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Trump advisor defends lack of White House diversity by comparing administration to Lincoln’s

‘How many black people were in Lincoln West Wing?’ Trump campaign advisor offers bizarre defense of lack of diversity in the White House

  • Katrina Pierson was interviewed by MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Saturday 
  • Sharpton asked her to name people of color serving in Trump’s White House 
  • Pierson responded by saying: ‘There’s plenty of black people in the West Wing’
  • She added: ‘How many black people were in Abraham Lincoln’s West Wing? Is Lincoln a racist because he didn’t have a black person in his White House?’ 
  • Sharpton replies: ‘It’s unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can’t name a black in the West Wing’

A senior advisor for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign defended lack of diversity in the White House by asking how many African Americans served in President Abraham Lincoln’s administration.

Katrina Pierson posed the question during a heated back-and-forth with Al Sharpton on Saturday after the MSNBC host asked her to name people of color serving in top positions under President Trump. 

‘Historically, Republicans and Democrats have had major figures of the black community in the West Wing as part of their senior staff and administration,’ Sharpton said before posing his question to Pierson and Media Matters for America founder David Brock.

‘Who are the blacks in the West Wing under President Trump?’

Pierson, who also ran Trump’s 2016 campaign, responded: ‘You mean those who took the job or those who were offered? Because those are two entirely different questions.’ 

Tensions rose as Sharpton pressed her to answer his question and the pair began talking over each other.

 

Katrina Pierson, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, defended lack of diversity in the White House by asking how many African Americans served in President Abraham Lincoln’s administration in the 1860s during an MSNBC interview Saturday

Pierson - a senior advisor for Trump's 2020 re-election campaign - and MSNBC host Al Sharpton (center) got into a heated row about diversity in the administration as Media Matters for America founder David Brock (right) couldn't get a word in. Pierson struggled to name a black staffer in the West Wing but said it was ridiculous to suggest that the president is racist

Pierson – a senior advisor for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign – and MSNBC host Al Sharpton (center) got into a heated row about diversity in the administration as Media Matters for America founder David Brock (right) couldn’t get a word in. Pierson struggled to name a black staffer in the West Wing but said it was ridiculous to suggest that the president is racist

Struggling to name a black staffer in the West Wing, Pierson, who is black, claimed that she had been offered Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ job of press secretary but turned it down.   

‘Everything has to be made about race, reverend… I’m not going to participate if you’re going to continue to paint this president as racist,’ Pierson said. 

‘Let’s talk about reparations, can we talk about reparations?’

Pierson, who is black, claimed that she had been offered Sarah Huckabee Sanders' job of press secretary but turned it down

Pierson, who is black, claimed that she had been offered Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ job of press secretary but turned it down

Ignoring her request and sticking to his original topic, Sharpton turned to Brock and asked how Trump could ‘ask for black votes’ without appointing black people to leadership positions.  

‘There’s plenty of black people in the West Wing,’ Pierson interrupted.

 ‘Well, I asked you to name them, and you started telling me you turned down – ‘ Sharpton says before being interrupted again. 

‘Because I’m not going to participate in the attempt to make this all about race. It is ridiculous,’ she said. 

‘How many black people were in Abraham Lincoln’s West Wing? Is Abraham Lincoln a racist because he didn’t have a black person in his White House? 

‘This is insane. This is an insane discussion.’

Sharpton cuts in and says: ‘You can’t name a black in the West Wing because we can’t find one, Katrina. 

‘I pity you. I’d sympathize with you, but telling me you applied, and other people? Come on. It’s unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can’t name a black in the West Wing.’

Trump has faced scrutiny from Democrats on issues related to race since he launched his 2016 campaign. The majority of high ranking officials in his administration are white, including Vice President Mike Pence (right) and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (left)

Trump has faced scrutiny from Democrats on issues related to race since he launched his 2016 campaign. The majority of high ranking officials in his administration are white, including Vice President Mike Pence (right) and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (left)

On Saturday's segment, Sharpton told Pierson: 'It's unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can't name a black in the West Wing.' The file photo above from 2017 shows then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn

On Saturday’s segment, Sharpton told Pierson: ‘It’s unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can’t name a black in the West Wing.’ The file photo above from 2017 shows then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn



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