Black Republican Slams Black Caucus for Excluding Him: “I’m Allowed To Have My Own Thoughts”

National   |   Michael Ginsberg   |   Jun 10, 2021   |   5:04PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and CNN’s Brianna Keilar feuded over the congressman’s reported rejection from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

“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.

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“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.”

Donalds began to explain that his support for Trump should not be the issue in his rejection but Keilar interrupted him.

“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 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.”

The CBC will not welcome Donalds despite his interest in joining, multiple sources told Buzzfeed News on Wednesday.

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