The White House is working to schedule a meeting between President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks reported Thursday evening.
The move comes hours after Trump asked Ryan, who is black, if she could help set up a meeting between the group and the president, following a question about whether he'd include the CBC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is discussions about his inner-city agenda.
The head of the CBC weighed in Thursday evening in a statement that hit the administration for waiting nearly a month to request such a get-together, saying the group "did not hear from the White House until we introduced ourselves on Twitter after the White House press conference today.”
“For whatever reason, the letter the Congressional Black Caucus sent to then President-elect Trump and incoming White House officials on January 19 was not enough to get their attention,” Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said in a statement.
“Since the White House has reached out in an appropriate manner to request a meeting with the caucus, I am now in discussions with them about setting one up,” he added.
Richmond said Trump “would be wise to tap into the decades of expertise held by the Congressional Black Caucus when it comes to addressing issues that affect African Americans.
During the press conference earlier Thursday, Trump said he had already attempted to set up a meeting with Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.), a CBC member who had backed out.
Cummings disputed that charge and said he remains eager to discuss “the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs” with the president.
“I also sincerely have no idea why the President made this claim in response to an unrelated question about the Congressional Black Caucus," he added. "I am sure members of the CBC can answer these questions for themselves."
After Trump's news conference, Cummings told reporters he was working on scheduling a meeting with Trump, according to The Washington Post.