BET Founder Bob Johnson, who supported Hillary Clinton, broke with many on the Left when he told CNBC on Monday that blacks should give President-elect Donald Trump “the benefit of the doubt.”
Democratic media mogul Bob Johnson told CNBC on Monday that fellow African-Americans should give Donald Trump “the benefit of the doubt,” and hope common ground can be reached with the incoming Republican administration about issues facing the black community.
The BET founder — who met with Trump on Sunday at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey — described the sit-down as a “great chat” about “business solutions to social problems.”
To make his case, Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Cos., quoted founding Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Bill Clay Sr., a Missouri Democrat who served more than three decades in the House.
Paraphrasing Clay, Johnson said, “Black Americans should have no permanent friends, and no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.”
“That’s where African-American voters should be,” Johnson contended, saying he does not view Trump and the Republicans as enemies or friends. African-Americans have “permanent interests,” he said.
Johnson supported Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the presidential election, but recognized that it’s time to have an open mind about the person who won the election.
According to CNBC, Johnson told Trump during their weekend meeting: “The real question you should be asking is what do African-Americans have to gain from your presidency.”
“Trump is a business guy, and I think he’s going to tilt towards finding [a] way to use fiscal policy… to move the economy forward,” he said. “Let’s give him a shot. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt; see if we can find common ground.”
Johnson continued by saying, “That’s what’s best for African-Americans.”
He also noted that this country needs a leader and “not somebody who’s going to sort of choose sides,” and expressed his hope that Trump can be that leader.
All eyes are currently on who Trump will choose for top administration positions but according to Johnson, that’s not on his radar. He quipped that the odds were “subzero,” and that he “never worked for the government… and never wanted to work for the government.”
Good for him. A lot has been said about unification after the election and both sides need to be willing to come to the table.
It’s time to give Trump a chance and see what he can do. Hopefully, more Democrats come around to that way of thinking, because that is what is best for this country.