“Do you want to set up the meeting?" Trump asked April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. “Are they friends of yours? Set up a meeting. Set up the meeting. I would love to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, I think it's great.”
"I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings and he was all excited then he said, 'Oh, I can't move, it might be bad for me politically. I can't have that meeting,'" said Trump. "You know, we called him and called him, all set, I spoke to him."
The Maryland Democrat denied that Schumer told him to skip a meeting and that instead he was waiting until he and fellow legislators were “in a position” on prescription issues that they “could present something to the president."
"As soon as we finish, we’re going to meet with him,” Cummings added, saying of Trump’s comments, “I took no offense whatsoever.”
Thursday evening, the White House said it was working to set up a meeting with the CBC.
"All black people don't work for each other," said Thompson. "All black people don't know each other."
"It was inappropriate for him to ask the journalist to set up the meeting...He should have an office that is organized in a way that he would have people with certain responsibilities," said Waters. "That is not her responsibility to set up a meeting.”
On Twitter, the CBC linked to a letter they wrote Trump on Jan. 19 which outlines issues of importance to the caucus and includes an “invitation to engage in an earnest effort to work together” though does not specifically ask for a meeting.
Ryan, speaking later on CNN, called Trump's line of questioning unfortunate.
"I was sitting there, I could have asked questions on Russia as well," Ryan said. "I'm very versed in a lot of things but it's unfortunate that when you see me, you see my color. But I am a journalist and I asked the question and I got an answer -- I got his answer."