In another moment of the audio, Trump returns to the room after leaving for a phone call and tells the room it “was your friend [Former President] Barack [Obama]” and said they have “a very good relationship.”
Trump later told the room he listens “better to the African American people than anybody else,” including those at the meeting.
The comments aren’t far off from comments Trump has made in public at rallies and events. He has frequently touted the support of women who voted for him as well as Black and Hispanic Americans who supported his 2016 bid.
In a statement to Politico, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Trump is “grateful for his support among Black Americans, and their many contributions to helping make America great.”
“Donald Trump’s record as a private citizen and as president has been one of fighting for inclusion and advocating for the equal treatment of all,” the statement said. “Anyone who suggests otherwise is only seeking to sew (sic) division and ignore the President’s work for underserved communities.”
The newly revealed comments at the meeting focused on voter turnout comes as Trump is sharply opposed to expanding mail-in-voting, alleging without evidence it will lead to widespread voter fraud. Democrats argue, however, that the voting method is crucial to ensure everyone can vote safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Updated 8:43 p.m.