Sunday 25 September 2016

Trump forced into climbdown as pastors say he tricked them

Rob Crilly New York

Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30

Bishop Victor S Couzens of the Inspirational Baptist Church in New York arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting with Republican hopeful Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Bishop Victor S Couzens of the Inspirational Baptist Church in New York arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting with Republican hopeful Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has been forced into a humiliating climbdown, cancelling a major campaign event after black church leaders complained that a private meeting was being billed as a public endorsement of the leading Republican presidential candidate.

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Journalists had been invited to Trump Tower in New York on Monday to hear 100 African-American evangelical pastors endorse Mr Trump following the meeting.

But the claim prompted a number of angry denials from those involved who said they had simply agreed to hear the candidate set out his position on key issues. Others said they had declined the invitation altogether.

Bishop Clarence McClendon, a pastor well-known for his role in the reality show The Preachers of LA, said he would not decide who to endorse until next year.

"The meeting was presented not as a meeting to endorse but a meeting to engage in dialogue," he said on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is calling for a $275 billion boost in federal infrastructure spending over five years and the creation of an infrastructure bank, arguing that the measures will help create jobs while modernising the nation's ailing roads and bridges.

"Investing in infrastructure makes our economy more productive and competitive across the board," she said at a rally in Boston's Faneuil Hall, addressing a crowd heavy on workers from construction unions.

"To build a strong economy for our future, we must start by building strong infrastructure today."

Her plan, she added, is "a down payment on our future".

The Democratic presidential front-runner plans to spend the next month laying out what her campaign is calling her "jobs agenda", including ideas for upping federal support for research and manufacturing.

Her jobs proposals will add up to the most expensive set of policy ideas she'll offer up throughout her campaign, her campaign said. The infrastructure proposals will be funded with revenue raised through business tax reform.

Clinton's plan would put $250bn toward direct federal spending on infrastructure, while the remaining $25bn would be seed funds to launch what her campaign described as a "strategic infrastructure bank". The bank would leverage the initial federal investment to support another $225bn in direct loans, loan guarantees and other forms of credit. In all, Clinton's proposal would end up putting $500 billion in public and private funds toward infrastructure projects.

Irish Independent

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