Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla, Sparred with CNN‘s Brianna Keilar Thursday after she suggested his ideas were “incongruous” with those of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). This comes off the back of Representative Donalds’ several requests to be included in the caucus group, which Donalds says have been largely ignored.
The Florida statesman was interviewed on Brianna Keilar’s show about the snub from the caucus which was created in 1971. It was founded and envisioned to be a bi-racial alliance of black lawmakers, but just how many black Republicans can call themselves members of this caucus? Zero.
This puzzling snub of black Republicans from the group is no result of a lack of effort to be enjoined into the group but, according to the several attempts by representatives like Byron Donalds, a result of deliberate barring from the group like individuals on the other side of the aisle, like Donalds.
For the past 6 months, Byron Donalds claims he has made repeated requests to join the CBC and according to an article published by BuzzFeed, the group has been actively blocking his admission. The Florida representative’s office claims they have talked to at least three different members of the CBC about joining, members that are now spearheading police reform talks and responsible for highlighting the racial inequities around COVID-19.
“Congressman Donalds has expressed interest in joining the CBC, but has yet to receive an official invitation,” a Donalds aide said. “If given, he’d gladly accept.” The CBC did not respond to questions about the status of Donalds’ membership, or why he was not being let in.
In the aftermath of the apparent decisions to decline Donalds’ admission into the CBC, he was featured on several new segments to talk about his experience with trying to join and his failure to be allowed to do so. One CNN host, Brianna Keilar, received a first-hand look at the frustration this decision left Rep. Donalds with. In a segment that has now gone viral, the host tries to make the connection that the decision to bar Donalds from was due to his loyalty to former President Trump and his reluctance to certify the election results.
“I have a perspective being a 42-year-old black man who has come up in America after a lot of the battles through the civil rights movement that I think would be helpful and a helpful perspective to the CBC,” Donalds said Thursday on CNN’s show “New Day.”
“A range of discussions from all sides of the political framework is important, not just for black America, but for all America,” he added.
Keilar asked Donalds if his objection to certifying President Joe Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania and his support for voter ID laws are “incongruent with the mission of the CBC.” Donalds and Keilar then argued over election integrity measures passed by states like Georgia and Texas.
“If you actually look at the bills that have been passed in Florida, Georgia, actually black Americans and all Americans, whether you live in those states, have more access to the ballot, not less. Those are the facts because I’ve read both bills,” Donalds said.
“You say this will increase access for voters of color, for African-Americans. That’s just not true. There have been analyses, multiple done, including by the Houston Chronicle looking at the bill specifically in Texas, including by The Washington Post looking at these bills writ large. They’re not going to increase access for voters of color. They’re going to decrease access,” Keilar responded.
Keilar then asked Donalds if his support for former President Donald Trump was “incongruent with the mission of the CBC.”
Then Donalds went on to explain that his support for former President Trump should not be an issue when talking about the decision to let him in the CBC or not and that is when Keilar interrupts him before he could finish his response. It did not go very well for the CNN anchor in the wake of her interruption.
“Please don’t cut me off. I have not cut you off in this interview. Please do not do that to me. Thank you. As a black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support,” Donalds said.
“My support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I have had the ability to advocate for issues, ideas, proposals, and funding that have helped the black community in my state. You are talking to somebody who my first three years in college was at Florida A&M, an HBCU [historically black college/university]. My support for President Trump, whether it’s for or against, is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with this discussion. This is about whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus.”
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss being shut out of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) as well as the contentious exchange he had with a CNN anchor. In this interview, the representative of Florida explains how he simply wants to have conservative ideals discussed at the table of CBC.
Donalds ended the interview by calling out those on the radical left that he claims to support the notion that, based on his political ideology and his alliance with former President Trump, he “is not black enough.”
“When it comes to people on the radical left, especially when it comes to White liberals who try to make me seem like I’m not Black enough for them, I tell them to walk a mile in my shoes, talk to my mom who still lives in Brooklyn, New York today,” Donalds said.