite organizing the gathering between Trump and the black ministers, Scott told the Daily Beast that the invite was for them to meet Trump, not endorse him.
“Some of these pastors have never even met Trump yet,” Scott said. “They told me, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready to endorse yet. I want to see him and I want hear his heart.’”
Scott goes on to mention that while there may be some pastors who will endorse Trump, there are some who may not endorse him at all. Overall, Scott, who considers himself a friend of Trump, mentioned that Trump’s message resonates with him personally and contrary to what people may think, Trump never offered him money for his endorsement, nor would he accept it.
“All of these guys are my friends and they know me,” Scott stated. “I let them know I am endorsing but that doesn’t mean you are endorsing.”
For more on the black pastors’ reaction to Trump’s endorsement press release, click here. To see coverage of the situation, check out the video below: