CNN's Angela Rye on Trump White House Diversity: No One Wants To Work For A Racist

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CNN's Commentator and former Congressional Black Caucus Executive Director Angela Rye blasted Gina Loudon, a member of President Trump's 2020 Advisory Council, over her "nonsense" talking points about black staffers at the White House.

Transcript, via CNN:

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT now, Angela Rye, former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Gina Loudon, a member of President Trump's 2020 reelection advisory council.



Gina, let me start with you. You know, in the context we're talking about, all this discussion about Omarosa, and whether there's an N- word tape, and Kellyanne Conway not able to say the last name of one African-American she could label who worked with her in the White House, it would seem a simple question, how many black staffers work in the White House? She couldn't even give a rough number. Does that disappoint you?

GINA LOUDON, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 2020 RE-ELECT ADVISORY COUNCIL: You know, what disappoints me is the division and the fact that we're having to count people based on their skin color, I don't like that. And I think that, you know, you look back at our history, we have a pretty amazing history of overcoming slavery, of expanding civil rights, of women's rights, and a lot of those things happened under American presidents who didn't have any minorities at all on their White Houses.

Thank God we do. I looked over the list of people I know there, about one-third are a minority or women. Those are great strides. Could they be better? Absolutely.

And I know -- I talked to some of my friends in the White House tonight, and they said, yes, they would love more diversity in the White House. The problem is when you have someone come out, and defend the president or even say they want to sit down and have a conversation with him, for example, Kanye West, they're completely annihilated in the press.

And so, there is a trepidation there. So, I think if we could focus on the fact that we would like to build on that and work on it together, I know the administration is open to that.

BURNETT: So, your number is roughly a third and that counts women, too. So, you're saying two-thirds are white men, and one-third are diverse in some way, but you're counting women in there? Just to make sure I understand.

LOUDON: Erin, if you look at the comms department, as far as my count, I did this cursory before the show, but Hogan Gidley is the only white guy I can even find in the comms department. So, I think it depends department to department. It's going to vary.

But I think the bottom line is the policy that comes out of this White House, 700,000 new jobs, record unemployment for all minorities and women. I mean, you know the list and it's a good list.

And there's more coming out. There's new -- on Dodd-Frank repeal. There's great news coming out about small business leaders, many of them are minorities. So, there's a lot of good news, Erin.

BURNETT: Angela?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think I got stuck at Gina saying that American presidents have done a great deal for people of color like ending slavery? Like I think I'm stuck in 1865 right now. Like I can't believe that's --

LOUDON: That was a Republican president. RYE: You know what, sis? And that's great, but you just really

missed the mark. For you to have to say, right, that we don't necessarily need diversity in this White House.

LOUDON: That's not what I said. That is not what I said.

RYE: Let me tell you what I heard, I don't think you hardly understand.

(CROSSTALK)

RYE: You're going to keep talking over me. My black life matters and so does my voice. Listen to what I'm saying to you.

What you said was deeply offensive. What I am telling you is you can't say, at least you shouldn't feel comfortable saying it in 2018 that this White House not having diversity can be akin to presidents who didn't have any black people on their staff --

LOUDON: They do have diversity.

RYE: -- but for slavery, freeing slaves. Like that's not OK in 2018.

LOUDON: Thank God it happened.

RYE: I let you talk through all of that nonsense. I just need you to let me finish my point. My point is this.

You're not going to be able to successfully name one black person who works in the West Wing because you know what, Omarosa didn't even work in the West Wing. So, regardless of your points about slavery which are nonsense, I hope you RIP those talking points tonight, they should never be resurrected.

I'm telling you it is a problem in this White House with the staff, the reason is it's slim pickings. You know why? Because nobody wants to work for a racist. There's not a single senior black person in the White House, and don't you dare say to me Ben Carson because he doesn't work there, how dare his gifted hand who is a brain surgeon and who has never done anything on a construction project become the secretary of housing and urban development. This whole administration is nonsense just like your talking points.

BURNETT: Go ahead, Gina.

LOUDON: You know, Angela, I understand your feelings on this but here's my point.

RYE: No, you don't.

LOUDON: I have an adopted minority son, yes, I do, who happens to have Down's syndrome. He experiences bigotry every single day in a myriad of ways, not just skin color, but also because of his disability.

And I understand that you and I don't agree, but I would not support a president I believed would be a threat to his future.

RYE: Well, you are.

LOUDON: I would like a constructive conversation. I think, you know, I think points like yours that are focusing only on the negative and not even acknowledging 700,000 new jobs for black people in this country, record low unemployment and the rest of it, it is tantamount to what Andrew Cuomo said that upset me, too, that America has never been great. Not focusing on what we've done well --

(CROSSTALK)

RYE: America has never been great. It is not great because people like you come on and lie for the president of the United States and tout, bring out your son as an example? You should be completely ashamed of yourself.

LOUDON: What America is doing well. And how about look at what we can do and agree to build on it --

(CROSSTALK)

LOUDON: -- rather than call each other names, and cut each other down and be divisive. I don't think this is -- I think America is tired of the division, Angela.

RYE: Starts at the top, Gina. Guess what? As soon as your president stops calling people names, maybe he will set a better example for everyone else.

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