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BET founder: Trump ‘committed to reaching out to African-Americans’

November 22, 2016 GMT

The founder of BET said Monday night he is optimistic the lives of African-Americans could improve under President-elect Donald Trump after meeting with him Sunday.

Bob Johnson, who supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, told CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” that he had a positive and frank discussion with Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, adding that, “I came away from the meeting understanding that President Trump is committed to reaching out to African-Americans.”

Johnson said he told Trump, “Don’t say to black Americans, ‘What do you have to lose?’ say to black Americans ‘What do you have to gain by a Trump presidency?’ ” He said they discussed a number of issues that could benefit the black community if they were implemented by the Trump administration.

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Responding to video of an alt-right group leader declaring “Hail Trump,” Johnson said, “I know that there are people like that in America. It’s been that way ever since slavery existed in this country and they’re not going to go away tomorrow or the next day.”

He said Trump and his team “gotta show me what they’re going to deliver to make those kind of silly Nazi behavior(s) irrelevant to black America.”

Johnson added that he believes Trump and his administration reject that kind of behavior.

Johnson also ruled out serving in a Trump administration, saying he has no interest in serving in the government.

But he urged African-Americans to keep an open mind about supporting Trump, saying, “If black Americans can turn the Republican Party into a friend, they should do it. If they can keep the Democratic Party as a friend, they should do it. Our interests should focus on our self-interests and not be locked in one party or ignored by the other party. And as President (Barack) Obama and Hillary Clinton said, if we can find common ground with President-elect Trump, we ought to do it in the best interest of African-Americans and the best interest of the country.” –– (CNN)

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