On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President-elect Trump met with Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the civil rights leader.
Bloomberg Politics and The Hill reported that King called the meeting “very constructive” and Newsday reported that King referred to the meeting with Trump as “very productive.”
Nevertheless, media coverage of the meeting generally cast it as an attempt by Trump to move beyond the backlash created by his twitter response Rep. John Lewis saying, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he didn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president”:
CHUCK TODD: Do you plan on trying to forge a relationship with Donald Trump?
JOHN LEWIS: No. I believe forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
The Associated Press, for example, reported Trump was attempting to “navigate the fallout of his flap with a civil rights leader and colleague of” Dr. King. NBC Nightly News said Trump “tried to strike a note of unity” yesterday but ignored shouted questions about the feud. ABC World News Tonight reported that Trump dodged “questions about his clash with…Lewis.”
The Los Angeles Times similarly reported that the holiday was marked by Trump’s “quarrel with…a hero of the civil rights struggle.”
Politico, forgetting that Lewis started the brawl with the President-elect, reported that King “excused…Trump for insulting civil rights hero…Lewis.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted King as saying, “I think that in the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides. … I think that at some point I am, as John Lewis and many others are, a bridge builder. The goal is to bring America together and Americans.”
The Hill reported that “when asked what his father…would say to Trump, King emphasized the issue of poverty. I think my father would be very concerned about the fact that there are 50 or 60 million people living poverty and somehow we’ve got to create the climate for all boats to be lifted.”
The Washington Post actually reported about the substance of the meeting. According to the Post, King urged Trump to endorse the idea of making a form of free government photo identification that could make it easier for Americans who lack a driver’s license or other official ID to vote. Trump in turn expressed a serious interest in making photos available on Social Security cards and said he would study the issue in further detail.
All in all it was a much more positive meeting than much of the main stream media would have you believe.
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