During a long, rambling press conference, President Trump’s abrupt, heated exchange with reporter April Ryan became a flashpoint of anger, mockery, and backlash among viewers on Twitter.
When Ryan, who is African-American, asked if the president would meet with the CBC – first having to explain that CBC stood for Congressional Black Caucus. Trump replied, “I would. You want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?”
“No, I’m just a reporter,” Ryan replied, but Trump doubled down, retorting, “Go ahead, set up the meeting.”
“Disgusting,” is how activist Shaun King categorized the exchange.
“This just can’t be real life,” said Deraey McKesson.
The exchange became especially glaring as earlier in his press conference, Trump had declared himself the “least racist person.”
See below for a sampling of Twitter reactions to the viral moment that sent the phrase “Black Caucus” trending within minutes:
Veteran Black reporter asks Trump if he'll meet with the Congressional Black Caucus.
His reply, "are they friends of yours?" pic.twitter.com/IXrao6oem2
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 16, 2017
This just can't be real life. pic.twitter.com/tBulMHpJgT
— deray mckesson (@deray) February 16, 2017
Reporter: Are you going to meet with the CBC?
Trump: The what?
Reporter: The Congressional Black Caucus.
Woke America: ????
— Nicholas Kitchel (@nicholaskitchel) February 16, 2017
I'm excited for the all black people meeting w/ the Congressional Black Caucus at Frederick Douglas' house in the inner city; finna be lit!!
— Lastsonofkrypton (@GodofKrypton) February 16, 2017
Guess all us Black folks must roll with the Congressional Black Caucus when we aren't all dodging bullets in the inner city.
— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) February 16, 2017
Trump tells black reporter to set up a meeting for him with Congressional Black Caucus. You know not all black folks know each other right?
— Jonathan Riley (@JonRiley7) February 16, 2017
Jesus Christ, did he just ask a black reporter if she's friends with the Congressional Black Caucus? Fucking kill me
— Abraham Riesman (@abrahamjoseph) February 16, 2017
WTF…If Trump really wanting to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, he has the power…Pray for America! https://t.co/3OSCxetjPj
— Peter Nelson (@MrP_UFO7) February 16, 2017
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 16, 2017
@CNN He's got a staff. The GOP controls Congress. But he asks the black reporter to set up a meeting with the Black Caucus?
— Jeff Hoyle (@Hoopgreen) February 16, 2017