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Trump Rejects Opportunity to Address NAACP Convention, Again

NAACP President Leon Russell

U.S. President Donald Trump has once again rejected an invitation to speak at the NAACP convention. The White House announced Wednesday that the president decided to not speak at the NAACP annual convention in Baltimore next week.

This has led Black leaders to believe that President Trump have no concern for African Americans and issues affecting the community.

“During his campaign, President Trump asked us ‘What do you have to lose?’ NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell said on hearing the news of the president’s rejection from The White House.

“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.”

White House spokeswoman Sara Huckabee Sanders confirmed to reporters that the president did decline the invitation to black group’s 108th annual convention.

Trump also refused to attend last year’s convention saying that it would conflict with the Republican National Convention.

NAACP said they did not hear back from the White House but received confirmation of the rejection from White House reporters who quoted White Sara Huckabee Sanders.

See also: Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren Lead Democrats Itching to take on Trump in 2020.

“Certainly the invitation for dialogue with that group would happily take place and we’d certainly like to continue to do that,” Sanders told reporters.

NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell called Trump’s decision a historic departure from past presidents engagements with the association.

“When President Trump is ready to listen to us and the people we serve, we will be here,” Russell said. “Until then, the NAACP will continue to strive for an America free from racism and continue to speak truth to power.”

“It’s extremely unfortunate that during these pressing and urgent times, the President has chosen to turn his back on the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization – though I must admit, his refusal to attend our convention is not totally unexpected,” Leon Russell continued.

“As a nonpartisan civil rights organization, we’ve hosted President Obama, Clinton, Bush Jr., and Reagan, to name a few. This is a historic departure from past presidents’ engagements with the Association.

“The NAACP fights to make sure democracy is real for all communities. We fight to end racism, hatred and discrimination in the United States. Our branches fight for real issues like access to healthcare, a fair justice system, equal opportunity to education, an end to police brutality and the right to vote.”

Former GOP presidential candidates, John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney in 2012 both addressed the NAACP convention before losing to Obama in the general elections.

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