Multibillionaire, former reality star and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump met with a group of Black pastors to discuss his oft-controversial approach to addressing civil rights issues.
ThinkProgress reports that Trump sat down with an estimated 50 Black pastors, including The Apprentice star-turned-minister Omarosa Manigault, yesterday afternoon in a meeting that he described as “amazing.”
“I thought it was an amazing meeting,” Trump told reporters. “The beautiful thing [was] that they didn’t really ask me to change the tone. I think they really want to see victory, because ultimately, it is about we want to win, and we want to win together.”
Some clergy members in attendance—many of whom reportedly have staunch anti-gay and anti-Obama views—feel that the meeting was productive and left them with a clearer understanding of Trump’s political views, though none have come forward to endorse him.
“Mr. Trump realizes why Black people are going to vote for him,” Harlem pastor James Manning told reporters. “He is truthful. Forget about him not being politically correct. He loves America. I believe that he does.”
However, others feel that Trump’s polarizing opinions—as well as his refusal to apologize for previous statements—are a recipe for disaster.
“If he’s not willing to apologize…he’s going to lose a lot of the minority voters,” Bishop Victor Couzens, who urged Trump to repent his sins, told ThinkProgress. “[His tone] works well for where he came from—corporate America, the board room—But I think the leader of the free world has to be a little more sensitive, a little more engaging.”