UPDATED 6:39 AM PT — Wednesday, September 11, 2019
President Trump recently took the stage at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week Conference, which was held in the nation’s capitol.
While speaking Tuesday, the president took the opportunity to list the achievements the White House has made to help these colleges and universities. He went on to highlight the major impact made by HBCU’s throughout U.S.history, and expressed gratitude for their work.
The president also touted the economy, specifically the record low unemployment numbers among African American workers. He then appeared to go off-script after receiving a round of applause to the remark, boasting his accomplishments against those of his 2020 competitors.
“The African American poverty rate also reached a new record low in the history of our country, the lowest poverty rate — that’s something,” he stated. “I don’t know, when I’m on that debate stage with whoever…these are pretty good numbers…who is going to beat these numbers? Please tell me.”
President Trump also shined a spotlight on his landmark criminal justice reform bill known as the First Step Act. With help from justice activists, the measure seeks to improve the prison system, create opportunities for prisoners to prepare for their return to freedom and reduce recidivism rates.
The president later announced he intends to lift the ban on federal funding for faith-based HBCU’s in the coming days.