President Donald Trump on Thursday asked April Ryan, a veteran African American journalist, if she would help set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
"When you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC, Mr President, in your conversations with your urban agenda, inner city agenda?" she asked the President at a White House news conference.
“I’ll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?” he asked. She responded by telling the President that she’s a reporter. “Are they friends of yours?” he then asked. “So set up the meeting.”
She replied by saying, “I know some of them, but I’m sure they’re watching right now.”
“I would love to meet with the black caucus,” President Trump responded, “I think it’s great.”
After the press conference, Ms Ryan addressed the racially charged incident on Twitter. “I am a journalist not a convener!” she wrote. “But thank you for answering my questions.”
She also made an appearance on CNN where she admitted that she was "a little shocked" by the President's actions.
The Congressional Black Caucus also responded, “Hi, @realDonaldTrump,” We’re the CBC. We sent you a letter on January 19, but you never wrote us back. Sad!”
On Thursday night, Ms Ryan reported that the White House had reached out to the CBC to set up a meeting. No date or time has been set for the sit down.
Prior to the exchange, Mr Trump answered a question about the recent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes across the US. He responded by describing himself as "the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life," adding: “Number two: racism, I am the least racist person."