Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview Wednesday that the delegates and audience at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland were mostly white and that he was not happy about it.
"The truth is, I didn’t like it," Trump said during a television conversation with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson on Jackson's Impact Network. "With that being said, I don’t like the job the Democrats have been doing representing African-American people."
Trump and Jackson recorded the video when Trump visited Great Faith Ministries in Detroit on Sept. 3.
The visit earlier this month was an attempt by Trump to court African-American voters and deflect criticism that he had been campaigning only in front of mostly white audiences. However, Trump took more criticism after the New York Times published a draft memo appearing to show scripted answers to Bishop Jackson's prepared questions.
In the video that streamed Wednesday, Trump said "there's tremendous divisions right now" in the country, but he spoke mostly about the need for jobs in what he termed the inner cities.
"I think the President of the United States has to be a cheerleader for the country, and you have to bring the black and the white and everything — you have to bring everyone together," he said.
Trump defended his use of the phrase, "what do you have to lose?" in trying to win the support of African-American voters, a line Trump began using last month.
Critics have accused Trump’s language and dark portrayal of communities of color in poverty racked by violent crime as insulting and an overly broad depiction.
"Some people didn’t like it, but I say it proudly," Trump said. "You have massive crime, record-setting crime, all of these problems, you have poverty that’s horrible, you have bad education in the inner cities. Everything is bad."
Some "war-torn cities" are safer than some American ones, Trump said. "You go to Afghanistan, it’s safer than being in certain of our cities."
There has been an uptick in violent crime in some of America’s largest cities, but violent crime is down overall since the 1980s and 90s, according to FBI statistics. The current violent crime rate is lower today per the most recent data — 365 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people — than in 2009 when there were 431 incidents per 100,000 people.