Trump Cancels Press Conference With Black Pastors Who Won’t Endorse Him

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November 30, 2015 7:16 a.m.
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This post has been updated.

Donald Trump’s campaign canceled a Monday press conference with black religious leaders after numerous of the pastors set to attend the event signaled that they would not endorse the Republican presidential candidate.

The campaign announced last week that Trump would hold a press conference with 100 black evangelical pastors who would endorse him.

But over the weekend, numerous of the leaders set to attend the event made it clear that they would not endorse Trump. Bishop Clarence McClendon, a minister based in Los Angeles, wrote on Facebook that he would not endorse the candidate “because until he learns how to respect people you can’t represent me thru my endorsement,” according to Politico.

And more than 100 black religious leaders on Friday published an open letter in Ebony blasting Trump’s “overtly divisive and racist language” and urging pastors not to endorse or meet with Trump.

The campaign then sent out a new press release on Sunday noting that Trump’s meeting with the black pastors would be closed to the press. The press release said “a number of attendees are expected to endorse Mr. Trump,” but did not include the number of pastors expected to back the real estate mogul.

Pastor Darrell Scott, who has endorsed Trump and arranged the Monday meeting, told the Associated Press that there was a “miscommunication.”

Trump told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday morning that he’s not sure if any of the pastors will endorse him. He said that the black religious leaders wanted to meet with him, but that they may have been pressured by members of Black Lives Matter to not openly back him.

“I have a great relationship with the black pastors,” Trump said.

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