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Byron Donalds meets with Trump amid Congressional Black Caucus feud

Black conservative Rep. Byron Donalds is taking up arms against the Congressional Black Caucus after they rejected his bid to join — slamming their ideological intolerance in a new interview, before a meeting with former President Donald Trump.

Freshman lawmaker Donalds (R-Fla.) met with the 45th commander-in-chief Thursday at his New Jersey golf club, where he was one of multiple members of the Republican Study Committee to gather with the former president to discuss the party’s agenda.

In a tweet Friday, which included a picture of the two men, the Florida lawmaker said he and Trump discussed “many of the issues America is facing now that he is out of office.”

“Under Biden, we have rising inflation, open borders, an energy crisis, a stagnant economy, & weak foreign policy,” he added. “We miss your leadership, sir.”

News of the visit comes after Donalds accused the CBC of excluding him from their caucus over his political affiliations.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)
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In a statement to The Post on Thursday, Donalds expressed his disappointment about the group, which inducted other freshman lawmakers into its ranks six months ago.

“The Congressional Black Caucus has a stated commitment to ensuring Black Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” the 42-year-old lawmaker, who represents the Naples area, began.

“As a newly elected Black Member of Congress, my political party should not exempt me from a seat at the table dedicated to achieving this goal. As a young Black man who grew up in the inner city of Brooklyn in a single-parent household, my achieving of the American Dream would be a valued addition to the CBC and one that should transcend politics.”

A CBC spokesperson declined to answer The Post when asked about the claim that Donalds was rebuffed by the caucus, instead saying in a statement that the group “remains committed to fighting for issues that support the Black community, including the police accountability bill, protecting voting rights and a jobs bill that helps our communities.”

The Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus
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News of the CBC’s snub of Donalds was first reported Wednesday by BuzzFeed News, which cited a “source familiar with the CBC’s plans.”

The outlet reported that the congressman’s support for Trump, as well as his decision to challenge the 2020 presidential election results, played a role in the group’s decision to exclude him.

In a CNN interview Thursday morning, Donalds called it “off-putting” that the news of his rejection came from the media, as opposed to hearing from the CBC directly.

“If my positions and my support of President Trump is a problem for them, let them state that on the record,” he argued to the network.

Donalds
Donalds
Getty Images

“I have a perspective being a 42-year-old Black man who’s come up in America after a lot of the battles through the civil rights movement that I think would actually be helpful and a helpful perspective to the CBC. Whether they want to take advantage of that is really up to them.”

While there have been black GOP lawmakers in the caucus before, the group currently has no Republicans.

Donalds spokesman Harrison Fields said Thursday that while the congressman has reached out to CBC members about joining multiple times, “all we’ve got is the cold shoulder.”

“Since starting in Congress, our office and the Congressman have engaged with several CBC members expressing his interest in joining, but all we’ve got is the cold shoulder. The sad reality is although the Congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him from membership today,” Fields added.

Prior to even winning his seat in October of last year, Donalds told the Wall Street Journal he planned to join the CBC, as he hoped to work on criminal justice reform matters.

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), the only other black GOP lawmaker in the House and a fellow freshman, opted not to try to join the caucus.

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), a CBC member, told the Journal at the time that while she didn’t understand minorities supporting Trump, any black member would be welcomed, calling previous GOP members “bridge builders.”



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