Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds’ office responded after a testy Thursday morning interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
Harrison Fields, Donalds’ communications director, suggested that Keilar was excusing the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for refusing to admit Donalds as a member. (RELATED: ‘I’m Allowed To Have My Own Thoughts’: Byron Donalds, Brianna Keilar Clash Over Reported Black Caucus Rejection)
“We were well prepared for her to set multiple traps for the congressman to try and fall into, which he handled with ease,” Fields told Fox News. “There is no doubt [W]hite liberals can’t comprehend how [B]lack people could be Republicans, especially Trump supporters, so I wouldn’t say that was surprising it was just publicized. She also was obviously justifying the CBC for denying my boss, but that was also not a surprise.”
“The bar isn’t very high for those on CNN. They usually aren’t interested in telling the truth,” Fields continued. “They are solely focused on their narrative, which, since Trump has been out of the White House, has been to continue to demean and damage his reputation.”
Donalds has made it clear that he would like to join the CBC — which currently has no Republican members — but all of his requests have been denied.
“The sad reality is although the Congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him from membership today,” the office of @ByronDonalds tells me about the CBC’s reported refusal to admit him. Read more: https://t.co/irxY8cqkqS
— Michael Ginsberg (@mikeginsberg98) June 10, 2021
Donalds also claimed that he was not directly informed that he would not be allowed into the CBC, only finding out his admission might have hit a snag when the press went public with the news.
— The National Desk (@TND) June 10, 2021
Keilar argued during Thursday’s interview that Donalds had likely been denied because his ideas were “incongruous” with the CBC’s mission.
Donalds was reportedly set to appear on “Cuomo Primetime” with anchor Chris Cuomo later that evening, but he revealed in a tweet that his interview had been bumped for Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff and suggested the move was a result of a warning from Keilar.
“I’m not surprised. Someone has to tell Chris I’m better for ratings,” he tweeted.
It looks like @brikeilarcnn called @ChrisCuomo & told him he should rethink interviewing me tonight. I’ve been BUMPED from tonight’s show, Russian collusion, “Trump’s a Russian agent” @AdamSchiff took my place.
I’m not surprised. Someone has to tell Chris I’m better for ratings. https://t.co/eTNj4M8Woj
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) June 11, 2021
Schiff’s interview may have come about for a completely unrelated reason, however, as news broke late in the day that his phone records were among those subpoenaed in a probe searching for intelligence leaks during the Russia investigation.
Donalds spoke with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham instead, addressing his rejection from the CBC and Keilar’s justification of it. “Congressman, the CBC’s actions are bad enough, but then to have the media try to justify it by implying that you don’t have the right to disagree with the prevailing wisdom, political wisdom of the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s amazing,” Ingraham said.
“Completely amazing but I’m not surprised,” Donalds replied. “The media has been covering for the Democrats for quite some time so when they try to bring a President Trump and the things that he has said as justification, I found it to be outrageous. Last time I checked, I was born black, I grew up black, I’ve made it in America as a black man. I graduated college as a black man, I raise my sons as a black man. I came into the halls of Congress as a black man. So I don’t know what Donald Trump or Joe Biden or frankly anybody else has to do with the CBC and myself.”