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Read: Full transcript of Donald Trump's speech on Black History Month

Published: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 12:34 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 1:05 PM


            WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 1: President Donald Trump holds an African American History Month listening session attended by nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson (R), Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault (L) and other officials in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 1: President Donald Trump holds an African American History Month listening session attended by nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson (R), Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault (L) and other officials in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)

To commemorate the beginning of Black History Month, President Donald Trump hosted a breakfast with black leaders and made some remarks to the media about famous historical figures, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, civil rights activist Rosa Parks and escaped slave Harriet Tubman. 

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Trump said that King was “unique” in American history and that Douglass has “done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more.”

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The president also made some remarks about the media coverage of his presidency. He called some news stories a “disgrace,” said CNN was “hostile” and that Fox News “has treated me very nice.”

Transcript of President Donald Trump’s remarks on Black History Month:

Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time, we'll triple the number, or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right. At least 51. 

Well, this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. And just a few notes. During this month, we honor the tremendous history of the African-Americans throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right. And their story is one of unimaginable sacrifice, hard work and faith in America. I've gotten a real glimpse during the campaign; I'd go around with Ben to a lot of places that I wasn't so familiar with. They're incredible people. And I want to thank Ben Carson, who's going to be heading up HUD, and it's a big job, and it's a job that's not only housing, it's mind and spirit, right? And you understand that. Nobody's going to be better than Ben. 

Last month we celebrated the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. The statue is cherished. It's one of the favorite things — and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. And we have other. But they said the statue, the bust, of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that's the way the press is. It's very unfortunate. 

I am very proud now that we have a museum, National Mall, where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Doug — Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and millions more black Americans who made Americans what it is today. Big impact. I'm proud to honor this heritage and will be honoring it more and more. 

Folks at the table, in almost all cases, have been great friends and supporters. And Darrell, I met Darrel when he was defending me on television. And the people that were on the other side of the argument didn't have a chance, right. And Paris has done an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community; he's all by himself. Seven people and Paris. I'll take Paris over the seven. But I don't watch CNN, so I don't get to see you as much. I don't like watching fake news. But Fox has treated me very nice, wherever Fox is, thank you. We're going to need better schools, and we need 'em soon. We need more jobs, we need better wages, a lot better wages. We're going to work very hard on the inner city. Ben's going to be doing that, big league, that's one of his big things that we're going to be looking at. We need safer communities and we're going to do that with law enforcement. We're going to make it safe. We're going to make it much better than it is right now. Right now, it's terrible. 

I saw you talking about it the other night, Paris, on something else that was really — you did a fantastic job the other night on a very unrelated show. I'm ready to do my part, and I will say this, we're going to work together. This is a great group, this is a group that's been so special to me, you really helped me a lot. If you remember, I wasn't going to do well with the African-American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting, I won't go into details, but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years. And now we're going to take that to new levels. I want to thank my television star over here — Omarosa's actually a very nice person. Nobody knows that. I don't want to destroy her reputation. She is a very good person and she's been helpful right from the beginning with the campaign and I appreciate it, I really do. Very special. So I want to thank everybody for being here.

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