Katrina Pierson Responds to WH Diversity Question By Asking How Many Black Staffers Abraham Lincoln Had
When MSNBC host Al Sharpton confronted Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson about the lack of black staffers in Trump’s West Wing, Pierson offered a jaw-dropping excuse, asking Sharpton how many black people worked in Abraham Lincoln’s West Wing.
On Saturday’s edition of PoliticsNation, Sharpton hosted Pierson and activist David Brock for a panel discussion, and toward the end of the segment, Sharpton asked Pierson about the lack of diversity in Trump’s West Wing.
“Historically, Republicans and Democrats have had major figures of the black community in the West Wing as part of their senior staff and administration,” Sharpton said, and asked “Who are the blacks in the West Wing under President Trump?”
“You mean those who actually took the job or those who’ve been offered? Because those are entirely different questions,” Pierson replied, and as Sharpton tried to cut in and refocus the question, Pierson claimed “I was offered Sarah Sanders’ job.”
“I can understand why you’re nervous,” Sharpton said.
“I’m not going to participate if you’re going to continue to paint this president as racist,” Pierson said, and tried to change the subject to reparations.
When Sharpton tried to turn the question to Brock, Pierson muttered “There’s plenty of black people in the West Wing.”
“Well, I asked you to name them, and you started telling me… you turned down….” Sharpton said.
“Because I’m not going to participate in the attempt to make this all about race. It’s ridiculous. How many black people were in Abraham Lincoln’s West Wing?” Pierson asked.
As Brock and Sharpton derided Pierson’s response, she added “Is Abraham Lincoln a racist because he didn’t have a black person in the White House? The this is insane. This is an insane discussion.”
“You can’t name a black in the West Wing because we can’t find one, Katrina,” Sharpton said. “I pity you. I’d sympathize with you, but telling me you applied, and other people…? Come on.”
“It’s unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can’t name a black in the West Wing,” Sharpton added.
Last August, Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was similarly asked to name a black West Wing staffer, and she could only come up with the first name of a staffer whose office is not in the West Wing.
After several attempts, This Week host Jon Karl pressed Conway for the name of a black West Wing staffer.
“We have Ja’Ron,” Conway said, apparently referring to Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs Ja’Ron Smith. “He’s been very involved with Jared Kushner and President Trump on prison reform from the beginning.”
“Does he have an office in the West Wing, Kellyanne?” Karl asked.
“He has an office on the — in the EOP, absolutely, the Executive Office of the President, yes,” Conway replied, referring to non-West Wing staff who are housed in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House.
Watch Sharpton and Pierson above, via MSNBC.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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