CNN was accused of ‘patronizing’ Republican Congressman Byron Donalds during an interview about the Congressional Black Caucus denying him entry into the group.
While the CBC would not directly address questions about why they have not extended an invitation, in a statement to news outlets the group spoke about its priorities and said they’re willing to work “with those who share our values and priorities.”
Donalds, a Trump supporter, objected to the certification of the Electoral College count. But in the interview with CNN he explained that his experiences and perspective would be valuable to the CBC.
“When I served in the Florida legislature, I was a part of the Legislative Black Caucus for four years,” he told CNN. “I’m a poor kid from Brooklyn, New York—42 years old—I’ve been able to be successful in my life so whether it’s talking about jobs or voting rights or anything the CBC wants to talk about…I have a perspective…that I think would actually be a helpful perspective to the CBC.”
But host Brianna Keilar clung to his support of Trump and then played clips of the former president, including his “very fine people” comment out of context.
“Do you think that your defense of a person that said things like that might be incongruent with the mission of the CBC?” she wondered.
“First of all, whatever the president said in the past has nothing to do with this discussion at all,” the Republican pointed out.
After some crosstalk, Keilar attempted to jump in to say he “defended” the president.
"Please don’t cut me off,” he shot back. “I have not cut you off in this interview. Please do not do that to me. Thank you. As a black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support. I think that it’s important whether you’re talking about the Congressional Black Caucus or the Florida State Legislative Black Caucus or The National Caucus of State Black Legislators, organizations I have been a part of in the past, my support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I've had the ability to advocate for issues, ideas, proposals and funding that have helped black community in my state.”
Grabien Media's Tom Elliott criticized the outlet for 'patronizing' the lawmaker.
CNN patronizes Rep. @ByronDonalds, a black GOP congressman, after he calls out the @TheBlackCaucus for denying him entry.— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 10, 2021
Keilar: Your ideas are “incongruous” with their “mission"
Donalds: "As a black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts" pic.twitter.com/vN9j4KXpNh