During a meeting in the Cabinet Room with prominent African American media and sports figures, Trump noted that an NBC News reporter had left the room.
“She just left from NBC because it’s owned by Comcast, and they’re the racists,” Trump said, as participants in the meeting clapped.
According to the White House, the meeting guest list included Candace Owens, actor Isaiah Washington, Alveda King, Diamond and Silk, David Harris Jr. and Deneen Borelli, among others.
A source said the reporter was Hallie Jackson, who is pregnant and had been standing for 90 minutes. She had told White House officials that she would need to leave to do NBC Nightly News if Trump’s remarks ran long, which they did.
Comcast had no comment. Trump did not say why he was criticizing Comcast. He has lately attacked MSNBC as “MSDNC,” in addition to his frequent criticisms of the media. At a rally in Las Vegas last week, he called Comcast a “terrible company, terrible people running that company,” before noting that he hosted Celebrity Apprentice for 14 season and “they used to come to my office and kiss my ass.”
Comcast has long defended its record on diversity, with Lester Holt as the only African American anchor of a broadcast nightly newscast and Kristen Welker among its White House correspondents.
A Supreme Court decision is expected soon in Byron Allen’s racial discrimination lawsuit against Comcast over the carriage of his company’s cable networks. The justices are deciding whether the lawsuit should survive beyond the pleading stage. The Justice Department weighed in on the case siding with Comcast.
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