Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus met with President Trump on Wednesday about infrastructure and reducing urban crime, calling the sit-down a “positive” first step toward finding common ground, reports Reuters. The lawmakers presented Trump with a 130-page policy proposal titled “We Have a Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century,” a reference to Trump’s repeated query on the campaign trail asking what did blacks have to lose by supporting him.
Many black leaders have criticized his depiction of urban areas as crime-ridden war zones and his false claims that the first black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was born abroad. At the start of the meeting, Trump said he was serious about his promise to help African-Americans. “Every American child has a right to grow up in a safe community, to attend great schools, to graduate with access to high-paying jobs,” Trump said during the portion of the meeting open to reporters. But the relationship between blacks and Trump is fraught. Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana, said many constituents had urged him not to meet with Trump “because of the rhetoric.” Richmond said, “We expressed that to him, because we’re certainly very clear [about] the emotions of African-Americans around the country.”