Trump declines invitation to address NAACP

Trump declines invitation to address NAACP

President Trump will break with White House tradition of speaking at the NAACP convention, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

Sanders told reporters Trump had declined the invitation from the oldest civil rights group in the country to speak at their annual convention in Baltimore next week.

“My understanding is that the invitation has been declined for this year, but certainly the invitation for dialogue with that group would happily take place, and we would certainly like to be able to continue to do that,” Sanders said.

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Presidents going back to Ronald Reagan have addressed the NAACP.

NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell told the Associated Press that he questioned Trump’s commitment to black Americans after declining the invitation. The organization learned that Trump would not be speaking from reporters.

"During his campaign, President Trump asked us 'what do you have to lose?' " Russell said. "We get the message loud and clear. The president's decision today underscores the harsh fact: We have lost — we've lost the will of the current administration to listen to issues facing the black community.

"When President Trump is ready to listen to us and the people we serve, we will be here," Russell added.

Trump last year was also the first GOP presidential nominee in years to not speak to the NAACP — Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDem: 'Disheartening' that Republicans who 'stepped up' to defend Mueller are leaving Giuliani’s ‘truth isn’t truth’ named most notable quote of 2018 Cohen’s pleas concocted by prosecutors to snare Trump MORE (Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both addressed the convention during their presidential bids.