On Wednesday, the first day of Black History Month, President Donald Trump gave a speech in typical Trump fashion. That is, he took a speech typically devoted to the many black heroes of American history and spent most of the time talking about himself, how he won the election, how the media has been mean to him and his oft-repeated refrain about the terrible state of communities of color.
This is all to kick off celebrations for black history month.
Below is a transcript of his remarks, as provided by the White House:
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. These are a lot of my friends, but you have been so helpful. And we did well. The election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple it up or quadruple it, right? We want to get over 51, right? At least 51.
Well, this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. Hi, Lynne, how are you?
MS. PATTON: Hi, how are you?
THE PRESIDENT: Nice to see you. 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 different 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. It’s a big job, and it’s a job that’s not only housing, it’s mind and spirit, right, Ben? And you understand that. Nobody is going to be better than Ben.
Last month, we celebrated the life of the Reverend 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. (Laughter.) It was fake news. The statue is cherished. It’s one of the favorite things in the — and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln and we have Jefferson and we have Dr. Martin Luther King, and we have — 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. Very unfortunate.
I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice — Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.
I am proud to honor this heritage, and we’ll be honoring it more and more. The folks at the table in almost all cases have been great friends and supporters. And Darrell — I met Darrell when he was defending me on television. (Laughter.) 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. (Laughter.) He’s all by himself — seven people and Paris. So I’ll take Paris over the seven. (Laughter.) But I don’t watch CNN so I don’t get to see you as much as I want to. (Laughter.) I don’t like watching fake news.
PARTICIPANT: None of us watch it either anymore.
THE PRESIDENT: But Fox has treated me very nice — wherever Fox is, thank you.
We’re going to need better schools, and we need them 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 is going to be doing that big league. It’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, and 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 — it’s the only time I can see him. 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. (Laughter.) Omarosa is actually a very nice person. Nobody knows that, but — (laughter) — I don’t want to destroy her reputation. She is a very good person and she’s been helpful right from the beginning of the campaign. And I appreciate it. I really do. Very special.