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Black Lawmaker Calls Bannon 'Racist,' Says He's Not Invited to Trump Meeting

by Jon Schuppe /
U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries
U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn MLK Day, Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on Jan 16, 2017.M. Stan Reaves / AP

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A member of the Congressional Black Caucus said Friday that the group would welcome a meeting with President Donald Trump, but only if it didn't include top White House adviser Steve Bannon, whom the lawmaker called "a stone cold racist."

Bannon, the former head of the conservative website Breitbart News, is a self-described "economic nationalist" and says he is not racist.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York made the accusation on MSNBC while discussing Trump's remarks at a Thursday press conference in which he asked a black reporter if she could set up a meeting with the CBC.

The CBC has said it already sent Trump a letterseeking a meeting, but got no reply.

Related: Congressional Black Caucus Says Trump Ignored Letter Asking for Cooperation

"It was very strange, but he's done a lot of strange things over the last 28 days, and hopefully some of his advisers have informed him that one, a letter has already been sent to him and that we're looking forward to an open dialogue," said Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat. "Steve Bannon, however, should not be in room."

Host Katy Tur asked: "Why not?"

"Well listen, he's a stone cold racist and a white supremacist sympathizer," Jeffries replied. "It would be hard for me to participate in any meeting with Steve Bannon that normalizes his presence in the White House. Beyond that, we'll have to see."

NBC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

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