A Republican lawmaker is speaking out about being allegedly denied entry to the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) reportedly blocked membership to Rep. Bryon Donalds (R-Fla.), Buzzfeed reported, citing a source familiar with the caucus’s plans.
Appearing on CNN “New Day” Thursday, Donalds shared he has not heard “much” from the CBC. The lawmaker also noted that he was part of the legislative black caucus for four years when he served in Florida’s legislature.
Donalds has expressed interest in joining the CBC but he “has yet to receive an official invitation,” his aide told Buzzfeed. “If given, he’d gladly accept.”
“New Day” co-anchor Brianna Keilar mentioned that Donalds had questioned the 2020 presidential election. She also mentioned new voting laws in states run by Republican governors.
Donalds pushed back that the 2020 election has “nothing to do with this at all.” He also argued that in the bills passed in states like Florida and Georgia, “Black Americans and all Americans, whether you live in those states, have more access to the ballot, not less. Those are facts because I’ve read both bills.”
Keilar responded, saying that his claims the bills will increase access for Black Americans is “just not true.” She turned back focus to former President Donald Trump and questioned Donalds on his view of the former president.
“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, adding, “My support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I have had the ability to advocate for … [the] Black community in my state.”
Watch the video below:
Rep. @ByronDonalds says he is being denied entry into the Congressional Black Caucus because he is a Republican.
"My support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I have had the ability to advocate for [the] Black community in my state," he said. pic.twitter.com/A6BNFAf05n
— New Day (@NewDay) June 10, 2021
Donalds then declared, “My support for President Trump, whether it’s for or against, is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with this discussion. This is whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus.”
Among those in the Congressional Black Caucus are Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and Karen Bass (D-Calif.). While Black Republican lawmakers have joined the CBC in the past, there are currently no Republicans in the group.
While the group did not touch directly on the allegation of the denied entry, the group told The Hill, “We will work with those who share our values and priorities for the constituents we serve.”
Donalds’ spokesperson Harrison Fields also told The Hill, “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.”
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