Black pastors see Trump bringing 'new hope' -- but still need to convince their flocks

Two black Christian pastors who were among a group of religious leaders meeting with President Trump at the White House this week are now facing backlash from congregants back home.

The Rev. Phillip Goudeaux of Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, Calif., and the Rev. John Gray, head of Relentless Church in Greenville, S.C., came under fire from critics who say Trump's policies have harmed the black community.

But at Wednesday's event, dubbed “Meeting with Inner City Pastors,” many of the pastors who attended expressed sympathetic views toward Trump, with one pastor -- the Rev. Darrell Scott, of Cleveland -- calling Trump “the most pro-black president we’ve had in our lifetime.” 

Scott also slammed former President Barack Obama for not trying to “prove something to our community” because “he got a pass.”

Goudeaux, a spiritual adviser to the family of Stephon Clark –  the unarmed black man who was fatally shot March 18 by two police officers in Sacramento -- praised Trump as well, saying the president restored “hope” to his community, but jokingly urged Trump to not give up on the state of California.

“Please don’t give up on California and Sacramento,” Goudeaux quipped, according to the transcript. “I’m right in the capital there, and we’re working in every area to try to make a difference in people’s lives.

“So, I guess the greatest word I can say for you, Mr. President, is that you have given this country expectations, given us a new hope, a new excitement to believe that things are getting better and are going to get better,” Goudeaux continued. “And we appreciate that leadership, your tenacity to keep pushing in against all the opposition that comes against you. Thank you so much.”

Gray, meanwhile, was skeptical about attending the meeting with Trump and initially thought he would decline the invitation.

“My wife told me ‘If you go, no one will hear what you say. They won’t understand why you’re there. And any good that could come out of it will get lost in translation,’” Gray wrote on Facebook. “I had not one thing to gain by being there. Not. One.”

ray said he eventually decided attending the event and even led the prayer so he could speak out about prison reform.

“That could greatly end up benefiting many people who look just like me,” he said. “The pain of so many is too real. The hurt. The isolation. The sense of disenfranchisement. The real hate that has bubbled to the surface of the national discourse.

"I myself have been vocal about my personal disagreements with key policy decisions of this administration,” he added.

But despite their open-minded approach, the two pastors were still facing condemnation from their communities.

Tre Borden, who works in the Sacramento area and attended the Calvary Christian Center when he was young, shared a photo of Goudeaux and called him and other religious leaders “shameless” and “contemptible” for attending the meeting, the Sacramento Bee reported.

“The majority of people in Phillip Goudeaux’s Del Paso congregation are poor and black,” he told the publication. “For him or any other black religious leader to align himself with Trump and his policies in this day and age is extremely distressing and hypocritical. How can he possibly think our current president is helping people who are on the margins of society?”

Gray is reaching out to many people who are criticizing him on social media. His Facebook posts concerning the meeting drew thousands of comments, many of which were critical.

“The pain of those who have been hurt is real. And I would be a dishonorable man not to acknowledge that,” Gray wrote. “But I will honor what I believe was the mandate on my life to be there and available to God should He choose to give me voice,” he added, noting that his comments on social media about why he attended didn’t “invalidate the visceral reaction of those who can’t imagine why I would be in the room.”


Sarah Huckabee Sanders Refuses To Say Press Isn’t ‘The Enemy Of The People’

CNN’s Jim Acosta pleaded with the White House press secretary to speak out against the term President Donald Trump has been using. She wouldn’t.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday refused to say the press isn’t “the enemy of the people,” a phrase President Donald Trump has repeatedly used to attack the media.

CNN’s Jim Acosta told Sanders during a press briefing that it would be a “good thing if you were to state” that the press is not “the enemy of the people.” But Sanders didn’t acknowledge his request.

“It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country,” Sanders said. “The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions.”

She continued: “The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration. Certainly, we have a role to play, but the media has a role to play for the discourse in this country as well.”

Acosta again pressed Sanders for a statement against the anti-media phrase, but she refused.

“For the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah,” Acosta said. “The president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people.”

“I appreciate your passion,” Sanders responded. “I share it. I’ve addressed this question. I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.”

Acosta tweeted about his tense exchange with Sanders minutes later, noting that he walked out of the briefing before it ended because he was “totally saddened” by her “shameful” response.

Earlier Thursday, senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump, a daughter of the president, told Axios she didn’t share her father’s belief that the press is “the enemy of the people.”

“I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate,” she said, “so I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted, but, no, I do not consider the media the enemy of the people.”

Trump tweeted hours later that he felt his daughter’s comments were correct because the entire media isn’t “the enemy of the people” ― but he said “a large percentage” is. 

“It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” tweeted Trump, who has accused several news outlets, including CNN, NBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, of being “fake news.”

Acosta appeared on CNN following Thursday’s briefing. He described the phrase as “un-American” and suggested journalists should take to the streets to protest its use to attack them.

“I’m tired of this,” Acosta said. “It is not right. It is not fair. It is not just. It is un-American to come out here and call the press the enemy of the people, and Ivanka Trump knows that. I don’t know why her father doesn’t. And I don’t know why this press secretary doesn’t.”

Acosta has been outspoken against the president’s aggressive rhetoric against the media. On Tuesday, he was berated by people at a Trump rally in Florida, where they gave him the middle finger and shouted “CNN sucks” during his live broadcast. He warned that “hostility whipped by Trump and some in conservative media” will result in someone getting hurt.

“We should not treat our fellow Americans this way,” he tweeted at the time. “The press is not the enemy.”

Melania's Spokeswoman, Twitter Respond to Offensive Tweet About First Lady

Yesterday, House of Representatives candidate Mark Roberts (an independent running in Oregon’s 22nd congressional district) made news when he compared First Lady Melania Trump to a prostitute on Twitter. Using the hashtags “hoebag” and “think dirty”, he tweeted, “Do you know the First Lady works by the hour?”

The candidate’s strange outburst was apparently in response to Charlie Kirk’s earlier tweet, which had noted that present FLOTUS Melania Trump necessitates only a fraction of the staffers that former first lady Michelle Obama did. Charlie Kirk is president of the conservative organization Turning Point USA.

Today, the FLOTUS is speaking out.

Glamour magazine was the first to report that Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for Melania Trump, found Mark Roberts’ tweet to be both “hypocritical” and “disturbing and despicable.” Grisham’s full statement to Glamour reads:

“This is just more hypocritical intolerance from those who oppose her husband’s administration. To say such ugly words about a mother, wife, and our First Lady is not just a pathetic attempt at getting himself in the news; it is disturbing and despicable."

It turns out that Ms. Grisham isn’t the only one who has voiced her disapproval of the tweet.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, tweeted Monday night that “this attack on @FLOTUS is disgraceful. Comments like these have no business on any platform. This account should be banned ASAP.”

Both Laura Ingraham of Fox News and Donald Trump, Jr. also tweeted about their displeasure with the attack on FLOTUS, in addition to a number of other Twitter members.

Apparently the founder of Twitter did not agree with their concerns, however. Mark Roberts later tweeted a screenshot of Twitter’s official reply, which indicated that his controversial tweet would not be taken down as it didn’t violate any rules, with the added text “It’s that whole 1st amendment thing.”

On his website, House candidate Roberts refers to himself as a Jewish “independent conservative”. Though not an attorney, he claims to have “read law books”, and is “not a big fan of the exclusiveness and intolerance that’s exhibited by the current Republican Party.”

As for President Trump, Roberts states that he is “not a fan of the Trump administration”, and includes the current president on a list of people he would not be willing to take a selfie with.




The Opinion Poll

National Weather

Click on map for forecast