Comedian and host Steve Harvey says he has gotten a ‘fierce’ backlash from fans following a meeting Friday with President-elect Donald Trump.
Harvey revealed the furious reaction during his radio show Monday, acknowledging that the criticism hit home following his meeting with Trump, where the two men discussed working on the nation’s inner cities.
‘It’s been a little bit more than interesting,’ Harvey said.
The meeting occurred just a day before Trump’s clash with members of the congressional black caucus boiled over, with Rep. John Lewis saying his election wasn’t ‘legitimate’ and Trump blasting the civil rights icon on Twitter.
‘On a personal note, a lot of y’all hurt me,’ Harvey told his listeners, reported AJC.com, the website of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
‘I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce. I also understand if I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent,’ he continued.
Harvey thank people who reached out to show ‘so much love and support.’
‘But I’m also very aware of the anger that so many people feel. And these voices will continue to be heard and they should,’ he added.
‘If we sit at the table, then we can have a say-so,’ he explained.
‘I’m from the hood. I’ve been putting in the work for years. I care about these inner cities because that’s where I’m from,’ Harvey said.
‘Mr. Trump didn’t ask me for any advice or help, and people should know that,’ Harvey explained.
Harvey described his meeting with Trump as ‘very cordial,’ and Trump escorted him down to the Trump Tower lobby when it was over.’
He was very warm, friendly and very sincere. We talked about golf, our favorite golf courses. We talked about the election,’ he said.
Harvey said that when the talked turned to the ‘inner cities,’ Trump got Ben Carson, his pick to lead the Housing and Urban Development agency, on the phone.
‘Dr. Carson and I talked briefly about Chicago, his hometown of Detroit. I mentioned I was from Cleveland,’ Harvey said.
When they first met on Friday, the two men spoke about rebuilding inner cities – a constant and controversial fixture of the final weeks of Trump’s presidential campaign.
‘We got off to a great start. I think it could be the beginning of something,’ said Harvey after the meeting.
‘We’re gonna get some things started, and they have a plan for the inner cities but they need help. And so, that’s why they called me. So we’ll see what I can do,’ Harvey said.
Harvey said he made the trip at the request of both the Trump transition team and the outgoing Obama team.
But neither family appears likely to be on his ‘Family Feud’ show any time soon.
‘Trumps being on family feud? [laughs] Yeah, against the Obamas? That’ll be good. Or how bout the Clintons? If I could set it up it would be skyrocketing for the ratings,’ he said.
Harvey said he wont’ be attending Trump’s inauguration next week.
‘No I’ll be turning 60 on Tuesday and my wife is taking me far away. So I won’t be at anybody’s inauguration because my wife said no,’ he said.
‘I’ve always been concerned about inner city problems because there’s huge, my mentoring program, has been a part of this type, that’s what I want to see happen,’ he said.
‘And they were spot on with it. And Ben Carson got on the phone, I met with him over the phone today, but I sat with President Elect Trump and we laughed a little bit.’
He added: ‘I ain’t been laughing that much over the past few days. They’re kinda beating me up on the internet right now for no reason. But that’s life.’
Harvey indicated the Obama camp helped arrange his time with Trump. He interviewed Democrat Hillary Clinton on his TV show to talk about race during the campaign – when the Democrat accused her rival of engaging in racist and sexist behavior and ran on a slogan of ‘love trumps hate.’
‘It’s not my jump into politics,’ Harvey said, adding, ‘I ain’t gonna pass a background check.’
‘It’s just me following orders from my friend, President Obama, who said Steve, you gotta, as he told everyone, get out from behind your computer, stop tweeting and texting, and get out there and sit down and talk.’ He was referencing Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago.
‘So I stepped from behind my microphone and I came and talked to the guy that is going to be the 45th president of the United States. I did what I was supposed to do,’ he said.
‘The transition team from President Obama and the transition team from Donald Trump got me on the phone about a week or so ago,’ Harvey said.
Trump frequently described ‘inner cities’ as crumbling ruins populated by African Americans. In the second presidential debate, he said: ‘I want to do things that haven’t been done, including fixing and making our inner cities better for the African-American citizens that are so great,’ he said.
In one of many appeals to black voters in August, he said: ‘You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?’
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Geoff Earle