Flashback: Jesse Jackson Praised Trump for 'Commitment' to Diversity

Daniel Pickert | November 3, 2016
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A YouTube video surfaced earlier this year revealing clips from 1998 and 1999 of Rev. Jesse Jackson praising Donald Trump on two separate occasions for his "commitment" to diversity.

Jackson, a known Obama supporter in '08 and current endorser of Hillary Clinton, is shown introducing Trump at a forum for Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a non-profit group founded with the intention of bringing more blacks and minorities into Wall Street and corporate America.

“I do want to express thanks, you, Donald Trump, for being with us tonight,” Jackson says in the video. “We need your building skills, your gusto, your [unintelligible] for people on Wall Street to represent diversity, and we thank you for coming tonight.”

In the second clip, Jackson states:

I now want to bring forth a friend. He is deceptive in that his social style is of such, one can miss his seriousness and his commitment to success, which is beyond argument. When we opened this Wall Street project and we talked about it, he gave us space at 40 Wall Street, which was to make a statement about our having a presence there. And beyond that, in terms of reaching out, and being inclusive, he’s done that too.

During Trump's remarks, the billionaire businessman and future GOP presidential nominee states: 

“I will tell you a large percentage of the people, and especially in construction, that are building these get jobs are black and minorities, and I’m very proud of it. We have close to 25% and I think the number’s going up. And they do a great job. There are no better builders than we have in New York, and a big percentage of that is black and minority folks…”

It's safe to say times have changed. Just two weeks ago, Jackson penned an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times, claiming the election is rigged in Trump's favor. He tries to reason:

Republicans hold the governorship and both houses of the legislature in 23 states. Democrats only control seven. Those who rule set the rules, and in at least 23 states, they are creating a system that benefits Republicans and their presidential nominee.

He goes on to say Trump sounds "like a loser, whining about the inescapable reality that his brand of divisive and hateful politics will be rejected by most voters at the polls this November." 

View Jackson's and Trump’s comments from the '90s below:

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