Jacob Blake’s father says family does not have pastor

Jacob Blake’s father said Monday that the family does not have a pastor after President Trump said during his press briefing that he had spoken with the family’s pastor.

The president announced that he would not be meeting with members of Blake’s family during his Tuesday visit to Kenosha, Wis., after speaking with the family’s pastor because the family wanted to have “lawyers involved.” 

“I spoke with the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor,” Trump told reporters on Monday. “I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved.”

But Blake’s father later told CNN he didn’t know who the president spoke with.

“We don’t have a family pastor,” Jacob Blake Sr. said. “I don’t know who he talked to. I don’t care who he talked to.”

The family’s legal team, including civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, clarified in a statement after the CNN interview that Trump reached out to the pastor of Jacob Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, “to arrange a phone conversation with her.”

“He appropriately referred the White House to the legal team, but, as President Trump acknowledged during his televised briefing, he declined to have a call if Ms. Jackson’s legal team monitored the call,” the statement read.  

“The family’s primary objectives are to support Jacob’s recovery and to ensure justice for him,” the statement continued. “If the call had occurred, Ms. Jackson was prepared to ask President Trump to watch the video of Mr. Blake’s shooting and to do what she has asked all of America to do — examine your heart.”

During his press briefing, Trump said the request for lawyers to be involved in a call with him was “inappropriate.”

“They wanted me to speak, but they wanted to have lawyers involved, and I thought that was inappropriate, so I didn’t do that,” the president said. “I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone, and I said, ‘No, that’s inappropriate,’ but I just gave my best regards.”

The president defended his planned trip to Kenosha on Tuesday after protests broke out last week following the circulation of a video showing police shooting the younger Blake at least seven times in the back as he opened his SUV door. The nightly protests have been mostly peaceful, but instances of looting, fires and violence have occurred. 

The White House announced over the weekend that Trump planned to visit Kenosha as demonstrations continued to “meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent riots.”

The demonstrations turned deadly Tuesday when two protesters were killed and one was injured in a shooting.

Trump defended the shooting suspect, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, at the briefing saying he was “very violently attacked” by protesters and he “probably would have been killed.”

Several Wisconsin officials, including Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and Gov. Tony Evers (D), said they wished Trump would not visit during the unrest.

Tags Donald Trump Jacob Blake protests Jacob Blake shooting kenosha Kenosha protests pastor Tony Evers Wisconsin

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