President Trump on Wednesday participated in a "listening session" to kick off Black History Month at the White House.
Here are some of things he said at the meeting, taken word-for-word from a transcript.
When he began to talk about celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. but then went on to complain about "fake news."
Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. Fake news.
The statue is cherished, it's one of the favorite things in the — and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln and we have Jefferson, we have Dr. Martin Luther King and we have — but they said the statue, the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace. But that's the way the press is, very unfortunate.
When he said that Frederick Douglass, the iconic 19th century abolitionist leader and statesman, is "an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more."
I am very proud now that we have a museum at the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. A big impact. I'm proud to honor this heritage and will be honoring it more and more.
When he thanked his "television star" Omarosa Manigault and called her a "very nice person."
I want to thank my television star over here.
Omarosa is actually a very nice person. Nobody knows that.
I don't want to destroy her reputation, but she is a very good person and she's been helpful right from the beginning of the campaign and I appreciate it.
When he attacked CNN for "fake news" and thanked Fox News for treating him "very nice."
The folks at the table in almost all cases have been great friends and supporters. And Darrell [Scott], I met Darrell when he was defending me on television.
And the people that were on the other side of the argument didn't have a chance, right? And Paris [Dennard] has done an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community.
He's all by himself, seven people and Paris. And I'll take Paris over the seven.
But I don't watch CNN, so I don't get to see as much.
I don't like watching fake news.
So — but Fox has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.
When he said he "loved" that the "top gangs" in Chicago wanted to work with his administration.
Darrell Scott: But speaking of the community, let me just say this real quick... I was recently contacted by some of the top gang thugs in Chicago for a sit-down. They reached out to me because they associated me with you. They respect you. They believe in what you're doing. And they want to have a sit-down about lowering that body count. So in a couple of weeks, I'm going to Chicago...
Trump: It's a great idea because Chicago is totally out of control.
Scott: Absolutely. (Inadubile) We've got to lower their body count. We don't want to talk about anything else; get that body count down. And they agreed that the principals can do it. These are guys straight from the streets. No politicians; straight street guys. But they're gonna commit that if they lower that body count, we'll come in, we'll do some social programs. So they're...
Trump: Well, if they're not going to solve the problem, and what you're doing is the right thing, then we're going to solve the problem for them because we're gonna have to do something about Chicago because what's happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country.
Scott: But they want to work with this administration.
Scott: They want to. They reached out. I didn't reach out to them, they reached out to me. They want to work with this administration. They didn't believe in this administration. They didn't believe in the prior administration. They told me this out of their mouths that they see (inaudible).
Trump: I love that.
And when he attacked the media...again.
I mean, a lot of the media is actually the opposition party. They're so biased and really it's a disgrace. Some of the media's fantastic and fair, but so much of the media is opposition party, knowingly saying incorrect things. So it's a very sad situation, but we seem to be doing well. You know, it's almost like in the meantime, we won, so maybe they don't have the influence they think.
But they really have to straighten out their act. They're very dishonest people."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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